A lot of people have questions about why they get an error message when trying to book stopovers on United.com, and I try to walk them through this decision making tree. Then I decided to just make a simple graph walking anyone through the United error messages.
Next time you get an error message on United, take a look at this graph and walk through figuring out what to do/try next.
Before I continue, I want to clarify one thing…
The limit on connections is as follows:
NA – Europe: Unlimited
NA – South S. America: Unlimited
NA – Asia (North or South), Central Asia, Southern Africa, Australia: 4
NA – Anywhere one way: 3
(as discussed here).
United.com multiple destination search.
Here’s the reason why errors happen…
I’m doing CHO-FRA-BKK-CHO in one browser, and then searching them in one-ways on the other browser.
The first browser does its first part of the multi-destination search and shows results for CHO to FRA. However, it only shows 2 results. Period. And only one saver seat. Period. And it’s just for one economy flight.
The same exact search on March 4 as a oneway, CHO to FRA produces 25 routes! 25 different flight times, and the first one showed me only 2! And it has saver seats for all classes and other airlines.
What’s interesting is that the only two seats United chose to show during the multiple destination search, are the first two flights shown in a normal search. But then as I continue on with the search, the seats it shows seem to be random. Still, there are less seats available on the multiple destination search, but there seems to be no consistency as to which seats they’ll show.
Which is to say, United.com just isn’t trustworthy.
What happens is United.com searches for a set small amount of time, and then just shows what results it has when that time is up. Even when there are flights available on a oneway search, it might not show the available seats, or the seats you need.
However, the agent never has these issues, as their computer can show all award availability without these limits that the website has. The rules are the same, the function is different. So if you need to book a stopover trip and it’s not working online, call. There are a few tickets I’ve booked that I don’t think an agent would quite understand, but those are few. Don’t be afraid to call… they’re just phone agents.
Yes, booking over the phone may come with a $25 fee. But… it could be worse, and sometimes they waive it.
Either way, I hope next time you go booking on United.com and get an error message you come back here and figure out why whatever is happening is happening.
Also, I hope it isn’t too confusing. :-p