Airport ticketing fun

Since I’m moving nearly three hours from the nearest UA station tomorrow (going back to school), I figured it was time to do some airport ticketing. I have a bunch of vouchers sitting around and had some travel to plan, so spent last night putting a few tickets on hold, which I ticketed at the airport today.

The TPA station is all Ted, and the agents are generally inexperienced. After a short wait for an agent that knew how to do future ticketing, I eventually got helped. First I issued my ticket for the San Francisco Mega Do in September (for those not signed up yet, you really should come, I promise it’ll be fun!). I managed to find a flight for $240 all-in roundtrip, but sadly the outbound time wasn’t ideal. On the return I got the redeye that I wanted, but for the outbound I had to book a 6PM departure, since it was $200 cheaper than the option I wanted. I figure I shouldn’t have a problem standing by for an earlier flight, at least I hope not. While I could have used a free ticket voucher for my ideal flights, I wouldn’t have earned miles and couldn’t have upgraded, two things I really don’t like (although I can deal with not upgrading, it’s the miles I don’t want to miss out on).

Anyway, I used a $200 type B voucher (from a bump), and combined it with a $35.01 voucher (from a refare), so my out of pocket cost was $4.99. Not too shabby.

Then comes the fun part. I was also issuing two free tickets for friends. This guy started cracking up. He said “wow, you’ve been busy.” I said “What can I say, your inventory management isn’t very good. I think these free tickets are costing United a bit more than they expected with all of the capacity cuts.” He laughed and said “Well, I’m glad someone else has a basic grasp of economics.” That led to Tilton talk, and we know where that always leads.

Anyway, happy to empty out my airline wallet a bit, although it’s still a bit overstuffed….

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. You stated you were able to get a $200 voucher for a bump. I’ve done a couple bumps recently (not intl’l) and the agents flat out refused to give me the voucher instead of the DBCFree, am I missing something? This happened in ORD at the gate and in the RCC.

  2. Absolut1377, the profile states that passengers can get a $200 voucher for bumps resulting in a delay of one to three hours, a $400 voucher for bumps resulting in a delay of three to six hours, and a $600 voucher for bumps resulting in a delay of over six hours.

    At the end of the day it’s up to the agent to choose who they want to bump, so they technically don’t have to follow those guidelines. I’ve had pretty good luck though when asking with a smile and explaining in a nice way that I find vouchers more useful since I primarily travel internationally. For what it’s worth I typically only negotiate that after the door is closed and the plane has left, since the sob story works better since they can’t get you back on the plane.

    Just my two cents. 🙂

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