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Collecting points on ChoiceAir flights


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Not sure there is an easy yes or no to your question.

 

Ultimately you will be able to enter any Airline Mileage Program that has an agreement with United (any star alliance airline http://www.staralliance.com/en/about/member_airlines).

 

Whether or not you get any points for the flight will depend on the type/class of ticket you get.

 

I've been able to get Air Canada aeroplan points when booked on United/Lufthansa in the past but due to the low level of ticket I was issued they weren't a whole lot. So, as long as the milage program you want points on is a Star Alliance airline you should be able to get some points.

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By the way, booking Choice Air won't have anything to do with your frequent flyer points, it is just a booking agency. What matters is the agreements between United and the airline you are trying to collect points on, and the class of travel you have booked on United.

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Probably the most extensive FF conglom out there. Are you aware you can do your desired itin/ line, submit to Choice Air for pricing? They are just a booking agency.I believe they book your flights AFTER final payment is made.

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Probably the most extensive FF conglom out there. Are you aware you can do your desired itin/ line, submit to Choice Air for pricing? They are just a booking agency.I believe they book your flights AFTER final payment is made.

 

By the way, booking Choice Air won't have anything to do with your frequent flyer points, it is just a booking agency. What matters is the agreements between United and the airline you are trying to collect points on, and the class of travel you have booked on United.

 

Cruisestitch: I was able to get my Aeroplan number added when I went to the United site after I had booked the ticket. ChoiceAir would only allow me to enter in a United MileagePlus #.

 

Zoncom: I decided to go with ChoiceAir because after the nightmarish trip we took last year to get to our cruise I felt it would be easier if I had ChoiceAir to help me in case something went wrong again. I think I used up half my travel phone minutes last year in the first 24 hours of my trip.

 

I was able to book the United flights at the same price as the United website, so I figure I'm ahead.

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I have booked choice air before and after final payment. I have used choice air at the same price and for significant one way savings. I have booked choice air in specific fare classes, that cost more to upgrde with united, but the base fare was cheaper by enough I still came out ahead $150 flight. I have always earned the miles I shoudl based on the fare class booked. Sometimes I have not been able to book the flights I wanted with choice air, as they are restricted to not come in too late on the day of sailing, or leave too early on the day of departure.

 

Happy sailing,

Jenna

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Not sure I understand Choice Air's relationship with the airlines....although we've used choice air three or four times for one way trips to/from Europe for cruises (with no problems). They book the tickets and we get a record locator (almost always from American or another one world carrier). We can change seats/etc by just accessing the airline web site or calling the airline with the record locator.

 

The part I don't understand is the financials because we are charged for the ticket immediately (which is normal for non-refundable tickets), but Warning Celebrity keeps the money until after final payment...and they keep it in the account with your booking number. This becomes a serious (but solvable) issue if you cancel your cruise reservation with the choice air flight to make a new reservation on the same ship based on a "new bookings only" fare. if you don't do this correctly, Celebrity will cancel that flight, even though you've paid for it and even though you have a record locator....because their computer system sees that you cancelled the cruise. Don't cancel that first cruise until you have made sure that your choice air reservation and money have transferred to the new cruise booking.

Edited by ghstudio
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Not sure I understand Choice Air's relationship with the airlines....although we've used choice air three or four times for one way trips to/from Europe for cruises (with no problems). They book the tickets and we get a record locator (almost always from American or another one world carrier). We can change seats/etc by just accessing the airline web site or calling the airline with the record locator.

 

The part I don't understand is the financials because we are charged for the ticket immediately (which is normal for non-refundable tickets), but Warning Celebrity keeps the money until after final payment...and they keep it in the account with your booking number. This becomes a serious (but solvable) issue if you cancel your cruise reservation with the choice air flight to make a new reservation on the same ship based on a "new bookings only" fare. if you don't do this correctly, Celebrity will cancel that flight, even though you've paid for it and even though you have a record locator....because their computer system sees that you cancelled the cruise. Don't cancel that first cruise until you have made sure that your choice air reservation and money have transferred to the new cruise booking.

 

This is a good point. There are "pros" to ChoiceAir but there are also some sticky issues. I'm also aware of several folks whom have turned up at the airport and their e-tickets are worthless as X didn't actually settle financially with the carrier so the tickets were voided.

 

Back to the OP's question, the answer is "it depends". If ChoiceAir is booking you onto a "published fare" - i.e. one that the carrier normally also sells directly to the public - then typically you will be eligible to accrue mileage on those tickets.

 

On certain marine contract or wholesale/bulk fares (particularly common for Transatlantic or Repositioning voyages or where you fly into one city and back from another), many of these will earn reduced or zero frequent flyer credit.

 

Your ability to upgrade using points is also a crapshoot, but that is also an issue with the majority of lower priced tickets these days even if you book directly with the carrier. Delta for instance only allows mileage upgrades on some of the highest fare categories - at which point it can often make more sense just to buy a Business Class ticket. This applies no matter where you purchase the airfare as it's all based on the fare bucket, e.g. L booking class versus M booking class etc.

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The part I don't understand is the financials because we are charged for the ticket immediately (which is normal for non-refundable tickets), but Warning Celebrity keeps the money until after final payment...and they keep it in the account with your booking number. This becomes a serious (but solvable) issue if you cancel your cruise reservation with the choice air flight to make a new reservation on the same ship based on a "new bookings only" fare. if you don't do this correctly, Celebrity will cancel that flight, even though you've paid for it and even though you have a record locator....because their computer system sees that you cancelled the cruise. Don't cancel that first cruise until you have made sure that your choice air reservation and money have transferred to the new cruise booking.

 

I second this. We had the most terrible trouble reinstating our Choiceair flights after cancelling then immediately rebooking the same cruise with a different ta. This was despite making it quite clear that we didn't want the flights cancelling. It took hours on the phone to Choiceair before we got the flights back. They kept insisting that they were already cancelled with 100% penalty charge:eek: It's put me off using Choiceair

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By the way, booking Choice Air won't have anything to do with your frequent flyer points, it is just a booking agency. What matters is the agreements between United and the airline you are trying to collect points on, and the class of travel you have booked on United.

 

Not entirely true. Some Choice Air tickets may not qualify for frequent flyer points.

 

 

Zoncom: I decided to go with ChoiceAir because after the nightmarish trip we took last year to get to our cruise I felt it would be easier if I had ChoiceAir to help me in case something went wrong again.

 

Be careful about assuming any particular level of help from CA. There are anecdotal stories out there of people getting great service from them when things went wrong with their flights, and there are anecdotal stories of people getting virtually no help at all. Caveat Emptor.

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ChoiceAir: Assured Arrival

 

RCCL is very interested in ensuring you get to your Cruise, and takes advantage of knowing your travel arrangements to monitor your flights, intervening when possible to avert delays due to airline schedule changes, delays, and cancellations. When they are unable to act pre-emptively, they will continue to work with the traveler and airline to find an alternate route - even on another airline - at no additional cost to the guest. This service includes getting the guest to the original embarkation port, or the next available port whenever it is practical. They cover the modified airline ticket, hotels en route (when necessary) and ground transfers. At times, there is controversy over whether this is a guarantee. The truth is... it's not a guarantee. If there are massive flight cancellations for many days due to natural disasters, or if there are simply no commercial seats available that will enable them to re-route, they clearly will not be able to make it happen. If there are government regulations (Jones Act) that preclude the guest from joining in another port (Most often an issue for Alaska, Hawaii, and New England/Canada sailings), they will not be able to help. However, in the vast majority of the situations when flights are delayed or canceled due to weather and mechanicals, the company has been able to get the guest to the ship to enjoy most or all of their Cruise vacation. This is not insurance or a guarantee, but an additional service provided exclusively for guests who book air with them. The benefit to the customer is they have a point of contact if things go wrong, they do not have to spend any money up-front, or file a claim to take advantage of the service.

 

 

Waterbug: For me the thought of having an extra person to help me. The benefit for me is not having to wait in a lineup at the airport for 2 hours or on the phone with the airline to find out what my new routing is.

 

I can phone ChoiceAir and probably get a quicker response and maybe make other arrangements quickly. It might be me cancelling a hotel reservation that I can't make before the cancellation deadline or finding a hotel to spend the night in before the ones I want to stay in are sold out.

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ChoiceAir: Assured Arrival

 

intervening when possible... When they are unable to act pre-emptively, they will continue to work with the traveler and airline ....whenever it is practical.

 

The benefit to the customer is they have a point of contact if things go wrong, they do not have to spend any money up-front, or file a claim to take advantage of the service.

 

 

Waterbug: For me the thought of having an extra person to help me. The benefit for me is not having to wait in a lineup at the airport for 2 hours or on the phone with the airline to find out what my new routing is.

 

I can phone ChoiceAir and probably get a quicker response

 

Glad you quoted some of their verbiage. Please note the ambiguous phrases used, such as "when possible" and "whenever it is practical." So with phrases like that, what does "assured arrival" really mean? Who knows?! There is LOTS of wiggle room in those phrases. And "continue to work with?" That means little.

 

Secondly, as far as having a CA rep ready to help you, please re-read my prior reply. There are anecdotal stories out there of people calling CA, only to be told, "you need to talk to the airline." There have also been stories of people attempting to call CA, only to find they are closed because it's the weekend and they can't even get through to anyone.

I've also never really understood why people think CA means when they say they monitor your flights.... I can almost assure you there is not a team of people hunched over computer screens 24/7 watching every possible flight and flight connection to see if something is about to go wrong for John Doe. Again, numerous stories out there of people finding out about flight changes, delays etc. not from CA, but because they themselves just happened to go online to check their seats or whatever.

 

If the savings is worth the risk to you, go for it. Just be fully informed as to what Choice Air WILL do for you, versus what they MAY (or may NOT) do for you, and what they definitely WON'T do for you. :)

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I agree that I shouldn't be reliant on them completely and if possible I would love if they do figure it out for us, but having gone through what we did last year the "added security" is helpful.

 

Last year sometime between leaving the hotel and getting through security, our flight was cancelled. No alert from United or nothing said at the ticket counter when checking our bags.

 

When we finally got to the gate we were at the back of the lineup for re-ticketing. Somehow, United put me on a 9pm flight to Newark and then connecting to San Juan and then my wife was on an earlier flight to Dallas(?) or Houston(?). Can't remember which one. She would get into San Juan the same day. The gentleman infront of me got the last ticket on the same flight as my wife.

 

Needless to say my wife flew with me and we were in San Juan 24 hours after our scheduled arrival.

 

Would ChoiceAir have had me on the same flight as my wife? Maybe. But at least I could have called them to see what they could have done while I waited in line.

 

I must mention that I am only using it the one way.

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I agree that I shouldn't be reliant on them completely and if possible I would love if they do figure it out for us, but having gone through what we did last year the "added security" is helpful.

 

 

Would ChoiceAir have had me on the same flight as my wife? Maybe. But at least I could have called them to see what they could have done while I waited in line.

 

Good enough, as long as you understand that it's quite possible that when you call they will either 1) be closed or 2) tell you to talk to the airline. Hopefully if a similar situation happens to you though, you'll get option 3, which is they actually DO answer and they DO help you and that they do so more quickly than the airline could have. :)

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When we finally got to the gate we were at the back of the lineup for re-ticketing.....Would ChoiceAir have had me on the same flight as my wife? Maybe. But at least I could have called them to see what they could have done while I waited in line.

Probably shouldn't ask but.....did you ever think about calling UNITED while you were standing in line? If that line was so bad, you could have likely been rebooked over the phone and gotten those seats together. Duh!!

 

Cruiseline air guarantees aren't worth the electrons their printed on. They don't "monitor" flights, and note they talk about getting you to your original embarkation port. Which is exactly what they airline will also do....get you to the ticket destination. Note....it doesn't say you'll make you ship, it doesn't even say you'll eventually get on your ship.

 

Weasel words. But they reel in enough people searching for "security".

 

Truly - Caveat Emptor!!!

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But at least I could have called them to see what they could have done while I waited in line.

 

Or instead of waiting in the line you can just call United anyways. I've typically got access to people in the lounges to help when things go belly up but I've never stood in line. Just get on the phone. You don't need ChoiceAir to do that!

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Or instead of waiting in the line you can just call United anyways. I've typically got access to people in the lounges to help when things go belly up but I've never stood in line. Just get on the phone. You don't need ChoiceAir to do that!

 

 

Yes the airline is usually best option here to sort issues

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Yes the airline is usually best option here to sort issues

 

Probably shouldn't ask but.....did you ever think about calling UNITED while you were standing in line? If that line was so bad, you could have likely been rebooked over the phone and gotten those seats together. Duh!!

 

I'll give you the quick recap. While waiting in line during the storms at the beginning of last January, I was also on the phone(on hold) with United. Unfortunately I got to the lady at the front of the ticket counter before I got to someone at United directly.

 

We were flying out of Seattle that day and we we're one of two flights affected that morning at that time. We only waited in line for 15 minutes. Just wasn't my day that day.

 

With so many cancellations that day who knows how long I would have waited on the phone. We eventually got to Puerto Rico(before the ship left), so it was all good.

 

The main thing that i'll reiterate is sometime between checking in and going through security, my flight was cancelled and I didn't receive a notification from United. Maybe I would have had I booked through ChoiceAir and saved myself a few minutes and gotten on that earlier flight.

 

Never hurts to have a possible back up plan.

Edited by chrismakris
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my flight was cancelled and I didn't receive a notification from United. Maybe I would have had I booked through ChoiceAir

 

Waterbug already gave you the answer:

I've also never really understood why people think CA means when they say they monitor your flights.... I can almost assure you there is not a team of people hunched over computer screens 24/7 watching every possible flight and flight connection to see if something is about to go wrong for John Doe.

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Probably shouldn't ask but.....did you ever think about calling UNITED while you were standing in line? If that line was so bad, you could have likely been rebooked over the phone and gotten those seats together. Duh!!

 

Cruiseline air guarantees aren't worth the electrons their printed on. They don't "monitor" flights, and note they talk about getting you to your original embarkation port. Which is exactly what they airline will also do....get you to the ticket destination. Note....it doesn't say you'll make you ship, it doesn't even say you'll eventually get on your ship.

 

Weasel words. But they reel in enough people searching for "security".

 

Truly - Caveat Emptor!!!

 

 

Yeah I have never, ever waited in line to deal with the airline for rebooking after a delay or cancellation. Always, always, always call. Most recently I knew I would misconnect one one flight due to a delay on the initial, and the gate agents flat out said "nothing we can do, don't even bother asking" (great service), so I called the airline and was taken care of. Did my status help? Sure. But the point is that the gate agents had zero desire to assist or even talk, but the phone agent was more than happy to.

 

Another time, on an airline I have zero status with, the last flight of the day was cancelled, and everyone jumped in line for rebooking. I called instead and got the last seat in to a city two hours away so I could at least drive to my destination and make my morning meetings. Had I waited in line, I would have spent the night in Chicago instead of Huntsville.

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Probably shouldn't ask but.....did you ever think about calling UNITED while you were standing in line? If that line was so bad, you could have likely been rebooked over the phone and gotten those seats together. Duh!!

 

Cruiseline air guarantees aren't worth the electrons their printed on. They don't "monitor" flights, and note they talk about getting you to your original embarkation port. Which is exactly what they airline will also do....get you to the ticket destination. Note....it doesn't say you'll make you ship, it doesn't even say you'll eventually get on your ship.

 

Weasel words. But they reel in enough people searching for "security".

 

Truly - Caveat Emptor!!!

 

The one thing Choice Air (which is supposed to be open for calls for issues during travel, 24/7) can and will do is book alternate airlines and networks. United won't use Southwest in an emergency, and would be more unlikely to put you on American or Delta then on another carrier, but Choice Air is more likely to. This is of course assuming you're not 1k.

 

Happy sailing,

Jenna

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The one thing Choice Air (which is supposed to be open for calls for issues during travel, 24/7) can and will do is book alternate airlines and networks. United won't use Southwest in an emergency, and would be more unlikely to put you on American or Delta then on another carrier, but Choice Air is more likely to. This is of course assuming you're not 1k.

 

Happy sailing,

Jenna

 

Can do, maybe. "Will do" is an absolute term and likely to not be true in all (or possibly even most) cases.

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Can do, maybe. "Will do" is an absolute term and likely to not be true in all (or possibly even most) cases.

 

Fare enough. This is when you, as the traveler and consumer become your best advocate!

 

Happy sailing,

Jenna

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So In all this discussion of what ChoiceAir will do and not do and dealing with the airline directly, I received two emails this morning. The first one was from ChoiceAir telling me that my itinerary had been changed.

 

I now go from SEA-IAH-SJU instead of SEA-IAD-SJU.

 

The second email came from United 45 minutes later informing me of my schedule change.

 

It's makes me feel better knowing that, yes schedule changes can happen and ChoiceAir will be there to let me know. It also makes me wonder why United's email was 45 minutes later.

Edited by chrismakris
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