How to Find and Book Hidden Fare Classes on United.com
Today I will to talk about how using different sales countries on United’s website can show different fare class availability, resulting in different prices on the same ticket.
I was searching for a ticket from Orlando to Vancouver. I quickly found the flights I wanted on the US version of United.com for $145 USD:
Note the ‘Available fare classes’ section under each segment. You can enable that in Expert Mode. See this post by The Points Guy for more details on Expert Mode.
Now as I prefer to use my Canadian credit card to book, I switched country on the top navigation bar on United.com:
The site refreshed automatically and the tickets were now showing in Canadian dollars:
The same itinerary now showed $268 CAD, or $201 USD, which was$56 USD more!
Note that the fare classes were now showing as K fare class on the Canadian version of United.com, instead of G fare class on the US version. Now compare the ‘Available fare classes’ in both screenshots, and you can see the Canadian version of United.com showed G0, or zero inventory in G class! For some reason, United was hiding this inventory on the Canadian version of their website.
Using advanced search, I tried to force the booking into G fare class with no success:
As there were 8 G fares available (G8) on the US version of United.com, my goal was to get this itinerary booked into G and paid for using my Canadian credit card.
Solution: Call United!
This was the easy part. Once I knew there were G fare availability but the Canadian version of United.com didn’t show any, I called United and told an agent I’d like to book the itinerary into G and would like to settle in Canadian Dollars.
How to avoid paying the $25 phone booking fee? I simply explained that the G fare availability was hidden on the Canadian version of United.com, thus it was not possible to book this ticket without calling. The agent said no problem, and put me on hold. 5 minutes later, it was a done deal.