Last week, we posted on how you can leverage the United Excursionist Perk for strong value. Using the Excursionist Perk, you should be able to book a free one-way flight when you book a trip that begins and ends in the same region. Unfortunately, in the days following that post, United’s pricing engine stopped pricing Excursionist legs properly and the system has been charging for the portion of the journey that should be free. The Points Guy reports that United is aware that the system is currently overcharging on these itineraries and has said that the system will be fixed this week.
In the above example, you can see that the United booking system seems to recognize that the included leg should be 0 miles (see the top row of days), but as you can see it is showing up as 15K / 25K miles in search results. This was part of an itinerary from Chicago->Zurich->Lisbon-Chicago, the basic example I used in last week’s post illustrating the concept at its simplest.
Unfortunately, even the easiest itineraries like the one above are not pricing out correctly, thus neither are some of the more creative routings from last week’s post.
Fortunately / unfortunately, TPG notes that United is aware of this glitch and that they will be fixing it this week. Time will tell how thoroughly it gets “fixed”. In the meantime, TPG suggests calling United reservations at 1-800-864-8331 if you have an immediate need to ticket, though I wouldn’t hold my breath on that happening without significant time spent on hold and escalation. It’s probably best to wait and see what happens later this week into next week.
H/T: The Points Guy