Pass Travel UPDATE                                     September 29, 2016       


In this issue:

  1. Open Enrollments for retirees
  2. UPL no longer automated
  3. Other Airlines: Embargoes & more
  4. Star Companions, clarified
  5. Recent news from United

1) Open Enrollments for retirees

For 2017 Healthcare: October 31-November 11, 2016 on “YBR”. Access via FlyingTogether>EmployeeServices>Benefits>YBR (Your Benefits Resources). 

To Update your Enrolled Friends for 2017: Will be announced in December, 2016. Access via FlyingTogether>Travel> “Update pass riders and buddies”.

2)  United Pass Line is no longer automated

United Pass Line automation has been discontinued. Now, when you call the UPL (Direct from the US dial 866-359-3727, from International dial 713-324-7277) you will always be transferred to a reservation agent.  A $25 fee will be charged to make a new booking or to change an existing booking’s class of service (FC, BC, Y), pass type (Personal, Vacation) or Origin/Destination.  However, there is no charge if you call to cancel a booking or to change a travel listing’s date or time (with same city pair).

RAFA recommends retirees learn how to list, change and cancel their pass travel for free using employeeRES on Flying Together or on mobile devices using the United app.  

To use the United app for pass travel and myUAdiscount travel you must be a MileagePlus member and link your MP number in your employeeRES Profile; click this link to find out how:

3) Other Airlines: Important notices

    Alitalia (AZ) Alitalia (AZ) has informed UA that access to AZ flights using MyIDTravelPurchase will be unavailable from Monday October 14, 2016 - Tuesday October 18, 2016. This outage is due to Alitalia's system conversion from ARCO to SABRE. Bookings, changes, and refunds will not be available during this outage.

•Turkish Airlines (TK) Downgrade Refunds.  Since April 15, 2016 TK has been unable to issue refunds on cabin downgrades. This is due to technical problems with TK's system. 


The Employee Travel Center hopes to have ALL ticketing for Other Airlines moved to the MyIDTravelPurchase website by the end of this year; we will no longer be using the ID90 website. 

Note: for security reasons, the only way to access MyIDTravelPurchase is via signing into Flying Together>Travel>OtherAirline-InterlineTravel>MyIDTravelPurchase.

4)  Star Companion Passes, clarified

Each year employees/retirees are allowed 8 "Travel Partner" passes (aka Star Companions) that can be used on 7 Star Alliance Carriers to accompany up to 2 companions on a flight.  The carriers are: Air Canada, Germanwings, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian, Swiss International, and TAP Air Portugal.  


1) The employee/retiree must accompany their Travel Partner(s) on all flights. 

2) Each Travel Partner ticket is charged at the HIGH ZED fare.

3) Each Travel Partner pass is good for a roundtrip; if used for only one-way, one pass     is used up. 

4) If you book A>B>C you may stay at B as long as you like before continuing to C on     one pass.

5) We do not get 8 passes per airline, but rather 8 shared among all the carriers per     year; unused passes do not roll-over to the next year.

6) If using the ID90T website, "Travel Partners"/"Star Companions" are called “Buddies". 

Note:  If buying a “Star Companion” ticket for your Enrolled Friend on myIDTravelPurchase or ID90T, you CANNOT simply select them from your list of eligible pass riders, you must write their name(s) in as a "Travel Partner" or “Buddy”.

All of this information is available in #2 on our RAFA webpage about Other Airlines:

5) “Recent News” on Flying Together>News

Click the “Recent News” link above to see other stories. Here are some you might like:

08/12:  UA flight attendants ratify contract

08/17:  Day of boarding passes req’d for club entry

08/18:  New leaders at UAL

08/29:  Oscar: Scott Kirby is new United President

09/01:  EWR-Cuba service launches November 29th

09/07:  Omaha, Fort Wayne, Chattanooga service

09/11:  We remember September 11th

09/22:  New Polaris Business Class info/rollout.

6) Have you seen our RAFA website?

   Check out the Travel Benefits tab here:

  Read the Pass Travel Program Summary, helpful links, phone numbers and more.

For other Pass Travel Topics: Previous Travel UPDATES

Compiled by Kirk Moore, RAFA Travel Benefits Committee                    September 28, 2016

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