United Expert Mode and United Fare Codes
Avatar_160_hilary
Hilary Stockton
Google+

My Award Booking Service helps travelers book first class and business class with miles and points. As an independent affiliate of Cadence, I also have access to Virtuoso, Four Seasons Preferred Partner, Peninsula Hotels PenClub, Dorchester Diamond Club, Ritz-Carlton STARS, Starwood Luxury Privileges, Rocco Forte and other 5-star hotel partners, so I can book, for no extra cost, your perfect luxury hotel or luxury cruise with VIP amenities not available anywhere else. Become a client and upgrade your stay!

GOT A BLOG POST IDEA?
Have a travel question we haven't covered yet? Want to share your secrets for traveling well for less?

TravelSort reader Amy writes "How do I access United Expert Mode, and what do the various United fare codes mean?"

United Expert Mode allows you to see the various fare codes and award fare codes available for a given United flight. After the United Continental merger it was initially taken away, then brought back in September 2012 due to popular demand.

To access United Expert Mode, simply log into your United MileagePlus Account the go to your United Search Preferences where you can check a box to enable it.

After enabling it, you can search as usual. If you're searching for a paid flight, your results page will include a "Fare Class" text link that you can click on to view the fare classes. Note that you do need to click, it won't appear if you just mouse over it. The number of available seats appears next to the fare code. For example, for the flight below, X1 means 1 economy class saver award seat is available, although there are plenty of standard economy class awards available for more MileagePlus miles.

United Expert Mode and United Fare Buckets

 

Here are the United fare codes for paid tickets, along with number of redeemable miles (RDM) you receive when flying on a given fare code:

Class of Service

Fare Code

Award Miles (RDM)

First Class (3 cabin)

F (Full Fare)

A (Discount First)

250%

First Class (2 cabin)

F (Full Fare)

A (Discount First)

175%

Full Fare Business Class

C, D, J

175%

Discounted Business Class

P

150%

Deep Discounted Business Class

Z

150%

Full Fare Economy Class

B, Y

125%

Discounted Economy Class

E, H, M, Q, V, W

100%

Deep Discounted Economy Class

G, K, L, S, T

100%

A few things to note:

  • The maximum number of seats that will appear is 9, even if the flight is completely empty. You'll never see a greater number than 9.
  • R is the upgrade fare code for economy to business class, and RN is the upgrade fare code for economy to business class for elites
  • ON is the upgrade fare code from business class to first class
  • Most deeply discounted fares, such as Z, G, K, L, S and T aren't eligible for United MileagePlus promotions or for SWU upgrade certificates

How about fare codes for MileagePlus award tickets? As you probably know or suspected, United top-tier elites have their own award fare bucket ending in an "N" for those coveted saver awards, although ON for Saver First Class on 3 cabin aircraft (First, Business Economy) was eliminated on 1/31/13 (HT: Dan), leaving just IN for Saver First Class on 2 cabin aircraft (Economy, BusinessFirst) or for Business Class on 3 cabin aircraft.  

Class of Service

Premier Status

Saver Award

Standard Award

First Class (3 cabin)

Global Services

Premier 1K

Premier Platinum

O

(ON eliminated 1/31/13)

FN

First Class (3 cabin)

Premier Gold

Premier Silver

O

FN

First Class (3 cabin)

United Credit Card

O

FN

First Class (3 cabin)

No Elite Status or United Credit Card

O

FN

First Class (2 cabin)

Global Services

Premier 1K

Premier Platinum

IN

JN

First Class (2 cabin)

Premier Gold

Premier Silver

I

JN

First Class (2 cabin)

United Credit Card

I

JN

First Class (2 cabin)

No Elite Status or United Credit Card

I

ZN

Business Class (3 cabin)

Global Services

Premier 1K

Premier Platinum

IN

JN

Business Class (3 cabin)

Premier Gold

Premier Silver

I

JN

Business Class (3 cabin)

United Credit Card

I

JN

Business Class (3 cabin)

No Elite Status or United Credit Card

I

ZN

Economy Class

Global Services

Premier 1K

Premier Platinum

XN

YN

Economy Class

Premier Gold

Premier Silver

XN

YN

Economy Class

United Credit Card

XN

YN

Economy Class

No Elite Status or United Credit Card

X

HN

 

Some caveats: As the United Web site itself warns you when you sign up for Expert Mode, the information isn't perfect, and the elite upgrade process certainly isn't. A few things to note:

  • Availability in Expert Mode May Not Be Up to Date (occurs more often with partners)
  • Not all upgrades are cleared in real time. Our process of clearing upgrades varies based on the type of upgrade and when the upgrade inventory becomes available. Upgrades that are not able to be cleared in advance will be managed at the departure gate, subject to availability and in priority order.
  • Our phone agents will not clear pending upgrades. Our representatives do not have complete visibility into the upgrade priority order for a given flight. Because we would not want to potentially clear customers in the wrong order, upgrades are only processed by our automated system, or at the gate prior to departure.
Nevertheless, it can be helpful to use Expert Mode when you're trying to gauge your chances for an upgrade as an elite, or to check how a flight is filling up before booking.
 
Have you enabled United Expert Mode for your searches?
 
Related Posts

 

Need Award Booking Help? Our fee is as low as $75 per ticket if you book your hotel through us.

If you enjoyed this, join 90,000+ readers: please follow TravelSort on Twitter or  like us on Facebook to be alerted to new posts. 

Become a TravelSort Client and Book 5-Star Hotels with Virtuoso or Four Seasons Preferred Partner Amenities!

  • |
  • Print
    print |
Related Articles
Square_top_10_toys_games_to_entertain_kids_on_airplane_flights-deck_of_cards
5/26/2015
What are the top toys and games to entertain kids on long plane flights? If you don't have kids, you may be griping that you wish the parents of the unruly kids seated next to you would consider this question...
Square_best_ritz-carlton_3rd_night_free_and_4th_night_free_offers-ritz-carlton_hong_kong
5/24/2015
  Several Ritz-Carlton 3rd Night Free and 4th Night Free offers are available and combinable with either Virtuoso or AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits. Now, my personal preference in virtually every market that they both operate in is Four...
Comments
Leave a Comment
Comment
Facebook-logo
Get Free Email Blog Updates
Popular Articles
Square_150k_amex_business_platinum_card_bonus_offer
4/5/2015
  I just received a 150,000 AMEX Business Platinum Card bonus offer in the mail as a targeted offer, which was thrilling, as to my knowledge, this is the highest bonus offer available for the American Express Business Platinum card....
Square_100k_amex_business_platinum_bonus_offer
3/2/2015
  A 100K AMEX Business Platinum signup bonus offer just arrived in the mail, so I applied and was approved. I'd been hoping for such an offer, since in my view the 40K public offer is too low given the...
Square_100k_citi_prestige_card_signup_bonus_offer
4/18/2015
A 100K Citi Prestige Card targeted signup bonus offer has started arriving via mail to some Flyertalk posters such as ILGfly.   I have largely ignored this card, partly because I'm most focused on Citi AAdvantage cards in terms of...
Square_75k_amex_business_gold_rewards_bonus_offer_2015
3/9/2015
  A 75K AMEX Business Gold Rewards card bonus offer is available online, although unlike some previous offers, it has a minimum spend of $10,000 during the first 3 months. Update: some have written to say they can't get the...
Square_etihad_first_class_review_to_abu_dhabi-suite_1k_window_seat
3/20/2015
  This Etihad First Class 787-9 Review is part of a trip report including luxury resort stays in Abu Dhabi, the Maldives and Southeast Asia. For the prior post, please see my Review of Etihad's Lounge at Washington Dulles Airport (IAD). We...
Square_will_chase_amex_citi_claw_back_credit_card_signup_bonus_miles_or_points
3/22/2015
  Will Chase, AMEX, Citi claw back credit card signup bonus miles or points? A TravelSort reader writes "I was just approved for a Chase Sapphire Preferred, 75K AMEX Premier Gold Rewards card and a Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card....
Square_when_to_cancel_a_credit_card_or_pay_the_annual_fee
3/5/2015
  When Should You Cancel a Credit Card or Pay the Annual Fee? A TravelSort Client emailed me: "My wife's Chase Sapphire Preferred Card's annual fee just became due and that made me think of a question for you. Do you...
Square_thai_airways_review_a380-first_class_cabin
3/7/2015
  This Thai Airways A380 First Class Review is part of a trip report including Asiana First Class and luxury resorts and dining in Chiang Rai and Siem Reap. For the previous articles, please see: SWISS Lounge JFK Terminal 4 Review Review: Asiana...
Square_aadvantage_and_dividend_miles_merging_in_april_and_faq_
3/14/2015
  AAdvantage and Dividend Miles are merging within 30 days, per emails being sent to AAdvantage members: "...we're on track to bring the US Airways Dividend Miles® program into the AAdvantage program within the next 30 days." Update: We now know that Dividend Miles will...
Square_amex_targeted_offers-can_your_spouse_apply_for_your_offer
4/8/2015
For AMEX targeted bonus offers, can your spouse apply for your targeted offer, or vice versa--can you apply for your spouse's targeted AMEX bonus offer?  TravelSort reader Daniel wrote in response to 150K AMEX Business Platinum Card Bonus Offer (Targeted): "Funny...