One benefit of constantly booking flights is that through the process one may come upon certain tricks and workarounds that most don’t know about. This happened to me recently as I made a change to an itinerary for my wife and I. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn’t take screenshots at the time, so I’ll go through the motions on another reservation we’ve already booked. There may come a time when you need to split your reservation into multiple single reservations for one reason or another. This is easily doable online, and free of charge.
Let’s assume you booked an itinerary for you and your spouse, like was my case. Why would you want to split a booking? A flight change to one of you will demand that the tickets are split. But there are circumstances in life in which a couple, family, or friends will want to split a reservation up so that all parties can manage their reservations independently. In our case, we really just needed to cancel our booking, but since the tickets were non-refundable, we decided to make a change instead, and at least get partial credit back, after the fee deduction (which by the way can be requested back from the airline online via the Refund Request process, though it’s not guaranteed you’ll get it back). My wife had a trip in mind that I wasn’t going to make with her, so we used united.com’s ‘Change Flights’ option under the View Current Reservation screen.
On the next screen, you have the option to select all or specific travelers’ flights to change. Under Rules and Restrictions you’ll find the following statement: ‘Once the travelers are separated, the reservation may not be reinstated with the original travelers.’
Upon accepting the rules and randomly selecting a flight (since I’m not really going to change any flights on this one), I immediately receive an e-mail with the new confirmation number for my new separate reservation and another confirmation of my original reservation, but this time with only my wife in it. You can also confirm this in your Reservations screen. Instead of one, now there are two.
At this point, I can just exit out of the Enter New Flight Search Criteria, since my reservations have already been split up, and that’s all I wanted to accomplish. Our flights will remain the same.
In conclusion, this may not be a trick that you’ll use often, but it may come in handy at some point, and I wanted to put it out there in case you find it useful. This will help you avoid having to go through the customer service phone line, saving some time, energy, and possibly some frustration as well. It only took me about 2-3 minutes to accomplish this split, so it’s a no-brainer. In cases were things didn’t go smoothly during the your trip, having separate reservations may get you more compensation when you submit your feedback through united.com than if it’s one reservation for two – again, not a guarantee, but it’s happened to me. Hope this helps!