Retiree Pass Travel UPDATE April 18, 2013
1) Retirees are now boarded by years, months and days
Retirees are boarded by their “Board Dates” within each boarding priority group (SA0V when using vacation passes, SA2R on personal passes, etc). Your “Board Date” is calculated using date of travel minus your “service years”. Now the IT department has made it possible to calculate “years, months and days of service”, so retirees, effective April 5th, will be boarded by a more accurate method. The new “dd/mmm/yyyy” format will be displayed in the pass rider list when booking travel plans in employeeRES. Your “service years” are listed in employeeRES> QuickLinks> EmployeeProfile. A “Board Date” calculator has been added to that page.
A retiree’s “years, months, and days of service” will never change, but your “Board Date” changes every day (because the date of travel changes every day). To better understand how your “Board Date” is calculated, read this RAFA article in "specific info":
2) Pass Rider List GLITCH in employeeRES
When you book a trip in employeeRES and check the pass rider list from the “details” link in “My Travel Plans”, standbys may not be shown in the correct “Board Date” order. Go to “Flight Search” and look up your trip there; the pass rider list will be accurate. Gate agents will board standbys in the correct order and the standby list on United.com will also show the proper order. The IT department is working to fix the pass rider list in “My Travel Plans”.
3) Imputed Taxes and 1099s
There is some confusion over whether imputed taxes for retirees should be reported in Box 3 or Box 7 of the 1099 form. United insists Box 7 is correct and will notbe re-issuing 1099 forms. We advise retirees who received 1099s to consult with their CPAs on how to declare the income on their IRS tax forms. If you did not receive a 1099, don’t worry about it, it means your taxable pass riders did not accrue $600 or more of tax value in 2012.
Note: pass travel reports and 1099s for 2012 only cover the period 3/3/12 thru 10/31/12. Next year the 1099 will cover travel from 11/1/2012 thru 10/31/2013.
If your pass travel usage report is incorrect: email EPC@united.com.
If your 1099 is incorrect: call 713-324-4060.
More info on imputed taxes is in "specific info":
4) Delays, delays!
The FAA has announced that furloughs for air traffic controllers may start on April 21st due to federal budget reductions. There may also be cuts to customs and TSA personnel. Bottom line: plan on delays at the airport and significant flight delays. Check United.com and FlyingTogether before you fly for late breaking news about such delays.
5) Gate Agents using “Aero” for boarding
Effective March 6, CSRs at airport gates began using “Aero”, the next generation, easy-to-use, Shares interface. New features enable gate agents to smoothly board customers, better accommodate seat changes, and proactively plan to help customers who might miss connections. “Aero” will expand to airport lobbies later this year and, in the future, to kiosks and smartphones, giving customers and employees/retirees access to the same information on the same technology platform.
6) Wait for it....wait for it......Retiree Badges are coming!
Some retirees have found an old form for ID badge requests on Flying Together. This form is NOT to be used to obtain the new retiree badge. Wait for the announcement on Flying Together on how to obtain the new badge; it could be next month!
You may still download a verification letter for car, cruise, & hotel discounts here: FlyingTogether>employeeRES>QuickLinks>EmployeeProfile>”Click here to obtain letter” (in the “Saved EmployeeRES Information” box)
7) Re-setting your password on Flying Together
Can’t log on? You may need to reset your Flying Together password. Use the “Password reset” link at the bottom of the sign-in page or use an automated telephone system.
Call the IT Service Desk at 1-847-700-5800 or 1-800-255-5801: Choose option 1 for password resets and follow the prompts to enter your ID number and personal information. The system will give you a temporary password that you’ll need to write down – it’s valid for only 24 hours. Then you’ll get an email with a link to reset your password. OR...
You may go to immediately and log in with your temporary password. Follow the directions to change your password.
8) Look before you fly!
Due to 787 groundings, several United flights have been changed/postponed (e.g. SFO-TPE and DEN-NRT). Always check on Flying Together and employeeRES for the latest news and advisories before you fly! For example: pass travel is currently restricted on ORD-HKG flights.
Thanks to Kathie Torigson and the RUAEA newsletter for news in #9 and #10:
9) Don’t be late to the gate!
Pass riders report some flights have departed early. If all revenue passengers are onboard before departure time the plane may not wait for standbys.
Sometimes standby seats are assigned early. If you are not at the gate to get your boarding pass the agents will hold your seat assignment until 15 minutes before departure (until 30 minutes before international departures). If you have not boarded by that time your assigned seat may be given away to someone junior on the list.
On some international flights the standby lists can be cleared 60 minutes before takeoff. If you have a Global First or Business First boarding pass you are entitled to use United’s airport lounge....just be sure to board the flight 30 minutes before departure!
10) International cell phones
Many US cell phones are either very expensive to use or simply cannot be used abroad. If it makes sense for you to buy an international phone; check this website:. Be aware which calls are covered and which cost extra according to the phone and plan purchased.
Thanks to Pat Palazzolo and the ALPA Pass Travel Report for some content in #11
11) Get smart when mobile: Smartphone and tablet apps for travel
Flying Together can be copied into your smartphone or tablet’s browser.
MobileRes is the mobile version of EmployeeRes for S/A listing. Copy this address into your smartphone’s web browser:
You will be prompted to log in, just like logging onto Flying Together.
MobileRes works great but it will not allow listing for flights that require a service charge, taxes, or fees because it cannot accept credit cards. To list for such a flight, scroll down to the bottom of the MobileRes menu screen and select “Full Site”. You will be taken to employeeRES where you can list and pre-pay for flights that need payments.
The United Airlines app is excellent for passengers AND very useful for pass travel. Download it:
Savvy pass riders use both the United Airlines app and employeeRES to track pass rider lists and available seats when flying. However, on the United app, be aware of a,b,c below.
a) When checking the seat map, empty seats represent seats that are unassigned, it does not represent the seats that are unsold! (This is true of the seat map in employeeRES also). A flight can show several empty (unassigned) seats but the flight can still be sold out. The only time the seat map is useful for S/A travel is when it's less than about 30 minutes from departure. By then just about everyone who has bought a ticket has been assigned a seat, and the empty seats on the seat map are probably going to remain empty until filled with stand-bys, seat changes or upgrades.
b) The stand-by list displays only those stand-bys (both revenue and non-revenue) who have actually checked in. To see the entire non-rev pass rider list, use MobileRes or employeeRES.
c) Once the flight departs the stand-by list on the United Airlines app displays only those who have been boarded. It will no longer display those standing by who did not get on or who were no-shows. S/A travelers boarded in Business or First will no longer appear on the stand-by list, they will be moved to the Upgrade list.
Smart Traveler by the US State Department has a menu for every country on the planet, plus sub menus for everything you’d want to know about that country from entry/visa requirements, traveler advisories, maps, phone numbers and addresses. Download it:
Trip Advisor () website and app provide valuable information on hotels, things to do, and places to eat in just about every city in the world. Hotels are ranked in order by travelers based on desirability, including bang for the buck.
ID90T and MyIDTravel websites should be on your phone or tablet for travel on Other Airlines. Info about each website is on FlyingTogether>Travel>OtherAirline-InterlineTravel:
ID90T allows us to purchase electronic ZED tickets immediately.
Mileage Calculator Handy for determining air miles for ZED fares.
Complete information about Other Airline Travel from RAFA is in "Specific Info": Other Airline Travel.
New gate layouts with dedicated lanes for 5 boarding groups will be rolled out in late April at IAD, ORD, & SFO, and eventually at 19 largest domestic stations by June. This will provide better access for premier customers.
Economy Plus seating is now installed in over 275 mainline aircraft; only 50 more airplanes need to have this upgrade, which may be complete by summer.
Expanded bin space modifications (to accommodate 22” rolling suitcases) have been accomplished on over half of our 152 narrow body aircraft. The project is on track to be completed by late spring.
Compiled by Kirk Moore, RAFA Travel Benefits Committee 04/18/2013