Pass Travel UPDATE December 01, 2015
In this issue:
NEW: Winter Pass Travel Newsletter by the ETC published 12/11/2015
Go to FlyingTogether>Travel, look in the right column to download it. Or click here and log in to download.
1) Update your 2016 Enrolled Friends by December 30, 2015 @ 7 PM CST
Effective Dec. 1st through Dec. 30th, 2015 (7 pm CST) eligible retirees may update their Enrolled Friends elections for the 2016 calendar year. If no action is taken, your 2015 enrolled friend(s) will automatically roll over on January 1, 2016 and then no changes can be made. Retirees can designate up to 2 enrolled friends annually during the enrollment period. Here are the options:
How to take Action:
Between Dec 1st and Dec 30th (7 PM CST):
Go to Flying Together>Travel> Update Pass Riders & Buddies
View the top box that says “Open Enrollment for 2016”.
Click on the “Enter 2016 Elections” button or the “Add 2016 pass riders” button.
** The Enter 2016 Elections” button is for those who have EFs and want to change them or to start 2016 without EFs. The “Add 2016 pass riders” button is for those who currently do not have EFs and are ready to add them to start traveling on Jan. 1, 2016.**
“Enter 2016 Elections”:
By default, boxes next to your current Enrolled Friends are checked to “Keep for 2016”.
To keep your current EFs for 2016 no action is required; they automatically roll over.
To elect new Enrolled Friends for 2016, first uncheck one or both boxes. You may then either select a previous pass rider from your list or, after you “Confirm & Continue”, you may add a new EF by clicking the “Add 2016 Pass Riders” button. Once you verify and certify your new Enrolled Friend they are added to your list as your 2016 EFs.
If you “uncheck” your current EFs and do not “Add 2016 Pass Riders”, you may add EFs to those empty slots at anytime in 2016.
Confused? Consult the “2016 EF election for Retirees” WebEx guide:
MADE A MISTAKE? CHANGED YOUR MIND?
If the enrollment period is still open, just go back to the “Open Enrollment for 2016” box and click on the blue “Manage 2016 elections” button to make changes. However, after 7 PM on December 30, 2015 no further changes can be made.
We strongly suggest being certain of your choices. Sometimes it’s better to start the new year without enrolled friend(s) until you’re confident they will work out for the 2016 calendar year.
If you change your Enrolled Friends for 2016 be sure to tell your 2015 EFs they must complete all travel by midnight Dec 31, 2015.
Caution: If you click “Deactivate Pass Travel” for your current EF(s) they will lose travel privileges within 24 hours. You may “deactivate” your EFs at any time during the year, but the replacement you designate during the election period cannot fly until January 1 of the next year.
Remember the deadline to make changes is 7pm CST on December 30, 2015!
Can’t log on to Flying Together? If you haven’t been on Flying Together lately, your password may have expired. At the bottom of the log-in page is a small “Password reset” link. Click it; if you can’t remember your security questions then click on the “Log-in Issues” link and use the number there to call the IT Svc Desk after 5 PM Central time.
The phone number for the Employee Travel Center (and other UAL departments) is 877-825-3729.
From international locations use: 847-825-3729
2) What about enrolling Buddies? Primary Friends? Others?
Please remember: Retirees do not have buddy travel, only “co-workers” have buddy travel. Retirees do not have Primary Friends, only “co-workers” (without a spouse or domestic partner) can designate a Primary Friend.
Retirees’ Eligible Pass Riders are: spouse or domestic partner, parents, children less than 26 years old and up to two Enrolled Friends.
Information about eligible pass riders: FlyingTogether>Travel>TravelPolicies>EligiblePassRiders
Changes to or election of your Enrolled Friends takes place during Open Enrollment for Pass Travel (Dec 1-30th, 2015, 7 PM CST). More information about EFs:FlyingTogether>Travel>TravelPrograms> EnrolledFriends
Changes (i.e. marriage, divorce, birth or death) to a retirees’ spouse, domestic partner, parents or children are considered “life events” that can happen at any time during the year. Such changes must first be certified by Aon Hewitt (may take 7-10 days). Contact Aon Hewitt via the YBR (Your Benefits Resources) portal on Flying Together>EmployeeServices or call the Benefits Svc Center, 800-651-1007. Aon Hewitt will then send their record to United’s dependent management system and you are responsible to activate or deactivate them for travel privileges, if applicable.
3) Employee Travel Center expands hours, simplifies email
Posted by the ETC on United Daily December 1, 2015
The Employee Travel Center (ETC) has enhanced its services with increased hours of operation in its call center and simplified email communication. Beginning Dec. 1, the ETC will introduce a 7-7-7 model – taking calls 7 days a week between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT.
ETC will also streamline email communication by providing a single address – ETC@united.com – for all travel inquiries, including dependent document verification and travel payroll deduction questions. It is no longer necessary to use the Employee Information Services (EIS@united.com) or Employee Pass Charges (EPC@united.com) email addresses.
“The expansion and simplification of support services provided by the Employee Travel Center are part of the company’s commitment to improving the experience that employees have with their travel privileges,” said VP Total Rewards Anthony Scattone.
In addition to the phone and email support provided by the ETC, you can also access Flying Together > Travel 24/7 to find policies, procedures, Q&As and our booking tools - employeeRES, mobileRES and the United Pass Line.
As a reminder, here is the ETC’s contact information:
From the U.S.: 877-UAL-ESC9 (877-825-3729)
From outside the U.S.: 847-UAL-ESC9 (847-825-3729)
4) MAXIMIZE your Pass Travel options: Mileage Plus and the United app
Flying space-available is the most affordable option: It’s free in economy, you can check 2 bags gratis and, if there’s space in a premium cabin, you may list and ride like royalty for “pennies”. BUT…sometimes flights are full and you’re left at the gate. :-(
So, when you’ve really gotta go and the loads look tight, the tough get going positive space on myUAdiscount tickets. You may be able to book a seat in any cabin (FC, BC, ECY) and it’s a reserved seat with two free bags and a discount. True, you can’t get upgraded for pennies, BUT, hang on, maybe you can!
If you’re a Mileage Plus member you’ll accrue miles when flying on myUAdiscount tickets. Once you fly enough miles you may be able to use those miles to a premium cabin!
And now you may link your u-ID to your MileagePlus number, making it possible to use the United app without having to manually enter your PNR!
Simply go to employeeRes > Quick Links > Employee Profile and add your MileagePlus number to your profile. Wait 24 hours for it to take effect. Once that’s done, all your trips -- myUAdiscount and standby bookings -- will appear in the United app when you sign in with your MP #. You'll be able to use the app to:
•View your boarding passes and flight status,
•View the seat map and assign/change seats for positive-space travel,
•View your position on the standby/upgrade lists and
•View passenger boarding totals.
And if you're a United Club member you'll be able to enter the club with only your boarding pass -- no need to show additional credentials.
At this time a retiree’s spouse or enrolled friend can call 1-800-United-1 to have their MP account number added to their myUAdiscount PNR.
In the coming months, the ETC hopes to make it possible to book pass travel through the United app.
Some retirees are using the United Explorer card to rack up MP miles when buying stuff…then they upgrade to a premium seat when flying on myUAdiscount tickets. Click the links for more information:
MileagePlus Sign up (it’s free).
5) ZED travel moves to one platform; new airlines being added
Posted by the ETC on United Daily November 10, 2015
“We have begun transitioning all of our other-airline ZED agreements to the myIDTravel platform. Not only will this give you a one-stop, streamlined process, but you will be able to view flight statuses with happy, sad or neutral face indicators, see the policies and procedures from the other airlines and request a refund, all within the same tool. (If a carrier doesn't use myIDTravel, you will still be able to buy tickets through the tool, though you won't be able to view their loads.)
With this new tool we have recently introduced our first Brazilian carrier for pass travel, Azul (AD), and have reinstated agreements with Scandinavian Airlines (SK) and Air France (AF).
Two new carriers -- Virgin Australia (VA) and Virgin America (VX) -- are coming by year-end; we'll be reinstating Hong Kong Express (UO); and we are negotiating with additional carriers to give you even more travel options.
In 2016 we will be reviewing all our travel agreements with the intention of adding business cabin whenever possible. However, some carriers don't offer business class to their own employees and therefore can't provide it to us.”
Questions about Other Airline Travel? See this RAFA Other Airline Travel page
6) International SOS App
From AFA e-Lines November 24, 2015
The International SOS Program to which United is subscribed has developed an assistance App. for your Smartphone.
As the only medical and travel security app integrated into a global assistance infrastructure, you will have a world of capability in your hands.
The App provides:
•One-click dialing to the nearest International SOS Assistance center for whenever the need for help or advice arises.
•Instant access to the latest medical and security alerts for your current location from International SOS and Control Risks (with the capability to browse alerts for other locations)
•On-the-go access to Travel Security Online and Medical Country Guides without the need to type in a membership number
•An electronic copy of our membership number - so it's always at hand.
The International SOS Assistance App is available on Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone devices. You will need to have United’s membership number to activate and to use the App. United’s membership number can be found on your Membership card which was mailed to your home or you can find it on United’s Flying Together website.
To download the International SOS app as well as other useful apps, please visit http://unitedafa.org.
7) Recent news snippets from the United Daily (archive on Flying Together>News)
Click United Daily link above and scroll to the date posted to read each story in detail
10/19: United board names EVP Brett Hart acting CEO
10/26: New united.com now live
11/04: ZED travel now available on Air France
11/10: ZED travel moves to one platform; new airlines being added
11/16: United app now works for employee pass travel
11/19: We improve the customer Wi-Fi experience
11/20: United and ALPA reach an Agreement in Principle to extend pilot contract
11/23: Open enrollment for 2016 pass travel begins Dec. 1
8) Have you seen our RAFA website?
Check out the Travel Benefits tab: http://www.rafa-cwa.org
Compiled by Kirk Moore, RAFA Travel Benefits Committee 12/01/2015