You Can Still Avoid the United $75 Close-in Booking Fee

Update 7/14/19: The trick just worked for me again, this time on the first try! I spent under 5 minutes and saved $150. This time I started by calling the number that ended up working for me last year, 1-800-421-4655, on the first try and the nice representative waived the fee. She originally told me that we would be charged $75 per person--$150 total--and I told her it was my understanding that since I had booked within the last 24 hours I could make free changes. She agreed and waived the fee.

You Can Still Avoid the United $75 Close-in Booking Fee

Update 7/14/19: The trick just worked for me again, this time on the first try! I spent under 5 minutes and saved $150. This time I started by calling the number that ended up working for me last year, 1-800-421-4655, on the first try and the nice representative waived the fee. She originally told me that we would be charged $75 per person--$150 total--and I told her it was my understanding that since I had booked within the last 24 hours I could make free changes. She agreed and waived the fee.

United $75 Trick NOT DEAD

Edit November 18, 2017: Three more positive reports in the last two weeks. This trick may never die. :)

In Don’t Pay the $75 Close In Fee on United (Trick!), Scott wrote about an easy way anyone can avoid the fee United charges non-elites for booking an award within 21 days of departure.

Aussie AAdvantage Office No Longer Seeing Etihad Award Space

It looks as though the longstanding workaround to booking American Airlines awards flying Etihad--calling the Australia/New Zealand reservations office--is no longer a workaround. I hope this isn't the case, as redeeming AAdvantage miles to book premium Etihad cabins to the Middle East and on to the Indian Sub-continent region is/was one of the best uses of AAdvantage miles.
Background
Booking Etihad premium cabin award space with American Airlines miles has always been a bit tricky.

How to Show Legroom in Google Flights Search Results

If you have long legs then the distance between the seat backs on a plane, called seat pitch, is of primary importance. That's especially true when you're looking to book a cheap cash flight most likely in economy class, where seat pitches vary greatly. A couple inches can make a world of a difference.

The pitch of Ryanair could be unacceptable to long-legged individuals. 

Seat pitch information is not a new feature of Google Flights search results.

Buy Avios for 1.37 Cents Each with This Simple Trick

Through tomorrow, June 30 at 23:59 hr BST (British Summer Time) you can buy British Airways Avios with a 50% bonus. I've never seen a onuses greater than 50% on the purchase of Avios before.

The maximum amount of Avios you can buy through this promotion is 100k. With a 50% bonus, that means you can add 150k Avios to your account.

Using Schedule Changes to Save on Re-Deposit Fees

While we're on the topic of United tricks, I thought I'd take the opportunity to remind you all of how to avoid the cancellation/re-deposit of miles fees typically collected on awards.

Normally canceling a United award and re-depositing your miles incurs a $200 per ticket fee if you don’t have United status.

Recently a reader wrote to us asking the following:
"I have held reservations on United since Sept 2016 for flying from Savannah to Copenhagen on June 1, returning June 13.

Awesome Trick To Get More Space in Coach

Note from Sarah Page: Scott wrote this post back in 2014, but I am re-posting it now because it's an invaluable trick. Every economy flight I fly I check my armrest for the secret lever under the joint of the arm and four times out of five, it's there. 

I fly a lot of flights in economy class. While all my long-hauls are in business or first, when I fly domestically or hop around Southeast Asia, Europe, or Australia, it's almost always in coach.

It's just not worth using airline miles to book short flights in first class.

When You Can and Can’t Pool Transferrable Points

Ever wondered if you can combine miles between two accounts in the same program? As in, you have some American Airlines miles and your wife does too, and you want to pool them together to redeem on one award ticket?

The answer is technically yes, but most of the time* there are transfer fees above one cent per mile, and often transaction fees on top of that, that make this a bad idea. The fees depend on how many miles you transfer.