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Booking Swiss Air flights through United Airlines site

I have been going around and around about booking flights to Greece next May. Searching using Goggle flights, the best connection/price combination is through Zurich on Swiss Air. Goggle Flights allows me to go to United to book the flight. However, I cannot find the flights on United without starting with Goggle Flights. Is that concerning?

Second, I want my tickets to be changeable (not refundable) and I am finding this a bit confusing too. The United site says that there will no longer be change fees but then it says "fare attributes may not apply for flights not operated by United or United Express".

Yes, I know the "simplest" solution would be book flights entirely on a U.S. airline but I am finding otherwise very short (less than an hour) connections in the U.S. to Europe or very high prices.

Posted by
13044 posts

Have you looked at the Swiss Air website to see about booking directly with them?

Posted by
4682 posts

However, I cannot find the flights on United without starting with Goggle Flights. Is that concerning?

I have found that the United search prioritizes flights on United rather than its partners. They often don’t show the full selection of available flights with Star Alliance partners. Sometimes you have to call to get a partner flight.

I have no idea what ”fare attributes may not apply …” means.

Have you looked to see if you can book your flight on the Swiss Air site?

Posted by
1719 posts

The flight is $300 more through Swiss Air. There are two of us so $600 more and I would like credits if I must cancel on United not Swiss Air.

I know you can't reserve seats through United site for partner airlines so that may be the fare attribute part.

Posted by
3650 posts

Google flights will bring up fares inaccessible from a direct search on airlines' websites, in this case either United or Swiss. I'm surprised everyone doesn't know this, and that purchasing on partner airline websites can be cheaper, in this case Swiss flights on United.com. These things happen all the time, and no, it is not of any concern.

Aside from the voucher issue, you may score extra benefits booking on United, like free seat selection, not available on swiss.com. And the earning of points will automatically be set up to be United which I assume is your preference.

Posted by
4682 posts

BethFl,

Is the ”fare attributes may not apply…” on the general website page or is it listed with the specific fare rules for your flight? After you select your flight, there is a link you can select to view the specific fare rules. I would read through those; if there is a change fee, it should be spelled out in the fare rules. If it is not clear there, I’d contact United.

I will just add that I’ve done a Swiss Air to United connection at Zurich and it went really smoothly even though I had less than an hour to connect.

Posted by
3453 posts

FWIW , I booked flights for Autumn 2022 on 11/13 . Keeping this concise ,, it boiled down to roughly three potential choices - United , Lufthansa , and Austrian , While the outbound flight ( United EWR - CDG ) was the same on all three ( code share ) , the return flight on Austrian ( VIE - JFK ) was preferable . In addition the prices on the outbound flight were considerably higher on United's site . I made the booking on Auatrian , the price for two passengers was $ 1,000 less than booking on United

Posted by
1719 posts

I have used goggle flights many times to search for flights and I know from unfortunate experience that you can have flights hobbled together that you then can purchase through a third party website. I did this once and could not be checked through on my international flight (took domestic flight to Boston). I ended up missing the flight and since then have only purchased from the airline websites (I did get there-just later).

I did not know however that it was common for partner flights to not show up when searching an airline's website. Now I do!!!

"Is the ”fare attributes may not apply…” on the general website page or is it listed with the specific fare rules for your flight? After you select your flight, there is a link you can select to view the specific fare rules. I would read through those; if there is a change fee, it should be spelled out in the fare rules. If it is not clear there, I’d contact United"

The fare attributes statement is on page where you select flights. And yes, I may have to contact United...

Posted by
8592 posts

Goggle Flights allows me to go to United to book the flight. However, I cannot find the flights on United without starting with Goggle Flights. Is that concerning?

It would be to me. If the airline is not selling a routing/ticket that some 3rd party is, I would interpret that to be 'cobbled together' journey.

Which FL airport is your origin?

Posted by
838 posts

Me, I’d use a travel agent. My agent’s incentive is to get me the best prices, the best connections, the best protection, and the lowest risk of missing a flight.

Posted by
3650 posts

You are being misled.

It is ordinary to get a better price on Google flights than you can get just searching on the airline website. As long as you ultimately buy from an airline website all is fine and there’s nothing to worry about. “Cobbled together” flights come from third party websites. You are fine.

Posted by
171 posts

"fare attributes may not apply for flights not operated by United or United Express"

Real easy. You are booking with United and no change fees on United currently...but the Swiss Air flight MAY (operative word being May) have change fees. You need to find out what the specific rules are for those Swiss Air Flights as Swiss Air rules apply and not United's. The same concept also applies to any other United partner airline. Yeah they are code sharing but United is only promising their rules on their metal.

Posted by
1719 posts

What seems to be the case is that you can book flights in Star Alliance on United's site but only a few of the flights (all Luthansia) come up when you search on it (as opposed to goggle flights).

Swiss Air also allows you to change flights but unlike United does not allow you to convert your dollars into a credit. That is a significant difference.