You may have noticed that award space on Singapore Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, and Thai Airways has been missing lately on united.com. Unfortunately, United is deliberately blocking the space and has offered no timeframe for a fix.
United has ostensibly blocked award space on these three partners because the award space is not properly confirming. Recently, some flights show as available on united.com, but when trying to complete the booking error out. By telephone, reservation agents encounter the same issue. Sometimes space appears to confirm on the United side only never to actually confirm on the partner side.
I’ve really tried to prod United on what is going on. Why does this problem appear unique to United? What is being done to fix it? When will the issue be fixed?
But thus far, United is sticking to its statement:
Some partner award tickets are not being confirmed by select airlines’ reservations systems. In order to minimize the impact to customers, we’ve temporarily removed the ability to book on these specific carriers until this is fixed.
After pushing hard for a planned resolution date, the only other statement I obtained was a refusal to commit to any timeline.
It’s being worked on – no specific timetable to share.
Other Star Alliance loyalty programs are not encountering similar issues. Even Aeroplan, which once blocked ANA, COPA, LOT Polish, SAS and SWISS, is not currently experiencing these issues.
The problem for United MileagePlus members is that these three carriers tend to be generous in making award space available (Singapore only on regional flights). The blocking of this space represents a huge erosion of the value of your United miles.
Oh, it could be worse. Most partners are still bookable online. But this is a disappointing development that I hope United will put a priority on fixing. Until they do, I will keep the pressure on. We’re at Day 7 of the space being blocked.
Let’s hope this does not a mark a return to StarNet blocking. We don’t need a wall blocking award space for us. Instead, we need a permanent solution to the problem.