UA Insider's reply in posts 247 and 254 of this thread:
Originally Posted by UA Insider
We recognize the importance and value to you of accessible and transparent information about United flights. It’s a meaningful part of your travel planning, and we are committed to providing useful information that is both accurate and preserves the integrity of United’s data and systems.
While we are committed to data transparency, Expert Flyer has been accessing united.com in an unauthorized fashion to retrieve UA availability. In addition, these activities have consumed significant united.com bandwidth that could otherwise be used by regular consumers. As a result, we had to take this action to protect the security and integrity of United’s systems.
Thank you for your understanding as to why we had to take this action. We continue to look at ways in which we can provide you with timely and useful information (some of which you will see in new releases of our own digital channels) as well as with partners that have authorized access to our data.
Sr. Manager - Customer Experience Planning
Originally Posted by UA Insider
Expert mode/visibility in UA channels is unaffected by this.
UA Blocking Expert Flyer and KVS Access to R and Elite Award Searches.
I just got the following e-mail from EF.
As a user of United Airlines® (UA) award & upgrade inventory on ExpertFlyer®, we want you to know about a recent development between ExpertFlyer and United.
UA has told us that ExpertFlyer can no longer access UA's upgrade or elite award inventory. It is our understanding that this is a universal policy at UA regarding access to this data.
ExpertFlyer and UA continue to have an ongoing good faith dialogue that we hope will result in the future re-establishment of this information on ExpertFlyer. However, we have no choice but to honor their policy at this time. As such, any pending Flight Alerts or searches for this information will no longer be processed after this Thursday, October 31st. We regret that we must take this action and any inconvenience it causes you.
We know how much you appreciate ExpertFlyer’s ease of use and visibility of this information to heighten your UA experience. You have told us in the past how much it enhances your relationship with UA and adds value to your travel and loyalty to UA and their frequent flyer program. Should you have any questions or wish to voice any concerns to either us or UA we can be reached at the following links or through any other means with which you may be familiar:
ExpertFlyer: email@example.com (or reply to this email)
UA Customer Care: http://www.united.com/web/en-US/cont...r/default.aspx
UA Frequent Flyer Program: http://www.united.com/web/en-US/cont...countInfo.aspx
Thank you for your continued support of ExpertFlyer.
-The ExpertFlyer.com Team
Brutal. I just like to have some tool to feel like I have transparency and a small shot in the upgrade roulette or award searches. Without this, it is difficult to feel good about playing the game. Massive loss.
It will be interesting to see what happens to ExpertFlyer's *A award inventory search. It seems like they're programmatically accessing somebody (either united.com or ana.co.jp or someone else) in order to get "inventory as available to partners" data.
Just got this e-mail as well and extremely disappointed. UA - who I sincerely hope is reading this! - should understand that my alternative to EF will be to simply call the 1K desk and spend an hour waiting while the agent performs the exact search for me.
I regularly plan my trips around R availability on international flights, up to and including purchasing higher fare classes or more expensive dates. Seems like this is a change that's just going to cost both UA and us more time and effort to achieve the same result in the end.