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Mismatched Award Availability on Star Alliance?

Mismatched Award Availability on Star Alliance?

Old Jan 16, 16, 12:12 pm
  #1  
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Exclamation Mismatched Award Availability on Star Alliance?

Forgive me, because I'm new at this - but let me explain.

I am looking to book a one-way award ticket from the US to JNB for my honeymoon next December (leaving December 15th or 16th). I have Amex points that I'm trying to use (by transferring to Aeroplan).

Unfortunately, after not having much luck with the Aeroplan website, I looked on united for availability. I found a Business Saver Award availability for a routing from IAD-GRU-JNB on a combo of UA and SAA (leaving on Dec 15th).

I then called Aeroplan to confirm the availability and was told that they don't have this in their inventory.

Now I am really confused - does the award availability I found on UA's website not translate across to other Star Alliance partners?

Please help - it means a lot.
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Old Jan 16, 16, 12:24 pm
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I don't have any brilliant advice based on specific experience but at least call again - maybe the agent was less than stellar?
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Old Jan 16, 16, 12:30 pm
  #3  
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From google: Today is January 16, 2016 so that means that 330 days from today would be December 11, 2016.

Aeroplan opens some partner inventory 330 days out.

United 335-338 days out.

Wait 4 days
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Old Jan 16, 16, 12:38 pm
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I can see the GRU-JNB flight available in biz on Dec. 16 on the AE.com site, but can't see the UA flight IAD-GRU available on AE.com. Strange. And I agree is looks like a biz blue saver award which is available through the UA site.

Maybe call again and ask why AE can't see the UA flight on its own as AE can book the GRU-IAD flight (but of course you need the whole IAD-GRU-JNB routing).

Ah I think rank has the answer above
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Old Jan 16, 16, 12:46 pm
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Originally Posted by mountaingrl View Post
Maybe call again and ask why AE can't see the UA flight on its own as AE can book the GRU-IAD flight (but of course you need the whole IAD-GRU-JNB routing).
Definitely hang up and call again, but don't mention that any other agent had difficulty with it.

It really is luck of the draw with AP award booking agents, some are friendly experts who will suggest options you'd never thought of, others will rudely refuse even the most basic options. I've never booked a multi-city J award in less than two calls.

Also, another vote in the 'wait four days' column.
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Old Jan 16, 16, 1:10 pm
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You are correct that availability on one Star Alliance airline does NOT mean it is available on all Star Airlines. It might be available on AC but not UA for example. It has to do with what inventory the airline wishes to release to each Star airline, and how many seats an airline us willing to pay to another airline for a seat. You just have to keep looking. You will love South Africa, but not Johannesburg itself.
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Old Jan 16, 16, 1:10 pm
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Thanks everyone!

I tried calling two different agents - one was super helpful but she seemed to indicate that the UA flight wasn't loaded in their system yet. Maybe that is another vote for the wait 4 days?

What I don't get - is if Aeroplan loads partner awards 330 days out, why can I book some award partner flights (Egypt Air, some SAA flights) through their system?

Just bad luck?
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Old Jan 16, 16, 1:12 pm
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Thanks Tony - not spending any time in JNB, just transiting through on way to CPT, the wine regions, and then off to safari for 7 nights.

Any pointers on booking using points here? It's so frustrating to see something available on United that I can't book with other Star Alliance points.
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Old Jan 16, 16, 1:19 pm
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Originally Posted by senzer View Post
Thanks everyone!

I tried calling two different agents - one was super helpful but she seemed to indicate that the UA flight wasn't loaded in their system yet. Maybe that is another vote for the wait 4 days?

What I don't get - is if Aeroplan loads partner awards 330 days out, why can I book some award partner flights (Egypt Air, some SAA flights) through their system?

Just bad luck?
Not all partner award inventory is loaded at 330 days out (some later) as you can see, UA appears to be one of the later ones.
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Old Jan 16, 16, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by senzer View Post
Thanks everyone!

I tried calling two different agents - one was super helpful but she seemed to indicate that the UA flight wasn't loaded in their system yet. Maybe that is another vote for the wait 4 days?

What I don't get - is if Aeroplan loads partner awards 330 days out, why can I book some award partner flights (Egypt Air, some SAA flights) through their system?

Just bad luck?
We had a thread on this, different partners at different times.
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Old Jan 16, 16, 1:43 pm
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Originally Posted by senzer View Post
It's so frustrating to see something available on United that I can't book with other Star Alliance points.
In general, you will always find more inventory in the program of the operating carrier. In other words, you will find better UA inventory booking through MP and better AC inventory booking through Aeroplan.

Originally Posted by TonyBurr View Post
It has to do with what inventory the airline wishes to release to each Star airline
My understanding is that if an airline releases inventory to Star Alliance, all Star Alliance partners will see the same inventory. The difference is what they keep for their own members, and what they decide to expose to those customers (e.g., United's old Starnet blocking policy).
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Old Jan 16, 16, 1:54 pm
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Mind pointing me in the direction of that post?
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Old Jan 16, 16, 1:57 pm
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But I had thought the saver awards were the level that were released to all Star Alliance partners - do I have that wrong?
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Old Jan 16, 16, 2:03 pm
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Look for IAD-JNB-CPT on SA.
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Old Jan 16, 16, 2:04 pm
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Originally Posted by senzer View Post
But I had thought the saver awards were the level that were released to all Star Alliance partners - do I have that wrong?
Yes. United will offer X saver awards to MP members and Y awards to Star Alliance, where Y ⊆ X.
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