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Star Alliance Award Availabily on Ethiopian Airlines in J

Star Alliance Award Availabily on Ethiopian Airlines in J

Old Jun 4, 2021, 7:00 pm
  #1  
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Star Alliance Award Availabily on Ethiopian Airlines in J

I've looked around the forums for an answer to this and can't seem to find one. I know that Ethriopian Airlines usually only opens up 2 seats in J for Star Alliance Awards. I'm wondering if once these two seats are taken if they open up more seats after this at some point? I'm looking at booking 4 seats and will probably book 2 in Y and 2 in J as that is what is available now. I'm just wondering if it will be worth continually checking if more J seats open up or if that will be it?

Thanks

Last edited by gspurr; Jun 5, 2021 at 8:12 am
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Old Jun 7, 2021, 2:40 pm
  #2  
 
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I have seeking 4 seats on Ethiopian as well. I did a test booking on a United Hold for 2 seats to see if 2 more seats would pop up in business class. It didn't happen. Further - it appears to me for every long haul (at least those i researched, mainly ORD/IAD/YYZ-ADD) i never see 4 business class seats available.

I split my family up so 2 of us are flying CLT - YYZ - ADD - VFA and 2 CLT - IAD - ADD - VFA to get the 2 award seats for the long-haul segments. One group of travelers is also in business for ADD - VFA and the other 2 are in economy (hoping 2 open but not expecting it)
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Old Jun 8, 2021, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by beofotch
I have seeking 4 seats on Ethiopian as well. I did a test booking on a United Hold for 2 seats to see if 2 more seats would pop up in business class. It didn't happen. Further - it appears to me for every long haul (at least those i researched, mainly ORD/IAD/YYZ-ADD) i never see 4 business class seats available.

I split my family up so 2 of us are flying CLT - YYZ - ADD - VFA and 2 CLT - IAD - ADD - VFA to get the 2 award seats for the long-haul segments. One group of travelers is also in business for ADD - VFA and the other 2 are in economy (hoping 2 open but not expecting it)
We are leaving on our 4th trip to sub-saharan africa this week and I have researched ET business class awards for each trip. I have never seen more than 2 J awards on any ET flight. I'm not the definitive source for this information though. Just sharing my personal experiences.
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Old Jun 9, 2021, 3:34 am
  #4  
 
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It's not unknown to happen, but it isn't done normally. I can't imagine the RM team is paying much attention to the award inventory nowadays. The standard template is I2 and that is what is loaded as default.
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Old Jun 15, 2021, 11:49 am
  #5  
 
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I e-mailed their reservations team asking them to email revenue management to see if they could open 2 more 'I' seats on ADD - VFA for me. Here is the response I got:
This is to kindly advise you that business mileage class purchasable "I" are limited, last minute upgrade is optional if business class are available and check other alternative traveling dates.
I have expertflyer alerts up and day before/of flight I'll ask again via twitter/e-mail and finally at the gate during boarding to try one last time.
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Old Aug 19, 2021, 1:33 pm
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Tried to book two separate J Lifemiles awards on NRT-ICN-ADD-ZNZ. First booking went through, second one errored out and then avail went funky town. Prebooking: 2 seats in I. After the first booking: NRT-ICN is showing 1 in I, ICN-ADD showing 2 in I, and ADD-ZNZ is showing 0 in I. What's even worse is that NRT-ICN-ADD (same flight number) will show 0 in I, but will show 1 in I if booked as a multi segment, so anti married segment logic. Using UA and AV to search avail.

So yes, you might be able to get >2 I awards on a longhaul, or you could also end up with 1 when it shows 2 avail.

Last edited by ALGU; Aug 25, 2021 at 6:01 pm
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Old Aug 20, 2021, 6:43 am
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I've found that the Expert Flyer tool has an accurate award search for ET. My personal experience is I put together an itinerary by searching ET award availability segment by segment, verifying that there are 2 seats open on each segment on Expert Flyer. Then I look for the entire itinerary on the UA award search site, it can be booked and ticketed. My success rate has been at or close to 100%. I have also found that as soon as I book it, the ET award availability on those segments disappears on Expert Flyer.

In all honesty, my trips are a bit less complex than the example you are posting. Mine have been all ET flights, on ET metal. Typically ORD-ADD-XXX where XXX is my desired destination or the reverse (XXX-ADD-ORD). If I cannot find availability with ORD as the ET gateway city, I will look at YYZ, EWR, JFK or IAD as the ET US gateway city and hope I find a routing for ORD to/from the gateway city for a full award flight from/to ORD. If not I look at a separate positioning flight and hope I can stitch all it together as a single itinerary, which can be a challenge with the UA call center.
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Old Aug 25, 2021, 5:59 pm
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Just want to update, I tried to do a manual booking on Lifemiles with the first two legs, NRT-ICN and ICN-ADD, in I and the last leg, ADD-ZNZ, in X. They responded, placed the flights on hold thus taking away from inventory, and informed me the manual booking department would contact me. No contact from that department so far.

Around a week later, I avail popped up on ALL 3 legs, and I was able to book the award on the Lifemiles website. 1xI is still showing on ICN-ADD and Lifemiles still hasn’t cancelled the initial hold. So altogether, I’m speculating 3xI on NRT-ICN, 4xI ICN-ADD, and 2xI on ADD-ZNZ. And that’s if ET doesn’t continue to release more seats.

I don’t know the logic of how Ethiopian releases award seats, but based on my anecdotal experience, it is possible to snag more than 2xI seats on ET through multiple bookings done at different times.

Last edited by ALGU; Aug 25, 2021 at 6:08 pm
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Old Jan 30, 2022, 4:02 pm
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Originally Posted by ALGU
I don’t know the logic of how Ethiopian releases award seats, but based on my anecdotal experience, it is possible to snag more than 2xI seats on ET through multiple bookings done at different times.
Just want to report another DP, two additional I seats reopened after booking two I on ADD-ICN. Additional seats did not open up on ICN-NRT nor SEZ-ADD, latter in X. Strange, but LifeMiles will sometimes only show avail in I when searching for 2 pax not 1, so had to manual book. As of writing, UA still not showing ET space, AC seems to be the best way to search for ET space.
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Old Apr 13, 2022, 6:53 am
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I'd like to book NRT - ICN however it looks like this is impossible to do right now. Unable to find a single seat available (economy/business via cash or awards) however the NRT - ADD tickets on the same dates and same flight numbers have plenty of availability. Anyone know what's up, and perhaps when this fifth freedom segment will become bookable again?
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Old Oct 18, 2023, 1:19 pm
  #11  
 
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looks like for 24 summer time, they only release one J now
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Old Oct 18, 2023, 3:21 pm
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Originally Posted by slhu82
looks like for 24 summer time, they only release one J now
I agree. I was always searching for 2 seats as I am always booking for both my wife and myself. Thanks for posting this.
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Old Oct 22, 2023, 9:01 pm
  #13  
 
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I just started seeing 2 business class award seats on ET for the ORD-ADD flight (ET575) on September 16, 2024. Hopefully this means these awards will return for the last few monthe of 2024.
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Old Oct 22, 2023, 9:05 pm
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I think July Aug Early Sept are peak season so they only release one J.
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 12:01 am
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Originally Posted by slhu82
I think July Aug Early Sept are peak season so they only release one J.
That was a change this year. I had booked multiple business award seats (meaning 2 seats) this past July and in previous years on ET.
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