More UA/SQ award booking challenges

Old Jan 28, 14, 7:44 am
  #1  
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More UA/SQ award booking challenges

I've spent the past couple weeks chasing down details on issues with United being unable to book some coach awards on SQ metal. I wanted to fly LAX-NRT-SIN on SQ and the coach seats appeared to be available to ANA, AV and AC; surely that meant I should be able to call and book them with an agent. Except not so much. And so I started to fear the return of StarNet blocking.



After much back and forth and digging (including some help from more senior people there, not just res agents) a bug in the systems has been identified. It is not a willful blocking of the seats (i.e. NOT StarNet blocking) but it is a very real problem affecting all SQ flights which touch the USA (SQ1, SQ11, SQ15, SQ25 & SQ61). Those flights are not able to be booked - in whole or in part - as an award using UA miles at this time.

They're working on solving the problem, but it isn't there yet.

Added bonus: An agent confirmed that all awards involving SQ metal are now manually priced. Have fun with that.
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Old Jan 28, 14, 8:19 am
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I knew something was up when I saw on LifeMiles that a MEL-SIN-FRA-JFK award route was available in Y for December 2014, but when I tried to book it, UA said they couldn't see available space.
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Old Jan 28, 14, 8:29 am
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Thanks for the update.

Based on the difficulties reported elsewhere booking SQ flights that show available on NH/AC, I wonder if this bug might not have broader reach than just flights that touch the US.
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Old Jan 28, 14, 8:46 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Based on the difficulties reported elsewhere booking SQ flights that show available on NH/AC, I wonder if this bug might not have broader reach than just flights that touch the US.
Based on my research and also conversations I've had with people at United I do not believe it is. If you have specific examples you want me to raise with my contacts to have checked out feel free to PM me.
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Old Jan 28, 14, 9:03 am
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The bug gets fixed February 1st, I'm sure.
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Old Jan 28, 14, 9:17 am
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Originally Posted by nerdbirdsjc View Post
The bug gets fixed February 1st, I'm sure.
Bingo.
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Old Jan 28, 14, 9:28 am
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What is the nature of this bug that you were talking about? Any hope to have it fixed before 2/1? Or book manually?

Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
I've spent the past couple weeks chasing down details on issues with United being unable to book some coach awards on SQ metal. I wanted to fly LAX-NRT-SIN on SQ and the coach seats appeared to be available to ANA, AV and AC; surely that meant I should be able to call and book them with an agent. Except not so much. And so I started to fear the return of StarNet blocking.



After much back and forth and digging (including some help from more senior people there, not just res agents) a bug in the systems has been identified. It is not a willful blocking of the seats (i.e. NOT StarNet blocking) but it is a very real problem affecting all SQ flights which touch the USA (SQ1, SQ11, SQ15, SQ25 & SQ61). Those flights are not able to be booked - in whole or in part - as an award using UA miles at this time.

They're working on solving the problem, but it isn't there yet.

Added bonus: An agent confirmed that all awards involving SQ metal are now manually priced. Have fun with that.
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Old Jan 28, 14, 9:52 am
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Originally Posted by lax2010 View Post
What is the nature of this bug that you were talking about?
UA cannot book award seats on a specific subset of SQ flights.

Originally Posted by lax2010 View Post
Any hope to have it fixed before 2/1?
I have no idea when it will be fixed; I got the impression that UA doesn't either.

Originally Posted by lax2010 View Post
Or book manually?
They cannot be booked manually. Even a "long sell" apparently does not work.
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Old Jan 28, 14, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by Alpha Golf View Post
Bingo.
Double Bingo. I also wouldn't be surprised to see lots of Lufthansa F and maybe even Swiss F "suddenly" appear soon after that date.
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Old Jan 28, 14, 11:39 am
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Originally Posted by JetAway View Post
I also wouldn't be surprised to see lots of Lufthansa F and maybe even Swiss F "suddenly" appear soon after that date.
I would be quite surprised to see these appear.

LX doesn't make F awards available to any partners; it isn't just UA where they cannot be redeemed. Similarly, the LH 14-day window issue is pretty consistent across Star Alliance, not just UA-specific.
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Old Jan 28, 14, 11:44 am
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
I would be quite surprised to see these appear.

LX doesn't make F awards available to any partners; it isn't just UA where they cannot be redeemed. Similarly, the LH 14-day window issue is pretty consistent across Star Alliance, not just UA-specific.
You are missing the point of what they are saying. Feb 1st the redemption rates go up for partner international flights. They have no idea when they will be made available or if even at all, they are just making jest at the looming devaluation of our MP miles on Feb 1st.
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Old Jan 28, 14, 11:46 am
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Originally Posted by JetAway View Post
Double Bingo. I also wouldn't be surprised to see lots of Lufthansa F and maybe even Swiss F "suddenly" appear soon after that date.
To quote from 'Airplane': "Golly!"
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Old Jan 28, 14, 11:51 am
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
I would be quite surprised to see these appear.

LX doesn't make F awards available to any partners; it isn't just UA where they cannot be redeemed. Similarly, the LH 14-day window issue is pretty consistent across Star Alliance, not just UA-specific.
Yeah, I'm with you - I think that the same availability will probably happen with LH/LX and to be honest, I wouldn't even give UA the credit to think the SQ problem will be fixed by Feb 1.

I will however, say that UA, i'm sure, isn't putting anyone into solving the 'bug' until after February 1st - and probably well after that. Naturally, it benefits them to have people NOT book SQ at all, so this 'bug' will probably remain for some time; it's a great excuse for UA - now since the folks can't even SEE the availability, they have no right to question the clueless 'premier' agents. Classy move Jeffy Jeff.

-jeremy
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Old Jan 28, 14, 11:59 am
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Exactly. They can save quite a bit of money by not doing a thing about it and hope that people either give up or redeem with UA. Why put resources into something which will cost UA money in the short term? Worst case for UA is they fix it sometime in Feb or beyond and still get the extra miles redeemed for the same award that would have been a lot less if booked in Jan--a win win for the company.
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Old Jan 28, 14, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by sfozrhfco View Post
Exactly. They can save quite a bit of money by not doing a thing about it and hope that people either give up or redeem with UA. Why put resources into something which will cost UA money in the short term? Worst case for UA is they fix it sometime in Feb or beyond and still get the extra miles redeemed for the same award that would have been a lot less if booked in Jan--a win win for the company.
If it doesn't cost them anything then why fix it at all??

I'm certain this isn't atop any work lists, but I'm also pretty sure that they're not choosing to ignore it because they want to save a few bucks on partner Y bookings.
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