Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

2014 UA Issued Awards on Air China (CA) Are Mysteriously Being Canceled (Hacked?)

2014 UA Issued Awards on Air China (CA) Are Mysteriously Being Canceled (Hacked?)

    Hide Wikipost
Old May 13, 14, 4:42 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: Pat89339
Wiki Link
A number of folks with award flights booked on CA (Air China) found their reservations cancelled. The only notification of cancellation appears to be an email in from UA written in chinese. UA reps confirmed that cancellations were made online and CA award space was no longer available. UA can rebook on other flights when award space is available.

It is plausible that a third party with access to PNR and pax name on the flight can fraudulently cancel an existing itinerary and book the reopened award seat.

Affected FlyerTalk members — with links to where in this discussion they posted their experiences — include:
  1. MikeMpls
  2. nihaoa
  3. lewende Reported 4 friends with this issue
  4. ordbkk
  5. twebst
  6. kb1992
  7. litesleeper
  8. zombietooth
  9. critten Reported 2/3 confirmations (3 people CA Business class) cancelled at the same time
  10. skyvanman Also 1 friend with the issue
  11. chris1234
  12. atiger29
  13. bubble o bill
  14. genemk2
  15. jefftiger
  16. CuddlyFlyer
  17. gpeso8
  18. imm2b
  19. acf1270
  20. dgxoxo
  21. ACM two passengers
Originally Posted by ordbkk View Post
It seems everybody wants to see the message.. here was mine:
united.com 通知 - 航班预订取消
2014年4月17日 (星期四)
united.com | 优惠促销 | 预订 | 赢取前程万里 (MileagePlus®) 奖励里程 | 我的帐户

先生 ORDBKK
您的预订 MYRES123 已取消,我们已收到您的退款申请。申请信用卡退款需 7 个工作日。如果信用卡退款未在一个付款周期内寄出,请联系信用卡公司。对于包括现金退款在内的 所有其他形式 的付款,需要 20 个工作日。

如需详细信息或查看退款的状态,请访问 united.com 并提供您的机票号码。

感谢您使用 united.com

电子邮件信息
请不要使用“回复”地址回复此邮件。
此电子邮件中的信息仅供原接收人使用。
如果您遇到技术问题,请通过电子邮件或电话联系 united.com 服务支持。
通知:机票取消确认
电子邮件地址: [email protected]

Originally Posted by ordbkk View Post
For tracking purposes, I went through the 27 pages of this thread and compiled a list of those affected:

MikeMpls
nihaoa
lewende (reported 4 friends with this issue)
ordbkk
twebst
kb1992
litesleeper
zombietooth
critten
skyvanman (also 1 friend with the issue)
jefftiger (but, happened during October 2013)

So we're at 13 people affected, although some like critten have had multiple trips canceled.
From what I understand, all of these occurred in the last 3 weeks.
Print Wikipost

Old Apr 20, 14, 4:33 pm
  #331  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 8,626
A little press would really do wonders for this story.
mgcsinc is offline  
Old Apr 20, 14, 4:43 pm
  #332  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Houston
Programs: UA Plat, Marriott Gold
Posts: 11,736
Originally Posted by zebranz View Post
Are you suggesting if I need 1 seat I book 2 and if I need 2 book 4?
Then the next person looking for award travel is denied space because I took award seats which were available to others?
Until United sees fit to provide better systems/policies/procedures, it's the best advice for an individual, although certainly not globally optimal.
mduell is offline  
Old Apr 20, 14, 5:11 pm
  #333  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 60,079
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Until United sees fit to provide better systems/policies/procedures, it's the best advice for an individual, although certainly not globally optimal.
But isn't much of this industry policies/procedures, not just UA?
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Apr 20, 14, 5:20 pm
  #334  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Houston
Programs: UA Plat, Marriott Gold
Posts: 11,736
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
But isn't much of this industry policies/procedures, not just UA?
No, given the examples above of airlines that require authentication, passwords, or credit card numbers to cancel reservations.
mduell is offline  
Old Apr 20, 14, 5:24 pm
  #335  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: United 1K MM, Marriott Gold
Posts: 417
Originally Posted by zombietooth View Post
<snip>

The real lesson here is that *A members should watch their Asian award bookings like a hawk, and maybe have back-up reservations. Because of this situation, I will no longer book anything on CA/BR without a back-up.
Has this spread to BR award bookings too? Where did I miss it?
Neil35 is offline  
Old Apr 20, 14, 6:02 pm
  #336  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: India, & Great State of TEXAS
Programs: AA EX-Plat ** , UA 1K, IHG platinum
Posts: 102
Originally Posted by Neil35 View Post
It's been 3 weeks since post #1 of this thread. As time passes by and more "cancellations" are reported, is United doing anything to prevent more cases from happening?

Any progress anyone is aware of?
How many are there? any info on when the last hacked cancellation occurred? Did any one get a cancellation Email in last 10 days or SO?
IAHUArunner is offline  
Old Apr 20, 14, 8:34 pm
  #337  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 36,791
Originally Posted by DaviddesJ View Post
I'm curious what people think UA and other airlines should do about this, going forward. The ability to change and cancel reservations with the record locator and passenger name is a pretty central assumption of all reservation systems I've used. I often make use of it for friends and family. It seems a bit hard for me to imagine that UA and other airlines are going to completely revoke that assumption, any time soon. So what would you do?

A simple partial fix could be, for award travel with partner airlines only, to send an email confirmation of the cancellation but wait 24 hours before actually releasing the partner inventory? That seems within the scope of what they could implement. Is it enough?
In general that's understandable as in many cases there is no login info. However, award tickets inherently must have an account to have been created in the first place, why not require that account to change them?



Time for a United Breaks Reservations video? <G>
Loren Pechtel is offline  
Old Apr 20, 14, 9:21 pm
  #338  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Chicago
Programs: UA 1k
Posts: 83
Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
In general that's understandable as in many cases there is no login info. However, award tickets inherently must have an account to have been created in the first place, why not require that account to change them?
A simple fix would be to generate two "codes": the PNR, and a passcode. You receive both of them simultaneously whenever you make a reservation, and both must be provided when making changes. The PNR continues propagating through the reservation systems like it does today, for everyone to see.. while the passcode does not.

This works for both revenue & award tickets, and doesn't get in the way if you purchase an award ticket for someone else, since you just provide them with both codes.
ordbkk is offline  
Old Apr 20, 14, 9:33 pm
  #339  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Programs: Delta Plat, UA Plat, Hilton Diamond, SPG Gold
Posts: 255
OMG i just got 3 business class seats canceled! on CA
critten is offline  
Old Apr 20, 14, 9:35 pm
  #340  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Chicago
Programs: UA 1k
Posts: 83
Originally Posted by critten View Post
OMG i just got 3 business class seats canceled! on CA
I'm so sorry to hear that! I guess that answers our question re United fixing this yet.
ordbkk is offline  
Old Apr 20, 14, 9:36 pm
  #341  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Programs: Delta Plat, UA Plat, Hilton Diamond, SPG Gold
Posts: 255
I booked 2 pre-award change, 1 post award change!! This is horrible i already have 3k worth of tours booked!

Originally Posted by ordbkk View Post
I'm so sorry to hear that! I guess that answers our question re United fixing this yet.
first thing they told me was that I canceled it! And since i was following this thread, I just told them it must be a glitch.

My notices came in english

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Apr 21, 14 at 6:04 am Reason: merge
critten is offline  
Old Apr 20, 14, 9:40 pm
  #342  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Houston
Programs: UA Plat, Marriott Gold
Posts: 11,736
Enjoy your segments on UA. Watch your connection times if China is not your destination.
mduell is offline  
Old Apr 20, 14, 9:41 pm
  #343  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Programs: Mileage Plus 1K; Marriott Platinum; Hilton Gold
Posts: 6,354
It sounds like a Mileage Plus awards booking on Air China is a functional equivalent of the car rental reservation that Jerry Seinfeld dramatized on his sitcom:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T2GmGSNvaM
transportprof is offline  
Old Apr 20, 14, 9:42 pm
  #344  
Suspended
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 1,955
Originally Posted by ordbkk View Post
A simple fix would be to generate two "codes": the PNR, and a passcode.
That's effective but not simple. Given what I've seen of UA IT, this would take them months to implement across their own system, at least. And just training all of the call center staff on the passcodes and when to require them and what to do when people don't know them would be a big project. It's also not clear that you could get all of the third-party systems that make reservations on UA to even pass on the passcodes to their users.
DaviddesJ is offline  
Old Apr 20, 14, 9:44 pm
  #345  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Programs: Delta Plat, UA Plat, Hilton Diamond, SPG Gold
Posts: 255
I got the email 10 mins ago - I am on hold as they try to rebook it.



I thought i would be safer since my route was

IAH-PEK CA
PEK-ICN asiana
NRT-IAH united metal

but no, the whole itinerary canceled for 1 pnr 2 people business class pre-award increase, 1 pnr 1 person post award increase business class.
critten is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread