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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?)

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Old May 13, 14, 4:42 am   -   Wikipost
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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
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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

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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.
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Old Apr 23, 14, 4:36 pm
  #541  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: CLE
Programs: CO Gold - 1MM, IC Plat, Hertz PC
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Originally Posted by litesleeper View Post
Wanted to share the latest on my status. Thanks to you guys on FT, I was contacted by UA, and have since been offered a replacement trip on UA metal. I had been looking forward to checking our Air China's "forbidden Pavillion", but I guess I know now why it's called Forbidden Pavillion. You can't go there, it gets cancelled on you!

Anyway, they are also refunding the $200 I spent to redeposit the miles to my MP account.

I will be using pre-deval point levels on this as well, as I had on the original booking.

Fortunately, I didn't have any other exposure to loss of deposits such as ground transportation or hotel bookings, etc.

My trip is in mid-June.

Although it's been a rough couple weeks, at least it looks like the ending is a lot better than it could have been.

Thanks again, everyone!
Glad to hear that UA is at least helping some of you out, even if not on CA metal but now on UA. ^

U gotta wonder how many others out there not on FT have been affected by this glitch/hack/whatever it was. I was considering a CA leg myself for a trip but now I will stick with NH/TG/OZ.
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Old Apr 23, 14, 4:45 pm
  #542  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Originally Posted by CLEHillbilly View Post
Glad to hear that UA is at least helping some of you out, even if not on CA metal but now on UA. ^

U gotta wonder how many others out there not on FT have been affected by this glitch/hack/whatever it was. I was considering a CA leg myself for a trip but now I will stick with NH/TG/OZ.
Absolutely. I was absolutely devastated when this happened to me, and I was thinking I was alone. Don't get me wrong, I don't wish this on anyone else, but I was comforted a bit by the fact I wasn't alone, and I figured that would increase my chances of some kind of resolution. Turns out that's exactly what happened.
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Old Apr 23, 14, 4:48 pm
  #543  
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Originally Posted by litesleeper View Post
I will be using pre-deval point levels on this as well, as I had on the original booking.
If this happens to me I expect United to allow me to re-book at a later date at the same number of miles on a partner. I book mine off UA metal for a reason. I already have backup plans just in case
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Old Apr 23, 14, 4:51 pm
  #544  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Originally Posted by litesleeper View Post
Wanted to share the latest on my status. Thanks to you guys on FT, I was contacted by UA, and have since been offered a replacement trip on UA metal. I had been looking forward to checking our Air China's "forbidden Pavillion", but I guess I know now why it's called Forbidden Pavillion. You can't go there, it gets cancelled on you!

Anyway, they are also refunding the $200 I spent to redeposit the miles to my MP account.

I will be using pre-deval point levels on this as well, as I had on the original booking.

Fortunately, I didn't have any other exposure to loss of deposits such as ground transportation or hotel bookings, etc.

My trip is in mid-June.

Although it's been a rough couple weeks, at least it looks like the ending is a lot better than it could have been.

Thanks again, everyone!
Thanks litesleeper for the update!

Did UA give any indication on their measures to prevent this from happening going forward? Or did it sound like they are just being reactive to these issues when they occur rather than proactive?

I have a first-class CA award reservation from PEK-SFO in early Jan 2015, so I'm still quite concerned that another round of "cancellations" can still happen.

Last edited by jglenn16; Apr 23, 14 at 4:52 pm Reason: more context
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Old Apr 23, 14, 5:10 pm
  #545  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Originally Posted by jglenn16 View Post
Thanks litesleeper for the update!

Did UA give any indication on their measures to prevent this from happening going forward? Or did it sound like they are just being reactive to these issues when they occur rather than proactive?

I have a first-class CA award reservation from PEK-SFO in early Jan 2015, so I'm still quite concerned that another round of "cancellations" can still happen.
I haven't asked yet about future prevention, but once things get finalized tomorrow I plan to ask.

Definitely keep tabs on your reservation.
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Old Apr 23, 14, 5:11 pm
  #546  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: India, & Great State of TEXAS
Programs: AA EX-Plat ** , UA 1K, IHG platinum
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Originally Posted by jglenn16 View Post
Thanks litesleeper for the update!

Did UA give any indication on their measures to prevent this from happening going forward? Or did it sound like they are just being reactive to these issues when they occur rather than proactive?

I have a first-class CA award reservation from PEK-SFO in early Jan 2015, so I'm still quite concerned that another round of "cancellations" can still happen.
Are you checking your RES on a daily basis? Did you contact UA to see if they can do something to PREVENT FROM getting HACKED/ CANCELLED?
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Old Apr 23, 14, 5:22 pm
  #547  
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Originally Posted by IAHUArunner View Post
Are you checking your RES on a daily basis? Did you contact UA to see if they can do something to PREVENT FROM getting HACKED/ CANCELLED?
I have not yet contacted UA. not sure i want to advise anyone of my res in case its UA that is the cause. Its only a few more weeks before my trip
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Old Apr 23, 14, 6:50 pm
  #548  
 
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Originally Posted by IAHUArunner View Post
Are you checking your RES on a daily basis? Did you contact UA to see if they can do something to PREVENT FROM getting HACKED/ CANCELLED?
I called UA, and basically there is nothing UA can do to prevent such things from happening again.

The agent did offer to put a note on my rez to remind her fellow colleagues if impostors called in to cancel my award booking, but for the online cancellation, she commented after checking with her supervisor and web support: "there is nothing we can do - if people get your PNR and last name, basically they can do anything they want..."
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Old Apr 23, 14, 6:55 pm
  #549  
 
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Originally Posted by lewende View Post
"there is nothing we can do - if people get your PNR and last name, basically they can do anything they want..."
Haha, someone at risk management needs to have a little chat with that agent.
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Old Apr 23, 14, 7:07 pm
  #550  
 
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Originally Posted by lewende View Post
I called UA, and basically there is nothing UA can do to prevent such things from happening again.

The agent did offer to put a note on my rez to remind her fellow colleagues if impostors called in to cancel my award booking, but for the online cancellation, she commented after checking with her supervisor and web support: "there is nothing we can do - if people get your PNR and last name, basically they can do anything they want..."
I could have sworn that in the thread about the person whose ex-spouse changed their children's flights to leave them earlier during the holiday season, we established that UA had some kind of "PNR lock" that people could use in these kinds of situations to avoid problems. No?
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Old Apr 23, 14, 7:18 pm
  #551  
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Originally Posted by mherdeg View Post
I could have sworn that in the thread about the person whose ex-spouse changed their children's flights to leave them earlier during the holiday season, we established that UA had some kind of "PNR lock" that people could use in these kinds of situations to avoid problems. No?
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...eone-else.html
and
Someone decided to cancel my tickets — remember to protect your travel plans! (Lucky's One Mile at a Time blog)

Don't believe UA has this feature.
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Old Apr 23, 14, 7:28 pm
  #552  
 
Join Date: May 2011
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Just had this happen to me. Flight was HKG-PEK in I / PEK-LHR in O, all on 4/26. Got cancellation email in chinese on 4/23. Phone agents were able to restore ticket and book the flights that I looked up, via BKK and BRU, since nothing else available, and 12h earlier. Award stayed at pre-1/31 rates.

My suspicion was that the PEK-LHR flight was full/oversold, since it was not available for purchase anymore on that day, I was considering switching to a paid ticket. The broker/waitlist theory makes more sense though.

I've asked United to provide me with more details about the cancellation, like logged in or not, IP address.

Hopefully seats will open up on BA/CX direct flights, or at least some 1 stop options, but seems like a very busy HKG-LHR weekend...

christian
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Old Apr 23, 14, 7:38 pm
  #553  
 
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Originally Posted by chris1234 View Post
Just had this happen to me. Flight was HKG-PEK in I / PEK-LHR in O, all on 4/26. Got cancellation email in chinese on 4/23. Phone agents were able to restore ticket and book the flights that I looked up, via BKK and BRU, since nothing else available, and 12h earlier. Award stayed at pre-1/31 rates.

My suspicion was that the PEK-LHR flight was full/oversold, since it was not available for purchase anymore on that day, I was considering switching to a paid ticket. The broker/waitlist theory makes more sense though.

I've asked United to provide me with more details about the cancellation, like logged in or not, IP address.

Hopefully seats will open up on BA/CX direct flights, or at least some 1 stop options, but seems like a very busy HKG-LHR weekend...
This is extremely unfortunate and absolutely nerve racking for everybody who booked a UA award with CA segment(s) - the once-thought smart choice now looks pretty lame. I still had a hard time to figure out why UA has formed a task force to handle the fallout but meanwhile still fails to address the origination of the entire problem.

However, when something impacts UA's interests, it took a totally different approach; during the last promotion (the system-wide $5 airfare) UA took immediate action to kill the fare first, and then handle the aftermath later. Wonder why UA can't close the loophole this time first.
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Old Apr 23, 14, 9:36 pm
  #554  
 
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Originally Posted by chris1234 View Post
Just had this happen to me. Flight was HKG-PEK in I / PEK-LHR in O, all on 4/26. Got cancellation email in chinese on 4/23. Phone agents were able to restore ticket and book the flights that I looked up, via BKK and BRU, since nothing else available, and 12h earlier. Award stayed at pre-1/31 rates.

My suspicion was that the PEK-LHR flight was full/oversold, since it was not available for purchase anymore on that day, I was considering switching to a paid ticket. The broker/waitlist theory makes more sense though.

I've asked United to provide me with more details about the cancellation, like logged in or not, IP address.

Hopefully seats will open up on BA/CX direct flights, or at least some 1 stop options, but seems like a very busy HKG-LHR weekend...

christian
Check your PM in a minute. I have a united phone number you can talk to. They are hopefully investigating all of our cases.
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Old Apr 23, 14, 10:13 pm
  #555  
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Originally Posted by lewende View Post
Wonder why UA can't close the loophole this time first.
Because all of the solutions that have been suggested would take significant time to implement?
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