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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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Last edit by: Pat89339
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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
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.
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Old Apr 24, 14, 8:24 am
  #571  
 
Join Date: May 2012
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Originally Posted by CDKing View Post
Well IAH/PEK is still open for my date so hopefully i'm safe but doubt it I'd be curious as to what routes are the ones being cancelled.

Im debating switching now to a different routing. Really wanted to try CA F but it seems the seat in 777-300ER isnt much different than the TG A380 F seat.
I'd take TG over CA before this whole debacle. Your call on the risk, but I agree with most in that it would take significant time to implement anything. My single first ticket that wasn't stolen is still available, so you just have to hope there is no one wanting your seat :P

The post is growing, but would united inconvenience everyone based on 14 people's cancellation and take on a huge number of calls? To make everyone call in to cancel would not be a good solution. One storm and there will be another thread about how the call lines don't even work.
critten is offline  
Old Apr 24, 14, 8:35 am
  #572  
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Originally Posted by CDKing View Post
Temporary disabling of the ability to cancel online until the PIN based requirement can be implimented sounds like an excellent idea.
Yeah this is a no-brainer for me. Sure the convenience of online cancellation is nice, but I'd trade it in a heartbeat for ensuring that my awards are not subject to cancellation through the sort of shenanigans that are being discussed in this thread.

I find that virtually everything I do on an award reservation has to be called in anyway, so this would really add just a minor inconvenience.
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Old Apr 24, 14, 8:49 am
  #573  
 
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Nervously sitting on a ticket containing IAH-PEK (and then -SIN-NZ that same day).
However, this is ticket has double open jaw with stopover...I've flown a single segment and am on a [very long] stopover currently before my CA segment. I've noticed that because of this, I apparently can still change flights, but the option to cancel is gone. Hope that means I'm safe, but also suggesting that it might also be an option for some of us with CA tickets to help protect ourselves.
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Old Apr 24, 14, 9:03 am
  #574  
 
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Originally Posted by crnk View Post
I apparently can still change flights, but the option to cancel is gone. Hope that means I'm safe, but also suggesting that it might also be an option for some of us with CA tickets to help protect ourselves.
What are you talking about? The "cancel/refund" button is still available for each rez no matter you log in or not.
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Old Apr 24, 14, 9:08 am
  #575  
 
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Maybe just disable cancellation on the Chinese-language site? At least then the emails will come in English.

Originally Posted by lewende View Post
What are you talking about? The "cancel/refund" button is still available for each rez no matter you log in or not.
Seems like you didn't read the post you were responding to.
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Old Apr 24, 14, 9:12 am
  #576  
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Originally Posted by critten View Post
I'd take TG over CA before this whole debacle. Your call on the risk, but I agree with most in that it would take significant time to implement anything. My single first ticket that wasn't stolen is still available, so you just have to hope there is no one wanting your seat :P
I'm looking for alternatives but i dont have many since i'm on an Award to Australia so cannot use europe to route back. Of course i doubt UA will open up Saver space in GF on their SYD-LAX while my reservation is still intact.

Another option would be to see if i can cancel the return, get 1/2 the miles back and keep my inbound stop-over in BKK. But once again doubt UA would allow that while res is intact and if it wasnt i would have lost my non CA segments anyways
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Old Apr 24, 14, 9:12 am
  #577  
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Originally Posted by lewende View Post
What are you talking about? The "cancel/refund" button is still available for each rez no matter you log in or not.
Not if travel has commenced.
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Old Apr 24, 14, 9:19 am
  #578  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Not if travel has commenced.
That's right.

Originally Posted by mgcsinc View Post
Seems like you didn't read the post you were responding to.
My apologies - however, this won't help to most of us who haven't commenced to travel on UA award bookings with CA segment(s).
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Old Apr 24, 14, 9:21 am
  #579  
 
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Originally Posted by mgcsinc View Post
Maybe just disable cancellation on the Chinese-language site? At least then the emails will come in English.



Seems like you didn't read the post you were responding to.
Nah, I got USA cancellations. So they have alternated US and CN United sites.
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Old Apr 24, 14, 9:30 am
  #580  
 
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Add one more to the Wiki List. And, be warned: don't rely on UA's assurance that the CA flight is reinstated.

I received the email in Chinese in mid-March, a couple months after making a reservation that included IAH-PEK, and, after a TWOV stopover, PEK-SYD. I called MP within 5 minutes of receipt of the email, after logging in to MP Account and seeing the flights had been cancelled. A very helpful CSA - although insisting that I must have cancelled the reservation myself, even inadvertently - spent the next 1 1/2 hours working to reinstate the flights. USAir refused to reinstate the positioning flight to IAH, so UA put us on one of its own flights. The other 7 flights in the itinerary, were, she said, reinstated.

Later that week, we fortunately called each airline to (re)request seat assignments. CA said no (notwithstanding the assurance from the UA CSA that it was reinstated) and insisted that the IAH-PEK ticket had been cancelled by UA. I called MP again. After the (again, ultimately very helpful) CSA insisted that that was not true, I persuaded her to contact CA anyway. She came back quite a while later to tell me that, yes, CA continued to insist that the ticket was cancelled and refused to reinstate the ticket. UA opened up seats on its own flights to and from another city.

But, this cut our 2 full days and one 1/2 day TWOV stopover to only one full day and two half-days - not enough time to really see the sights. After thinking about it, I called MP and said I would prefer to just pay for the visas and have enough time in PEK and asked if they could move us to a flight a day or two earlier, which the CSA very kindly did, actually offering several choices. She assured me that CA PEK-SYD flight was still OK. We immediately called CA and did get seat assignments.

Three phone calls totalling about four hours. UA totally did the right thing, bent over backwards, and I am very appreciative. BUT - who knows?

I then changed password and PIN. I did not know anyone else had the same problem until happening upon this thread. Now a month later, I have logged into MP many times. It shows the flight reservation, but does not allow me to View or View/Change Seats (I get an error screen). So, perhaps this is a mechanism to prevent on-line cancellation? Or (if anyone has read this far), should I call MP again to make sure all is OK? Either way I am going to be on pins and needles until actually in a seat this summer on the CA flight to SYD.
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Old Apr 24, 14, 9:34 am
  #581  
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Originally Posted by CDKing View Post
Temporary disabling of the ability to cancel online until the PIN based requirement can be implimented sounds like an excellent idea.
UA doesn't have enough phone support to do this. One would be waiting hours trying to cancel a flight since thousands of flights are cancelled by passengers online each day.

UA doesn't need to create problems for thousands of customers to protect the reservations of hundreds of customers.
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Old Apr 24, 14, 9:40 am
  #582  
 
Join Date: May 2012
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I've sent you a PM for some contacts. Hopefully the growing numbers will push this up the priority chain.

Originally Posted by bubble o bill View Post
Add one more to the Wiki List. And, be warned: don't rely on UA's assurance that the CA flight is reinstated.

I received the email in Chinese in mid-March, a couple months after making a reservation that included IAH-PEK, and, after a TWOV stopover, PEK-SYD. I called MP within 5 minutes of receipt of the email, after logging in to MP Account and seeing the flights had been cancelled. A very helpful CSA - although insisting that I must have cancelled the reservation myself, even inadvertently - spent the next 1 1/2 hours working to reinstate the flights. USAir refused to reinstate the positioning flight to IAH, so UA put us on one of its own flights. The other 7 flights in the itinerary, were, she said, reinstated.

Later that week, we fortunately called each airline to (re)request seat assignments. CA said no (notwithstanding the assurance from the UA CSA that it was reinstated) and insisted that the IAH-PEK ticket had been cancelled by UA. I called MP again. After the (again, ultimately very helpful) CSA insisted that that was not true, I persuaded her to contact CA anyway. She came back quite a while later to tell me that, yes, CA continued to insist that the ticket was cancelled and refused to reinstate the ticket. UA opened up seats on its own flights to and from another city.

But, this cut our 2 full days and one 1/2 day TWOV stopover to only one full day and two half-days - not enough time to really see the sights. After thinking about it, I called MP and said I would prefer to just pay for the visas and have enough time in PEK and asked if they could move us to a flight a day or two earlier, which the CSA very kindly did, actually offering several choices. She assured me that CA PEK-SYD flight was still OK. We immediately called CA and did get seat assignments.

Three phone calls totalling about four hours. UA totally did the right thing, bent over backwards, and I am very appreciative. BUT - who knows?

I then changed password and PIN. I did not know anyone else had the same problem until happening upon this thread. Now a month later, I have logged into MP many times. It shows the flight reservation, but does not allow me to View or View/Change Seats (I get an error screen). So, perhaps this is a mechanism to prevent on-line cancellation? Or (if anyone has read this far), should I call MP again to make sure all is OK? Either way I am going to be on pins and needles until actually in a seat this summer on the CA flight to SYD.
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Old Apr 24, 14, 9:43 am
  #583  
 
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Originally Posted by bubble o bill View Post
Now a month later, I have logged into MP many times. It shows the flight reservation, but does not allow me to View or View/Change Seats (I get an error screen).
You can't use UA's website to view/change seats on partner flights - only on UA metal. Get the CA confirmation number and try selecting seats on the CA website instead.

Sorry this happened to you (and so many others). It's really high time that UA fixed this. I find it really irritating that even though other airlines can password-protect reservations (see the blog post referenced in this post), somehow UA can't or won't implement that functionality.
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Old Apr 24, 14, 9:53 am
  #584  
 
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Originally Posted by snic View Post
You can't use UA's website to view/change seats on partner flights - only on UA metal. Get the CA confirmation number and try selecting seats on the CA website instead.

Sorry this happened to you (and so many others). It's really high time that UA fixed this. I find it really irritating that even though other airlines can password-protect reservations (see the blog post referenced in this post), somehow UA can't or won't implement that functionality.

Maybe put a 24hr Delay on CA cancels before redepositing into the bucket. Gives us a chance to call and rebook - and hopefully change the confirmations number around, meh.
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Old Apr 24, 14, 9:55 am
  #585  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 163
I too am nervously monitoring a couple of CA J seats that lead-off my upcoming trip. Am I safe in assuming that if the reservation still appears on united.com and via the saudi airlines website, things are still good? Or do I need to confirm directly with CA (or anything else)?
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