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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
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感谢您使用 united.com

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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 25, 14, 8:34 am
  #631  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Slightly to the left of center
Posts: 3,476
Where does this issue fall amongst all the other technical problems UA is experiencing, mostly with the website? I do hope it's a priority as this is sounding far beyond a nuisance (ie: ghost availability) and closer to potentially destroying peoples vacation plans. An update from UA Insider might be appreciated.
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Old Apr 25, 14, 8:35 am
  #632  
 
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Originally Posted by jefftiger View Post
I just saw this thread and this happened to us during October 2013 while we were in Bali. I had booked a United reward itinerary that had a return segment using Air China (Singapore-Beijing) in business class. A couple of days before our return, I received an e-mail on my iPhone from United in Chinese.
Can you clarify a bit more: was this a ticket that you had flown half and then the return was canceled, or was each half of the RT a separate ticket? Just curious if / how they'd cancel a partially flown ticket since it doesn't seem like an option for the awards that I'm currently stopover-ed on (I'm assuming it could be called, and it still can be changed online but just not canceled).
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Old Apr 25, 14, 8:39 am
  #633  
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Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
Good luck to everyone holding the CA flights. Fingers crossed for you.
Thanks.

I check daily anyway, since UA has a history of dropping / changing segment on ANY reservation (changed DAL departure to IAH with VERY inconvenient time; simply REMOVED SEA-NRT when that flight was discontinued).

Unfortunatelly, UA shows pretty much NOTHING useful ex BKK (flight via PEK), as I'm not about to do FRA-DFW on LH A330 in coach @:-)

And of course with UA dropping BKK, that makes it kinda hard to open up space

EDIT: It's DFW, not IAH I'm flying to

Last edited by EmailKid; Apr 25, 14 at 9:19 am Reason: It's DFW, not IAH I'm flying to
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Old Apr 25, 14, 9:05 am
  #634  
 
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
as I'm not about to do FRA-IAH on LH A330 in coach @:-)
Not to pick nits, but aren't all LH FRA-IAH flights on the A380 now?

(I hope so - this was one of the reasons for routing IAH-FRA on our $1,500 UA C fare to VCE this summer.)
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Old Apr 25, 14, 9:16 am
  #635  
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
Have I missed a post by UA Insider on this thread detailing that they're aware of the problem, and doing everything they can to fix it? If not, seems like a huge fail.
Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
Nope, nothing public - but it does seem they're addressing it behind the scenes.
You mean they are aware of the problem, working on it I'm not so sure

Originally Posted by LarkSFO View Post
Not to pick nits, but aren't all LH FRA-IAH flights on the A380 now?
Sorry, my bad, after almost five years of being back in Dallas (not by choice ) I am still used to IAH, so yes, you are correct, but unless I could get routed via IAH to DAL or DFW .... will correct my post.

Originally Posted by LarkSFO View Post
(I hope so - this was one of the reasons for routing IAH-FRA on our $1,500 UA C fare to VCE this summer.)
If their TATL service is anything like intra Europe, you are in for a treat ^
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Old Apr 25, 14, 9:25 am
  #636  
 
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Hit me as well!

In early January I was supposed fly back to the US from Asia and had two Air China Segments (SIN-PEK in J) and (PEK-LAX in F).

On December 25, 2013 I received an e-mail in Chinese stating that my reservation had been canceled and they had received my refund request. Calling UA from out of the country was a huge hassle and I ended up wasting a lot of time getting this sorted out as availability on the PEK-LAX flight was gone.

I did call Air China to get my seat assignment about a week before this happened.

Last edited by gpeso8; Apr 25, 14 at 9:41 am
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Old Apr 25, 14, 9:32 am
  #637  
 
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Originally Posted by crnk View Post
Can you clarify a bit more: was this a ticket that you had flown half and then the return was canceled, or was each half of the RT a separate ticket? Just curious if / how they'd cancel a partially flown ticket since it doesn't seem like an option for the awards that I'm currently stopover-ed on (I'm assuming it could be called, and it still can be changed online but just not canceled).
This was a partially flown UA-booked awards ticket (booked as RT), so yes, they cancelled a partially flown ticket. My wife and I had already flown from Washington with a multi-day stopover in Bangkok and on to Bali. Our outbound routing was IAD-NRT-BKK-DPS on ANA and Thai Air. Our return was DPS-SIN-PEK-IAD on Singapore Air, Air China, and then United. IIRC, the CA segments had a different eTicket number. The entire return itinerary was cancelled after I received the UA e-mail in Chinese. Despite United's best efforts, they couldn't reinstate the original itinerary, but did end up giving us the original Singapore Air flight to SIN and then return on UA metal back to Washington.

My wife accused me of accidentally cancelling the flights! But, I was certain that I had not done this. I just came across this thread this morning so I was fascinated that it's been happening to others (albeit months after my experience).
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Old Apr 25, 14, 9:50 am
  #638  
 
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Originally Posted by gpeso8 View Post
In early January I was supposed fly back to the US from Asia and had two Air China Segments (SIN-PEK in J) and (PEK-LAX in F).

On December 25, 2013 I received an e-mail in Chinese stating that my reservation had been canceled and they had received my refund request. Calling UA from out of the country was a huge hassle and I ended up wasting a lot of time getting this sorted out as availability on the PEK-LAX flight was gone.

I did call Air China to get my seat assignment about a week before this happened.
***********
Any one recently booked and traveled on an award ticket with CA biz. Segment in it? All reports are about cancellation only. I am trying to figure out if all are getting kicked out or just the lucky victims!! (just trying to humor out of frustration). Calling UA didn't yield anything positive. No answer from 1K.voice. checking reservation every time on UA.app.on the phone.
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Old Apr 25, 14, 9:55 am
  #639  
 
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Originally Posted by gpeso8 View Post
In early January I was supposed fly back to the US from Asia and had two Air China Segments (SIN-PEK in J) and (PEK-LAX in F).

On December 25, 2013 I received an e-mail in Chinese stating that my reservation had been canceled and they had received my refund request. Calling UA from out of the country was a huge hassle and I ended up wasting a lot of time getting this sorted out as availability on the PEK-LAX flight was gone.

I did call Air China to get my seat assignment about a week before this happened.
Now we're up to 20 independent reports of this happening.

Where is the media? And where are the travel bloggers?

20 people having their travel plans disrupted isn't a stop-the-presses story, but UA's insecure handling of its customers' reservations would surely be of interest to many people, and it deserves public scrutiny.
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Old Apr 25, 14, 9:57 am
  #640  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 637
Wouldn't it be easy for UA to find out who now has the seat that was occupied by a canceled reservation? And wouldn't UA be able to tell who booked that new reservation? And isn't that the agent that the authorities should investigate?
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Old Apr 25, 14, 10:00 am
  #641  
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Originally Posted by snic View Post
And where are the travel bloggers?
Paging Seth @:-)
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Old Apr 25, 14, 10:01 am
  #642  
 
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Originally Posted by flyingnosh View Post
Wouldn't it be easy for UA to find out who now has the seat that was occupied by a canceled reservation? And wouldn't UA be able to tell who booked that new reservation? And isn't that the agent that the authorities should investigate?
New ticket is not on UA stock, probably.
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Old Apr 25, 14, 10:01 am
  #643  
 
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
Paging Seth @:-)
The silence among the bloggers cannot possibly be an accident.
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Old Apr 25, 14, 10:03 am
  #644  
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Originally Posted by flyingnosh View Post
Wouldn't it be easy for UA to find out who now has the seat that was occupied by a canceled reservation? And wouldn't UA be able to tell who booked that new reservation? And isn't that the agent that the authorities should investigate?
It wouldn't be easy for UA, but it would be easy for CA or for the Chinese authorities. But law enforcement in China is a lot different than here. There are a lot of things that would get investigated here, not necessarily over there.
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Old Apr 25, 14, 10:03 am
  #645  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Originally Posted by flyingnosh View Post
Wouldn't it be easy for UA to find out who now has the seat that was occupied by a canceled reservation? And wouldn't UA be able to tell who booked that new reservation? And isn't that the agent that the authorities should investigate?
I'm not sure that UA would access to that information without cooperation from CA. Nor does it seem likely that UA really has any true recourse against a rogue individual in China cancelling reservations. If it were coming from within CA, that'd be a very different story, but I can't imagine UA ever actually figuring that out. The fact remains that UA just needs to implement some minimal security to verify ownership of the account before cancelling a reservation.
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