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Air China awards not on UA.com (on & off issues), cancelled tkts and other issues

Air China awards not on UA.com (on & off issues), cancelled tkts and other issues

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Old Sep 26, 15, 2:28 pm
  #1  
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Air China awards not on UA.com (on & off issues), cancelled tkts and other issues

The other day there were flights available every day in December from AKL to PEK. I went to book today and they were all again. I used the ANA tool and the availability is there. Is this a permanent thing or just a glitch?
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Old Sep 26, 15, 2:41 pm
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I would describe it as a permanent glitch.

Partner airline award availability comes and goes arbitrarily on the web site. Sometimes, the award space that appears turns out to be phantom availability and sometimes award space that one finds on other sites never appears on United.

And more recently, people have been reporting different availability depending on whether they search using the old or the new web site booking interface.

Guess which version of UA's reservations portal offers less award availability?
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Old Sep 26, 15, 5:26 pm
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How do you change to the old site?
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Old Sep 26, 15, 7:59 pm
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I'm curious are you booking Y, J, or F?
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Old Sep 27, 15, 12:30 am
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I can confirm that I've also seen good CA availability on united.com when searching earlier this month, but the last few days it's all gone completely - and not just the routes I want, but in general, no CA flights show up anymore, as of a few days ago earlier this week.

Now, mind you, what I saw online I couldn't actually book online (on the old or new site - about two weeks ago): it would go right to the very last step after collecting CC info and just give a page titled "Error" that is completely blank. Tried different browsers, computers, CCs, but that didn't help. I called in and the agent couldn't ticket it either, saying that availability is not there anymore (phantom availability - she could also grab it and "confirm" it, but then it was "gone" when trying to ticket, she told me). Transferred me to web support and the person there saw the problem, but put me on hold and never came back. I suspect that each time I tried to book it, it grabbed a seat, but then united.bomb couldn't ticket it but the seat still remained taken still for a while. I say that as I called back a bit later and the phone agent could book it quickly and easily no problem (still was not bookable online then).

So, when/if you do see CA availability online, if it doesn't ticket, don't try again and again - you'll just use up the available inventory of seats without getting it ticketed (but not saving an unticketed PNR either, both me and the agents checked on that first). Simply call to get it ticketed then. If the first agent can't do it, HUACA. It's tricky, but can be done..

At this point, I take it, if one sees CA available on ANA or LifeMiles, just call UA to book it, right? I mean, UA is not doing CA blocking, is it? So if it's available on ANA and/or LifeMiles, UA should be able to see it and ticket it over phone, even when not showing up online, right?
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Old Sep 27, 15, 7:04 pm
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This is bad.

I checked Aeroplan, CA awards are widely available.

Nothing shows up on UA site now.

First SQ, now CA with occasional OZ/NH awards disappearing, is this intentional?

BTW, UA Insider promised early last year that Shenzhen Airlines (ZH) awards would be booked online by end of 2014. Guess not.
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Old Sep 27, 15, 7:39 pm
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Exactly why I gave up on MP

UA has been consecutively the worse airline in the U.S. but they are able to back it up with an awesome FF program.

I was thinking after UA's increase they would stop this "phantom crap" but the availability has only gone down both partner and UA itself (saver awards)
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Old Sep 27, 15, 11:15 pm
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Originally Posted by TennisNoob View Post
Exactly why I gave up on MP

UA has been consecutively the worse airline in the U.S. but they are able to back it up with an awesome FF program.

I was thinking after UA's increase they would stop this "phantom crap" but the availability has only gone down both partner and UA itself (saver awards)
(Please excuse my ignorance, but..) Do you mean that if not shown on united.com, UA is actually blocking the awards and it's not bookable by phone? It's not like all other airlines (AA, DL, etc.), where you simply call to book by phone the awards that are not visible online?

BTW, on most airlines, most awards you have to book by phone. Don't forget how lucky you are with UA to be able to book most online in just a few minutes, vs. having to spend hours and HUACA endless times with DL, given the entirely untested and horribly broken reservations system there, that only keeps getting worse.

P.S. Customer service wise and operationally, UA is miles ahead of DL. If you want to experience bad, just try to fly DL: endless irrops (mechanicals) and frequent broken J seats in aircraft, free-falling customer service, and top tier elites on paid J tickets are treated far worse than UA treats a no-status flyer on an award ticket. I just mean, it could always be worse (DL).

All that being said, if UA is actually blocking CA and other awards (like DL is doing to KE and a bunch of airline awards now), now that would be bad indeed - UA copying DL yet again, if so is indeed the case.

Last edited by RealHJ; Sep 27, 15 at 11:22 pm
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Old Sep 28, 15, 12:05 am
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I'm more than firm that UA is blocking even the impossible, NH.

I was making an booking all summer long trying to match 3 on NH-F. I spent 2 months before I realized what's on UA.com does not match NH. Twice I called UA and both were told no availability.

So no UA is hiding availability that's showing available on Aeroplan and MileageClub.

CA wise all I know is they pulled F awards to T-72 hours.
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Old Sep 28, 15, 1:31 am
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Originally Posted by TennisNoob View Post
I'm more than firm that UA is blocking even the impossible, NH.

I was making an booking all summer long trying to match 3 on NH-F. I spent 2 months before I realized what's on UA.com does not match NH. Twice I called UA and both were told no availability.

So no UA is hiding availability that's showing available on Aeroplan and MileageClub.

CA wise all I know is they pulled F awards to T-72 hours.
I see. So someone will still need to try to call and book CA Y or J to find out, is it really blocked, or just not displaying on the site.

I would guess it's not displaying on the site, as there are no CA flights at all, as far as I've seen, not just reduced availability (which is what any Y or J blockage I'd expect to be like; like what DL is doing to KE awards, limiting to 1 seat in J and 2 in Y for all flights, while completely blocking Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays system wide - there is still some availability, just greatly reduced; but united.com now shows no CA at all, which seems more like a "technical issue" than an intentional block).
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Old Sep 28, 15, 3:18 am
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I called United and agent said there is problem about air china but eventually she did get the award tickets from Air China.
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Old Sep 28, 15, 5:14 am
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When I've phoned in for an award agents often find different awards from what I can see on line.
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Old Sep 28, 15, 8:12 am
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Originally Posted by TennisNoob View Post

CA wise all I know is they pulled F awards to T-72 hours.
Not always.
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Old Sep 28, 15, 2:16 pm
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This is really too bad, given Aeroplan just changed it's redemption table.
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Old Sep 28, 15, 8:19 pm
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Originally Posted by kunk00 View Post
I called United and agent said there is problem about air china but eventually she did get the award tickets from Air China.
Problem sounds like the SQ excuse. We're having an problem with SQ awards and than we soon find out they've been pulled.

Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
Not always.
Not always but we're talking about such an slim % that's un-describable.

IAH-PEK barely even has 1 PAX in F that day if lucky. I have no reason to see why they would do T-72 hours.
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