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Why is Thai Airways not releasing award seats to UA?

Why is Thai Airways not releasing award seats to UA?

 
Old Nov 16, 07, 3:45 pm
  #1  
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Why is Thai Airways not releasing award seats to UA?

I have been trying for over 8 months to get a flight from BKK to Katmandu on Thai and they are not releasing any seats to United. The other day I logged into ANA's site and found many award seats on Thai from BKK.

Does anyone know why or if United and Thai Airways are disagreeing to share award travel?

I thought that if they are alliance partners and seats are available, then we should be able to get them irrespective of our partner alliance.

Thanks in advance
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Old Nov 16, 07, 3:47 pm
  #2  
 
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Not sure about TG in particular, but do a search for Starnet and you'll find a number of threads discussing how UA filters available award seats from other airlines. But most likely a UA thing, not a TG thing.
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Old Nov 16, 07, 3:53 pm
  #3  
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As the previous poster said, this is a UA thing, not a Thai thing. UA doesn't want to spend the money it costs to put its frequent flyers on other airlines' metal. To accomplish this, it blocks Mileage Plus members from redeeming on many, many *A flights that are available to all other *A members.

This issue was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I'm done with United and have comped over to CO.
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Old Nov 16, 07, 3:57 pm
  #4  
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Hillarious? Is that how they try to spin it, that it's not TG realeasing the seats? Quite pathetic!
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Old Nov 16, 07, 4:20 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by lucky9876coins View Post
Hillarious? Is that how they try to spin it, that it's not TG realeasing the seats? Quite pathetic!
Well, it's just a matter agreeing on the price, right? If TG wants $500 and UA wants to pay $300, then what UA is saying is TG won't release the seats (for $300), and TG would say UA members are blocked (because UA won't pay $500).

Much like the dealer won't sell me a new BMW (for $20,000).
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Old Nov 16, 07, 4:24 pm
  #6  
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Just start crediting UA flights to other *A programs like I have done. It is unbelievable that UA says that TG is blocking seats when as a matter of fact UA is the culprit.

There are threads about this almost daily on FT.
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Old Nov 16, 07, 4:26 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by PVDProf View Post
Well, it's just a matter agreeing on the price, right? If TG wants $500 and UA wants to pay $300, then what UA is saying is TG won't release the seats (for $300), and TG would say UA members are blocked (because UA won't pay $500).

Much like the dealer won't sell me a new BMW (for $20,000).
I don't believe that's the way it works. I think there's a standard price among star carriers for a particular award, so AC pays the same as UA for an award on SQ, so there's no room to negotiate, but I may be wrong.
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Old Nov 16, 07, 4:40 pm
  #8  
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Here's a consolidated thread about Starnet and award seats:

http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=724988
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Old Nov 16, 07, 4:55 pm
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by lucky9876coins View Post
I don't believe that's the way it works. I think there's a standard price among star carriers for a particular award, so AC pays the same as UA for an award on SQ, so there's no room to negotiate, but I may be wrong.
Well, they don't have to be able to negotiate bilateral prices for the price-based interpretations of their perspectives to be accurate. TG is blocking access for the price UA is willing to pay, and UA is not releasing the seats on TG because they won't pay the price TG demands (even if they get it from others).

In fact, it's even more like the dealer blocking me from a new BMW, since others are willing to pay the posted price (that I am not).

That said, it doesn't diminish the OP's, or the broader MP community's, frustration at not being able to access the awards, and it doesn't help that other *A programs are willing to pay the price UA won't on our behalf. Also, I'm frustrated about my (lack of) BMW.
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Old Nov 16, 07, 8:12 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by PVDProf View Post
Well, they don't have to be able to negotiate bilateral prices for the price-based interpretations of their perspectives to be accurate. TG is blocking access for the price UA is willing to pay, and UA is not releasing the seats on TG because they won't pay the price TG demands (even if they get it from others).

In fact, it's even more like the dealer blocking me from a new BMW, since others are willing to pay the posted price (that I am not).

That said, it doesn't diminish the OP's, or the broader MP community's, frustration at not being able to access the awards, and it doesn't help that other *A programs are willing to pay the price UA won't on our behalf. Also, I'm frustrated about my (lack of) BMW.
I hate analogies but I'll play along.

I'm willing to pay for the BMW. Indeed, I flew UA because it promised me the BMW. The dealer has made the BMW available to UA at the price UA expected to pay when it promised the BMW to me. UA has obtained the benefit of promising me the BMW but doesn't want to have to perform its end of the bargain.

More succinctly, UA sucks.
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Old Nov 16, 07, 8:41 pm
  #11  
 
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Does anyone have concrete info on why Starnet blocks TG and other partner awards?

Are these the pieces of the puzzle..
a) When IM at TG (or LH etc) release seats in paid classes C,D etc they also release a handful of seats in award classes O, I etc

b) These seats are immediately available for award bookings by every airline in *A, such as ANA where we observe them using the ANA tool

c) Some airlines such as LH may also release seats in award classes reserved only for their own fliers. These are not visible to ANA or UA etc, only to M&M members and are not part of the problem.

d) The problem is that when we call UA to book TG awards, which stick out like a dog's b*lls on the ANA tool, all the premium classes have usually been blocked by Starnet.

e) The agent will say "I can't see that flight" which is a giveaway because normally all *A flights for the sector would appear on the Starnet screen, even those showing zero or only Y award availability.

f) So, why does UA do this?
- the usual assumption is that UA's pennypinching accountants are cheating UAMP members out of these seats to save a bit of money, trying to drive UA members on to UA transpacs rather than the more salubrious partner flights

But there may be other explanations

- Is it possible that UA is coerced into blocking some awards at the behest of the other members of *A because otherwise all the premium seats would be gobbled by the overwhelming preponderance of UAMP members with their (comparatively) generous accumulations of miles?

- Is it possible that after some unfortunate experiences during BK, an airline like LH may have set an annual credit-limit for UA, a threshold for the total awards for a calendar year. (Each year in about November all the LH intra-Europe awards disappear from Starnet and don't reappear until the New Year.)
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Old Nov 17, 07, 2:36 am
  #12  
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BTW, I tried one to book a BG with UA miles (2 C + 2 Y seats): ANA showed those seats available, phoned UA (in Europe) and got the seats.

Simple and efficient.

Perhaps was I lucky or the customer representative was better than yours
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Old Nov 17, 07, 2:58 am
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by lucky9876coins View Post
Hillarious? Is that how they try to spin it, that it's not TG realeasing the seats? Quite pathetic!
I believe that the UA/TG conflict goes beyond the Starnet issues. TG does indeed no longer provide award seats for MP on certain routes and services (premium seats on BKK-LHR are the biggest thing AFAIK).
But on many other routes, MP will see the same inventory TG is offering for *A awards (say SYD-AKL).

So neither statement is entirely true. TG and UA still cooperate under the *A tent but they mutually withold funding/seats from each other. I do not think that UA does not offer these routes to their MP members but that TG does not provide them to UA for the terms offered.

Intra Asia-Pacific, inventory is quite good. At least compared to the lower fare buckets which are very hard to get on TG. So by no means a universal thingie.
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Old Nov 17, 07, 4:33 am
  #14  
 
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While I'm equally frustrated that UA blocks O or I inventory from other *A airlines, I find it is a bit easier to find TG award this week. While searching for SQ1/2 F award late next year (don't ask me why ) I also found TG C seats on LAX-BKK ULH.

So it's not like it's never there. This kind of inconsistency is what makes me frustrated the most.
Be consistent UA, will you?
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Old Nov 17, 07, 4:39 am
  #15  
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It's not only TG, but on some routes, UA MP just does not even show up. Case in point, last Apr when I tried to redeem an award to/from Manchester to Singapore.

MAN-SIN on SQ, fine. SIN-BKK on SQ, fine. But BKK-MUC-MAN on TG and LH combination, UA just did not show that TG even flew the route - on award OR on a revenue flight! UA just said that there flight is not there.

So in the end I had to book through LH M&M.
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