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Washington Times - United Admits to StarNet Blocking!

Washington Times - United Admits to StarNet Blocking!

 
Old Sep 12, 11, 4:46 am
  #2371  
 
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Originally Posted by frubio2012 View Post
So...I've done a Google search and a search on FT, but we all know how the search works. So, I was wondering, what is StarNet and furthermore, what's StarNet blocking. Yes, I know this seems like a very idiotic question, but it's still a question nonetheless.

Not sure what starnet is, but starnet blocking is UA blocking seats for award redemptions on partner carriers.
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Old Sep 12, 11, 7:21 am
  #2372  
 
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Originally Posted by frubio2012 View Post
So...I've done a Google search and a search on FT, but we all know how the search works. So, I was wondering, what is StarNet and furthermore, what's StarNet blocking. Yes, I know this seems like a very idiotic question, but it's still a question nonetheless.
From http://www.starallianceemployees.com/

In a global airline alliance with 27 members, hundreds of thousands of electronic messages get passed from carrier to carrier every day, supporting general operations and every aspect of the passenger experience, from the time they select flights and book to the moment they leave the airport at their chosen destination.

Star Alliance information technology facilitates this exchange by helping the disparate member carriers’ IT systems to “talk” to each other. StarNet, created in 2000, is essentially a message translation and routing system for Alliance airlines, that ensures carrier A can read messages sent by carrier B, even though their home operating systems and data formats may be different.

StarNet in its current form supports two applications: RAS (Redemption Availability and Sell) and FLIFO (real-time flight information).

The first new application to run on StarNet Next Gen will be a IATCI hub supporting through-checkin for passengers travelling on two or more member carriers in a single journey. This IATCI hub (Inter-Airline Through-CheckIn hub) will remove the need for Star Alliance member carriers to maintain bilateral network connections and software with each of the other carriers to support such travel. This will reduce major overhead in terms of changes and testing of these systems, as currently any change at a single carrier can trigger adjustments at all the other 26 partners. It will also make joining Star Alliance easier for new entrants.

Current project timescales are for delivery of the new core hub and the IATCI application by March, 2012 and the RAS and FLIFO applications by August, 2012.
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Old Sep 12, 11, 9:30 am
  #2373  
 
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Originally Posted by kevino View Post
Same thing HKG-BKK on 12/26. UA agents see no availablity, but ANA and CO websites show plenty of options.
The current mantra for UA customers is, "hang up and try again," not "UA is still blocking *A awards!"

Here is the script:

Me: So, you're certain there is no first class award seat available on LH flight 401 on Nov 17?

Agent 1: Nothing available, sir.

Me: Thanks, good bye.

<call again in 5 minutes>

Me: I'd like to book a first class award from JFK to FRA departing Nov. 17.

Agent 2: Looks like there's a seat on LH401, let me grab that... when would you like to return?

Me: ....


I've had to follow almost exactly the same script on *multiple* occasions. I think weero is on to something: there is some oddity in the agents' search function that makes it difficult for them to see award seats - but that doesn't mean the seats are being actively blocked.

(Here's a more recent variant:

Me: Are you certain there is no first class award seat available on LH flight 401 on Nov 17? Your own web site says there's a seat!

Agent 1: I'm sorry, sir, the website isn't always up to date.

Me: Thanks, good bye.

Agent 2: Looks like there's a seat on LH401, let me grab that... when would you like to return?

Me: .... )
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Old Sep 12, 11, 11:12 am
  #2374  
 
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Originally Posted by Savage25 View Post
From http://www.starallianceemployees.com/

In a global airline alliance with 27 members, hundreds of thousands of electronic messages get passed from carrier to carrier every day, supporting general operations and every aspect of the passenger experience, from the time they select flights and book to the moment they leave the airport at their chosen destination.

Star Alliance information technology facilitates this exchange by helping the disparate member carriers’ IT systems to “talk” to each other. StarNet, created in 2000, is essentially a message translation and routing system for Alliance airlines, that ensures carrier A can read messages sent by carrier B, even though their home operating systems and data formats may be different.

StarNet in its current form supports two applications: RAS (Redemption Availability and Sell) and FLIFO (real-time flight information).

The first new application to run on StarNet Next Gen will be a IATCI hub supporting through-checkin for passengers travelling on two or more member carriers in a single journey. This IATCI hub (Inter-Airline Through-CheckIn hub) will remove the need for Star Alliance member carriers to maintain bilateral network connections and software with each of the other carriers to support such travel. This will reduce major overhead in terms of changes and testing of these systems, as currently any change at a single carrier can trigger adjustments at all the other 26 partners. It will also make joining Star Alliance easier for new entrants.

Current project timescales are for delivery of the new core hub and the IATCI application by March, 2012 and the RAS and FLIFO applications by August, 2012.
Thanks, this is very informative. I take it the Aug. 2012 RAS/FLIFO is an update to the existing system? When that's initiaited, will UA be unable to block Star Alliance redemptions by individual carrier/market?
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Old Sep 12, 11, 3:20 pm
  #2375  
 
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Originally Posted by Savage25 View Post
From http://www.starallianceemployees.com/

In a global airline alliance with 27 members, hundreds of thousands of electronic messages get passed from carrier to carrier every day, supporting general operations and every aspect of the passenger experience, from the time they select flights and book to the moment they leave the airport at their chosen destination.

Star Alliance information technology facilitates this exchange by helping the disparate member carriers’ IT systems to “talk” to each other. StarNet, created in 2000, is essentially a message translation and routing system for Alliance airlines, that ensures carrier A can read messages sent by carrier B, even though their home operating systems and data formats may be different.

StarNet in its current form supports two applications: RAS (Redemption Availability and Sell) and FLIFO (real-time flight information).

The first new application to run on StarNet Next Gen will be a IATCI hub supporting through-checkin for passengers travelling on two or more member carriers in a single journey. This IATCI hub (Inter-Airline Through-CheckIn hub) will remove the need for Star Alliance member carriers to maintain bilateral network connections and software with each of the other carriers to support such travel. This will reduce major overhead in terms of changes and testing of these systems, as currently any change at a single carrier can trigger adjustments at all the other 26 partners. It will also make joining Star Alliance easier for new entrants.

Current project timescales are for delivery of the new core hub and the IATCI application by March, 2012 and the RAS and FLIFO applications by August, 2012.
Great Info! Although from this announcement it seems like it will be primarily for check-in/ticketing/connecting IT infrastructure. I think it'll still be up to UA to carry over more airline inventory to their Mileage Plus award search instead of always needing an agent to book an SA, SQ, or OZ flight.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 6:44 am
  #2376  
 
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Just saw on a.net that SQ is putting an A380 on JFK-FRA-SIN beginning 1/15/2012. Flights still show 747, so if you hurry you might have some Business to attend to .
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Old Sep 19, 11, 8:28 am
  #2377  
 
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Originally Posted by whistler814 View Post
Just saw on a.net that SQ is putting an A380 on JFK-FRA-SIN beginning 1/15/2012. Flights still show 747, so if you hurry you might have some Business to attend to .
Indeed: http://www.businesstraveller.com/asi...nd-new-york-fl

Guess this means no more C/F redemptions on SQ to/from the US...
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Old Sep 19, 11, 8:49 am
  #2378  
 
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Originally Posted by whistler814 View Post
Just saw on a.net that SQ is putting an A380 on JFK-FRA-SIN beginning 1/15/2012. Flights still show 747, so if you hurry you might have some Business to attend to .
I don't see any C availability in May next year. Didn't look at other months.
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Old Sep 21, 11, 12:23 pm
  #2379  
 
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Originally Posted by snic View Post
The current mantra for UA customers is, "hang up and try again," not "UA is still blocking *A awards!"

Here is the script:

Me: So, you're certain there is no first class award seat available on LH flight 401 on Nov 17?

Agent 1: Nothing available, sir.

Me: Thanks, good bye.

<call again in 5 minutes>

Me: I'd like to book a first class award from JFK to FRA departing Nov. 17.

Agent 2: Looks like there's a seat on LH401, let me grab that... when would you like to return?

Me: ....


I've had to follow almost exactly the same script on *multiple* occasions. I think weero is on to something: there is some oddity in the agents' search function that makes it difficult for them to see award seats - but that doesn't mean the seats are being actively blocked.

(Here's a more recent variant:

Me: Are you certain there is no first class award seat available on LH flight 401 on Nov 17? Your own web site says there's a seat!

Agent 1: I'm sorry, sir, the website isn't always up to date.

Me: Thanks, good bye.

Agent 2: Looks like there's a seat on LH401, let me grab that... when would you like to return?

Me: .... )
So you think it really is a UA search function problem? I wish that were the case. I've tried 5 different times over a period of 4 days. Using other Star Alliance miles, the agents can see availability. It's telling when UA agents see no availability on a given day when other Star carriers show availability on 3-4 flights in different classes of service.

To make matters worse, my experience has been that once UA blocks, they don't lift the block.
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Old Oct 14, 11, 7:54 am
  #2380  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Does anyone have an opinion if the newly announced award fare buckets for the combined program makes it more, or less, likely that *net blocking will be applied to the combined programs?
Thanks.

http://boardingarea.com/blogs/thewan...he-new-united/
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Old Nov 12, 11, 5:48 pm
  #2381  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Strange availability!

Not a regular poster, but a regular FT lurker.

Wanted a saver C one-way award for two pax from BKK to Atlanta in March. Of course, none on .Bomb. I went to Aeroplan and saw that there was saver C available BKK-PEK-Toronto-ATL using TG BKK>PEK, then AC the rest of the way.

I called with the expectation that I would have to do battle with the agent to get it.

Lo and behold, suddenly there was C saver space on PEK>IAD on UA with the same TG connecting flight.

Thus, I have learned that if you have the miles and Aeroplan (or ExpertFlyer) shows some inventory to somewhere on your chosen date, stop screwing around and just make the call.
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Old Nov 12, 11, 6:22 pm
  #2382  
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Originally Posted by golferjoe View Post
Strange availability!
This has nothing to do with StarNet blocking.

The reason you saw those Air Canada flights on aeroplan.com and not the UA flight is that aeroplan.com pushes AC flights and hides other options in a straight-up search because booking AC flights on aeroplan.com brings in about $400 in extra revenue by means of fuel surcharges.
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Old Nov 13, 11, 4:37 am
  #2383  
 
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Yes, but I also checked PEK>IAD for XC and it is XC-0 for the first week of March, but there seems to be a lot of NC space on the days I checked.

I guess that I would say that I would not just rely on expert mode XC availability for my travel plans. There is something else in the mix we don't see.
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Old Nov 17, 11, 12:54 pm
  #2384  
 
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UA blocked all TG flights BKK-HKG on 11/28 - with plenty availability on co.com. Is the merger not fixing UA's stupid practices???
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