Posted by William Charles on June 27, 2019
Airline Rewards

Published on June 27th, 2019 | by William Charles

36

United Temporarily Blocks Award Bookings [Singapore Unblocked]

Update 6/26/19: Singapore Airlines bookings have now been unblocked as well. Hat tip to Point Me To The Plane

Update 2/28/19: Thai and TAP can now be booked again. Hat tip to Running With Miles.

Update 2/20/19: ANA awards are now also being blocked. Hat tip to LoyaltyLobby

United Airlines is currently blocking award space on the following three Star Alliance airlines:

  • Singapore Airlines
  • Thai Airways
  • TAP Air Portugal

When you try to request these flights the following error message appears:

According to a statement received by VFTW this is a temporary issue caused by the fact that some partner award tickets are not being confirmed properly by those three airlines currently. Rather than having to deal with these not being ticketed correctly United has decided to remove the ability to book these airlines until the issue is resolved. Fingers crossed the issue is resolved quickly.

 



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Pat
Pat

I thought I was going crazy. I’ve been stalking PHL – BKK – JKT – PHL on J for 2 for some time now. All of a sudden last week I couldn’t find any Thai availability from the BKK – JKT leg making the routing impossible. Good to know it’s temporary.

Matt
Matt

You guys rock. I have been getting this error for the last week and was about to call them tonight. Looking for CNX-HKT on Thai and errors everywhere. Thanks for saving me a phone call – hope it gets cleared up soon.

Nun
Nun

This has been going on for more than a month and UA said it would be fixed in 2 weeks

Mike Advantage
Mike Advantage

I started posting about this on forums 2 weeks ago when I first noticed it.

I’m visiting Singapore right now. and it’s funny because when I look at flights to leave Singapore, I get shown zero options :/.. since all flights out of here with United MileagePlus are either Singapore Airlines or Thai. So I’m stuck.

Steve K.
Steve K.

Cheers, I’m in SIN as well. Enjoy the beautiful city … and good luck getting out of your predicament. Thanks to sites like DOC, I’m “stuck” in the Private Room at Changi waiting to board my flight back to the US. Thank you to DOC and all the individuals who offer helpful commentary on this site!

Rhea
Rhea

How can i access these partner airlines award availability on United website? Pls guide me

Sherry
Sherry

Coask. Can someone please share?

Dick Bupkiss
Dick Bupkiss

You can’t. United has blocked them. That’s the problem.

Kevyx72
Kevyx72

I guess I’m the lucky last batch to book it before it errors out as my ticket was issued on the 15th with TG being 2 of my legs

Jiasus
Jiasus

I was wondering why I couldn’t find any thing from HKG-KUL/SIN. I thought the reason was cuz the dates I was looking are near Chinese New Years and they blocked the awards

Beth Polt
Beth Polt

Any update on when / if this will be resolved. Looking to book a stop over on Vietnam trip to Bali and I’m still getting the error…

Jake
Jake

Not just the award ticket. I cash booked a SIA ticket through United, but it can’t get confirmed. Eventually, I need to cancel the ticket with United, then book directly on the SIA website.

quasimodo
quasimodo

you’d think maybe they would open up more United space….nah…that’s wishful thinking

Dick Bupkiss
Dick Bupkiss

You have some details wrong. 1. The message about TG, SQ and TAP being “temporarily unavailable” pops up on United.com if you search for ANY international award flight – not if you try and book one of these carriers. 2. ALL award flights on these airlines – and also on ANA, and perhaps others – have simply disappeared. They just do not show up on the website. At. All. United now admits they are blocking them. 3. This has been going on since sometime in December. I first noticed something strange was happening around the third week of December, but it may have started a few days before that. It was only after a couple of bloggers started making noise about it that United put up that little note about it in mid-January. So they had been secretly blocking all these airlines for several weeks before they provided any notification. It’s now been almost two months that it’s been like this. They claim “they’re working on it” but with the two month mark about to go by, they’ve made it very clear that fixing it not a priority for them. Unless this IS how they’ve “fixed” things. 4. All ANA award inventory disappeared from United.com about 24 hours ago. Their little notification does not mention ANA, but all ANA awards are being blocked, too. 5. Many other United award partners have had almost no availability for several months, too – they’re not 100% blocked, just drastically reduced from what was there before. United has made no mention of these reductions. 6. It may sound like a minor inconvenience, but the complete lack of TG and SQ awards effectively makes it all but impossible to fly to or through a large part of the world. You can’t use miles anymore to get to or through Southeast Asia, Australia, and beyond. 7. United says there are issues with the partner airlines’ IT systems which prevent those partners’ flight availability from showing up and being bookable on United.com. They say the issues are with their partner airlines. But award flights for all of these airlines can still be accessed and booked successfully by other systems (Air Canada, and others). United blames the other airlines. 8. Combined with the greatly diminished availability of awards on nearly all of their other partners that has quietly rolled out over the past few months, this represents a… Read more »

Fathiss
Fathiss

Wow! Great detailed post. Thanks. Glad I don’t play guitar.

AllyR
AllyR

Very nice recap! UA is hiding something.

Gretchen
Gretchen

I have found that many of the partner flights that do show are not really available. You don’t know until you actually try to book it.

AC360
AC360

They blocked a significant number of award tickets for ANA.

I saved my UR points to redeem for a trip to Japan that is happening in December 2019/January 2020. Barely could I find any one way tickets at 35K points. Most of them require 80K—one-way economy!

Dick Bupkiss
Dick Bupkiss

> They blocked a significant number of award tickets for ANA.

That “significant number” would be 100%.

All ANA awards have been removed, they simply don’t show up on their website, and United agents don’t see them either. Look for ANA award space on another *A carrier’s system, and they show up there. It’s the same treatment that United has applied to TG, SQ and TAP: a systemwide, intentional disappearance.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Confirming AC360’s statement, ANA does show some availability, but the only options I could find are economy and only one or two dates each month.

David
David

This feels like a deliberate maneuver to avoid paying out on partner awards. I wouldn’t put it past United.

Dick Bupkiss
Dick Bupkiss

I agree. The blogs and every member of United’s loyalty program should be screaming about this every hour of every day. United’s program has been decimated.

Dick Bupkiss
Dick Bupkiss

Today United management quietly admitted THIS IS NOT TEMPORARY – UNITED WILL NO LONGER ALLOW AWARD REDEMPTIONS ON THAI, SINGAPORE OR TAP PORTUGAL. This is the new normal. United has gutted their program, as many feared.
This should be the biggest headline on this and every blog!

Amanda
Amanda

Do you have a source for the admission?

Pat
Pat

I’m seeing ANA availability today, which is a good sign.

Matthew James
Matthew James

I just booked an ANA flight to Tokyo for June’19. I see quite a bit of availability for this time, albeit I only search for Economy.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I just checked a couple of dates, and it looks like Thai Airways is showing up too. 45k/65k one-way in business/first on an A380 from NRT-BKK isn’t a bad use of miles at all. United’s website seems to have been updated to suggest that’s there’s only currently an issue with Singapore Airlines.

Fathii
Fathii

I have the same route currently booked at 37500 UR points (Avios) in business with JAL.

Fathiss
Fathiss

Currently have this route booked for 37,590 UR points (Avios) in business on JAL ( but likely more out of pocket).

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