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Much More Limited Star Alliance Award Availability on ExpertFlyer

by on November 11, 2013 · 8 comments

in ExpertFlyer, star alliance

It’s been a rough few weeks for ExpertFlyer. While I still think it’s a very useful tool because it gives flyers access to upgrade and award availability on a number of airlines. This can be extremely useful when deciding which flights to book based on upgrade availability. Not only that, you can set alerts so that if hard to find award availability space opens up (like Lufthansa first class) you can be notified and book it before anyone else has the chance.

Set up Expert Flyer seat alerts.

ExpertFlyer is a useful award search tool – but not for Star Alliance at the moment!

However, in the month or so, both Delta and United have revoked its ability to search their upgrade inventory (elite upgrades for Delta), and now ExpertFlyer has also notified its subscribers that until further notice, they will not be able to search for award space or set award alerts for certain Star Alliance carriers. Here’s what the email ExpertFlyer sent out said:

“We are emailing you because you have an active Flight Alert for an Award class of one of the following airlines:

Adria Airways – JP
All Nippon Airways – NH
Asiana Airlines – OZ
Austrian – OS
Croatia Airlines – OU
Egyptair – MS
Ethiopian Airlines – ET
EVA Air – BR
LACSA – LR
Lufthansa – LH
SAS – SK
Singapore Airlines – SQ
South African Airways – SA
TACA – TA
TAM Linhas Aereas – JJ
TAM Paraguay – PZ
TAP-Air Portugal – TP
Thai Airways International – TG
United – UA
US Airways – US

Unfortunately, award searching for these airlines, along with the Star Alliance award search, is currently unavailable. We are working to try to restore the information however it will be unavailable until further notice. All other functionality and information for these airlines in ExpertFlyer remain unaffected. Flight Alerts for any other airline are also unaffected.

As a result, any active Flight Alerts or saved searches for this award information will no longer work as of now. The Active Flight Alerts affected have been set to Expired as to not count against your 30 Active alert limit and will be set to Active again should the award information become available in the future. We regret any inconvenience this causes you.

Thank you for your continued support of ExpertFlyer.
-The ExpertFlyer.com Team”

ExpertFlyer had actually just added all Star Alliance availability about a year ago in one fell swoop, which dramatically increased its value and usefulness, so this is pretty disappointing news and a bit of a surprise – it sounds like it was to the ExpertFlyer team as well since they offer little information about what happened and why

It’s not the end of the world, though. You can still search Star Alliance award availability and set alerts for the following carriers:

Air Canada
Air China
Air New Zealand
AVIANCA
Brussels Airlines
COPA
Shenzhen Airlines
SWISS
Turkish Airlines

And there are also some other great ways to search Star Alliance availability including both United.com and ANA, which is widely acknowledged as the best search engine for pulling in all Star Alliance award space even if it’s a bit clunky to use, as well as Aeroplan, which does a decent job. The one major downside is that you can’t set those seat alerts, which is an ultra-valuable tool to be able to call upon when trying to book hard-to-find awards in premium cabins that airlines might release at random times or one-by-one and timing is crucial. I sincerely hope that ExpertFlyer is able to bring Star Alliance award availability back online, though I’m not holding my breath. In the meantime, I’ll be looking at other search options and I suggest familiarizing yourself with them as well.

For more information, check out these posts:

Tips for Searching for Star Alliance Availability

How to Use the ANA Award Tool to Search for Star Alliance Availability

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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  • http://thehustleblog.com/ The #hustle Blog

    The Wandering Aramean’s Star Alliance Award Search tool now becomes A LOT more useful.

  • Playerx

    Is this due to Airlines fighting some kind of abuse that is done by people who use the availability information to aggressively game the system ?

  • Bill

    The points guy never brings good news anymore :-(

    If I were say, AA or JetBlue or some other airline, I would be riding this wave of devaluations and try to get publicity for INCREASING benefits and tools. There has to be money to be made in these points games, and when everyone else is cutting back, it might be the perfect opportunity for someone to step up.

  • Susan

    So why would we want to keep Expert Flyer at this point? I had just upgraded to the top membership level with them shortly after they included Star Alliance carriers, largely because I fly US Airways, therefore it became more useful to me. I think I need to check my membership and just let it expire unless all of this is rectified.

  • http://travelwithgrant.com/ Grant

    You can email them and ask for a refund. They pro-rated the refund and downgraded my account to the basic/free version.

  • ExpertFlyer Voice

    Susan, ExpertFlyer still has 9 Star Alliance airlines for Awards and Flight Alerts:
    Air Canada
    Air China
    Air New Zealand
    AVIANCA
    Brussels Airlines
    COPA
    Shenzhen Airlines
    SWISS
    Turkish Airlines

    All our other services (Flight Availability, Fares, Seat Maps, Seat Alerts, etc.) are unaffected by this change.

  • Antonio

    Swiss award availability is only for Miles&More members though, yes? I see an O seat on ExpertFlyer that I can’t see on United or ANA’s site.

  • Shannon

    Did Expertflyer ever get their search capabilities back?

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