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United’s statement sums up the current issues:
“We’ve been in contact with our partners at ANA who have confirmed that there is an issue with ability to send us award availability. We anticipate this issue being fixed in the coming days. During this time, award availability for ANA flights will not display on United.com or the United app.”
Fortunately, it’s easy enough to find award availability via ExpertFlyer, and you can call United’s reservations line at 800-864-8331 to book (be sure to ask the agent to waive the $25 fee, since ANA cannot currently be booked online).
Far more concerning is United’s ongoing issue booking any award flights operated by Singapore Airlines, TAP or Thai — and, unlike ANA flights, these three carriers can’t be booked via United’s call centers, either.
It does seem that this issue is unique to United, though — I had no problem pulling up Thai first class via Aeroplan, although you’ll need to redeem far more miles for that particular flight via Air Canada’s program.
A spokesperson was willing to shed a little more light on the issue, but it’s clear a solution won’t be implemented overnight:
“We are working diligently with our partners on a solution. It is not our intention to limit awards, as demonstrated by our flexibility in booking channels, the Excursionist Perk and our lower short haul intra region awards. This anomaly requires time to fix, working with IT systems across multiple carriers, and it is our collective goal to have availability back in a manner that ensures the entire booking and ticketing process is in line with customer expectations.”
While United would like to direct your attention to redemption options that are currently available — including the Excursionist Perk — the fact remains that airline loyalists are surely at a disadvantage, considering you can book these partners through other Star Alliance programs, including Aeroplan.
Featured image of ANA first class by Ethan Steinberg.
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