Swiss, Adria, and Croatia Airlines award seats are now bookable on continental.com, meaning that 26/27 Star Alliance carriers can now be booked quickly and easily online. Only Ethiopian Airlines, which joined Star Alliance last December, is yet to be added.
Up until now, the use of the Air Canada/Aeroplan or ANA award search tool has been required to check award space on those three carriers, but Continental further establishes itself as an industry-leader in booking award travel online. I just got off the phone booking an SAS EuroBonus award for a client and the process was lengthy and annoying–having the ability to book online and get a good feel for availability with Continental’s two month-long award calendar may hurt my award consulting business, but it helps the average traveler and I continue to applaud Continental’s efforts to make their website user-friendly.
A word of caution, though: I have been getting a lot of false-positives lately on the Continental search tool, particularly on United, Continental, and Lufthansa flights. For example, Lufthansa A380 first class seats between FRA and NRT are showing on many dates, but they are not showing up on the ANA tool and are unbookable.
Oddly, some Continental and United flights are showing up with saver-space as well for everyone, even if the flight only has elite-restricted award space (Continental and United designate some additional awards seats at the saver level on select flights for elites). I thought the problem might be that I just did not fully log-out of my account, but even in trying a search on a friend’s computer, the seats came up (and were unbookable when I tried to complete the booking with a non-elite OnePass number).
With Swiss, Adria, and Croatia all added to Continental’s online booking engine, searching for award space is now even easier. And take a look at Swiss availability between Geneva and New York in business class during the summer–it’s not bad!