Last month I noted that United is blocking partner award space on Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, and TAP Air Portugal. The problem has not been resolved.
United still blames technical issues on the partner side for this problem and will not commit to a timeframe for when the problem will be fixed. I reach out to United often on this and receive the following canned response:
Both United and our partners are eager to resolve this issue and we’re working to do so. This remains a priority.
Obviously, I follow up with more specific questions but those are ignored. I realize United doesn’t want to tie itself down to one date, but wish it would provide more insight on the specific nature of the problem.
Every day that this space is unavailable marks a devaluation of your United miles. When your miles can take you to fewer places, they are worth less. The sad thing is that award space on Singapore, Thai, and TAP is often much better than other partners. These are not meaningless partners, but critical ones on the redemption side.
One Workaround for Thai Airways
I’m going anecdotally from several accounts on Flyertalk, but customers have reported success booking Thai Airways award space over the phone by finding the right agent. Use the Aeroplan or Avianca LifeMiles website to check for available space, then call United and ask an agent to search for it. While hardly an ideal solution, that at least provides a way to reserve awards in SE Asia.
I’m writing about this primarily to keep the pressure on United to address this problem. It is easy to say “we’re working on it” but that does not fix the problem. For whatever it is worth, I’ll keep the pressure on United until this issue is solved.