United Airlines has restored online award availability for TAP Air Portugal and Thai Airways. Singapore Airlines, however, is still missing.
It was a welcome relief to see Thai Airways and TAP Air Portugal award flights on united.com last night. The ability to book on these partners is particularly critical to MileagePlus members because TAP offers a critical, well…tap of award space to Europe while Thai offers an important link between Europe and Asia and within Asia, particularly SE Asia. It’s not that TAP or Thai are best in class. Rather, these two carriers simply offer more award space than most Star Alliance partners.
You will see the flights show up on united.com:
We still do not know what exactly happened. I’ve written about this issue since it began six weeks ago and have been in constant contact with United over 1.) what exactly happened and 2.) when it would be fixed. We just don’t know. United blames its partners for the issues, but there has been no issue booking TAP or Thai or Singapore Airlines using currency from other Star Alliance members. Instead, the problem was unique to United, making me think United was to blame.
But “blame” doesn’t really matter at this point. The TAP and Thai award space is back and hopefully back for good.
Singapore Airlines Still Offline
Singapore Airlines space is still not bookable online and apparently not over the phone either. A new message appears on united.com:
Singapore has always been problematic, though not for technical reasons. In 2013, United pulled Singapore award space from its website and blamed it on Singapore Airlines. In a rare public rebuttal, Singapore accused United of lying.
The argument then was over compensation rates for award flights and perhaps that is precisely the issue now as well. Let’s see how long it takes for the fix. I don’t recommend holding your breath. Back in 2013 it only took FOUR YEARS to bring the space back.
ANA is back. Thai is back. TAP is back. That’s progress. So good news today even as we wait on Singapore Airlines (and perhaps might as well just wait for Godot…).