An Eventual End to United’s Starnet Blocking?

At the Star Alliance MegaDO it was revealed that the Star Alliance website will be offering an award search tool to display award seat availability across the alliance.

If Star makes member award seats transparent, it will be very hard for United to remain the only Star member blocking awards. The alliance itself will be marketing that you can find award seats on its website and call your member program, and then Mileage Plus members would call to be told “that flight doesn’t exist” and “awards aren’t being offered.” That can’t last.

Already Continental is building excellent IT capability for partner award search into its website. And this will shine the light, somewhat, on United’s blocking efforts. It’s not just users of the All Nippon Airways website, anymore, that know the difference between awards not being offered and United not letting its members book award seats that are being offered.

But an official Star Alliance report on award seats will be difficult for United to argue with.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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