While United has never really blocked Brussels Airlines award space, it hasn’t been searchable on united.com So you’d have to use another website — like the Aeroplan website or ANA tool — to find Brussels Airlines award space, and then call United to complete the booking.
Well, it appears as if that has changed, as united.com now shows Brussels Airlines award space. For example, here’s the calendar for searching nonstop award space between New York JFK and Brussels (the only United partner flying the route nonstop is Brussels Airlines):
And when you click on individual dates you’ll see the availability matches:
Brussels Airlines has actually always had very good business class award space. I’m not sure if that’s largely because the award space didn’t show on united.com (after all, making the booking process easy is a double edged sword for the savvy among us), as that’s certainly a possibility.
As a reminder, Brussels Airlines flies nonstop to Brussels from New York JFK and Washington Dulles. I flew them last year from New York to Brussels, and quite enjoyed my flight. They have fully flat staggered seats in business class (which aren’t my favorite, but aren’t my least favorite either), and well above average service and catering.
This would have been much more useful before the United devaluation, given that the cost of a one-way partner airline business class award between the US and Europe went from 50,000 miles to 70,000 miles. Comparatively the value of a one-way partner airline business class award to Asia is much better at 75,000 miles, given that they’ll let you route via Europe.
Unfortunately United’s website still doesn’t display LOT Polish award space.
You’ve gotta wonder if the award space was intentionally only added after the devaluation. Okay, you don’t really have to wonder, the answer is pretty obvious…
(Tip of the hat to Sahib)
Just goes to show they could have likely shown Brussels award space before the deval easily.
@ Ken -- Looks like united.com pulled Brussels space again unfortunately. Odd.
I checked several days in November and there are no Brussels Airlines flights at all, and nothing nonstop from JFK-BRU. It's as if United isn't showing anything from Brussels Airlines.
UA also started showing SK availability after the deval.
Too bad UA has made it nearly impossible to connect West-East on UA Saver J
@ JMSL -- Wish I could help, though sadly didn't have a chance to look at the bulkhead when I flew them Sorry!
Lucky, somewhat off-topic, but after reading your review of SN I'm trying to figure out what seat to choose for my IAD-BRU flight this June. I'm tallish (6'1") and traveling alone. Right now I've got 1K, which is one of the "throne" seats, but I'm hoping it won't have the same "foot cubby" issue you had since it's in the bulkhead and not behind another set of seats. Any recollection or idea of whether the Row 1 "throne" seats have more foot room?
Honestly this is bad news. Brussels was great when it was under the radar...
@ Lark -- To be clear, ultimately availability isn't better, it's just that it's easier to book online. This is the same space they had before the devaluation, United is just choosing to display it on their website now.
@ Bart -- Whoops, thanks. Not sure how I messed that up!
I've had the same experience- no SN award space from the US to Europe. I usually continue to NSI (Yaounde, Cameroon). Even on that next leg, BRU-NSI, there is seldom business class available until 1-2 weeks before the flight. Thing is, every flight, whether originating in BRU or NSI, I've never seen a very full business class. So MileagePlus is probably blocking from the US to Europe but even beyond Europe they seem to only offer SN seats very close to the date.
Lucky - Could this be a direct result of the devaluation?
In looking for a silver lining, if *A partner award availability becomes much more prevalent as a result of the increased prices, that is a minor win.
BRU-ORD FLTS ARE ON UA
Needed this 2 months ago! Better late than never I guess.
Good to know, thanks for info
Ben, Brussels Airlines doesn't service ORD, yet. Thanks :)
As an Aeroplan collector I have to say THIS SUCKS!