United.com Not Displaying Copa Award Space

Filed Under: Awards, Copa

South America has never been the Star Alliance’s strong point, but it’s even weaker now than before. Previously TAM was in Star Alliance (not that they released much award space), but due to their merger with LAN, they transitioned over to oneworld.

Now they have Avianca and Copa. Copa doesn’t exactly have a great product, but does have a useful route network. They have a hub in Panama City, which means you’re basically two 5-6 hour flights away from anywhere in the US to anywhere in South America. I’ve also always wanted to visit Panama City, so it’s a good opportunity for a stopover there.

Award space on Copa is generally excellent as well, in both business and economy class.

COPA’s new business class

I’m not sure if it’s new or not, but reader Jason pointed out that united.com is no longer displaying Copa award space. That used to be the easiest place to search Copa award space, especially since it would easily show you connections and availability on a calendar display.

Interestingly all the other websites that previously showed Copa award space still do.

You can use the LifeMiles website to search Copa award space:


Or the Aeroplan website:


Or the ANA website:


I do wonder whether united.com not showing Copa award space is intentional or a mistake. For example, united.com doesn’t show Brussels or LOT award space either, and that ends up being a blessing, since it means those two airlines generally have more award space (I don’t think that can entirely be attributed to the space not showing on united.com, but I’m sure it contributes).

On the other hand, United intentionally stopped displaying Singapore award space late last year. United claimed it was a decision both airlines agreed to, though Singapore claimed they had no part in it. My guess is that United wasn’t wanting to pay Singapore’s award reimbursement rates, and as a result wanted to do everything they could to limit redemptions. Or it could be something completely different.

Hopefully united.com shows Copa award space again soon.

  1. I find it hard to believe that this would be intentional. Mileage plus is also Copa’s mileage program, and Copa’s website directs you to united.com to book awards.

  2. I flew Copa from Mexico City to Pánama and I must say I was pleasantly surprised by their hard offering. It’s been a couple of years ago (around 5), but they already had USB-ports for each passenger and in-flight entertainment on flights of around 2 hours. Haven’t tried their business class, though.

  3. I booked a couple of flights on CM using TP miles, three weeks ago. When I started searching for space, a bit over a month ago, I used MP website and it was working fine. When I tried to check the flights before booking, it wasn’t anymore. As Chris said in a previous comment, it is specially weird given that MP is CM’s FFP.

  4. I noticed this happening on the 22nd when I saw the availability from SJO to BOS through PTY and I would get an error message when attempting to purchase online. The availability was still showing up as of the morning if the 23rd but when I got home that night there was no Copa space showing up at all. When I called in the rep said they had received a memo earlier.in the day to not charge a phone fee to book on copa because it was not showing up online. The problem I had was that they couldn’t find me the award space that was previously showing up. This seems like too much of a coincidence that it would all of a sudden disappear…

  5. Looks temporary. Found this message on the Copa website:

    “Dear Customers: Due to a temporary problem with our ticketing issue process, MileagePlus award ticket bookings are not available at United.com for flights operated by Copa Airlines. In the meantime, please contact reservations and we’ll be happy to assist you. Contact Reservations.”

    Hope its fixed soon. In the past, I’ve found great availability on Copa for flights to PTY (and beyond) with my United MP miles.

  6. How does one actually know when this ‘new business’ class is in place? It would be nice to fly such renovated (technically speaking it’s just updated a bit) Copa when Avianca is not available whenever we have to fly to Quito with my family 🙂

  7. The new business class are only featured on the new Boeing 737-800 with 154 seats. Usually, they flight to premiun long-haul routes from PTY to JFK, LAX, GIG, SAO, BUE and SCL. It is pretty comfortable and angle lie flat seat is fine, you have your own vod and an amenity kity for flight more than 5.5 hours.

  8. The “new” CM business class is offered on their 738-B. It is NOT angled lie flat, but a recliner seat with 53″ pitch and a footrest. It’s better than domestic F, and reasonably comfortable for sitting, but not so great for sleep. The AVOD is a couple generations behind – tiny pop-up screen.

  9. It appears that COPA availability has now disappeared from Aeroplan as well, still showing on ANA though.

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