Since January 15, 2019, United MileagePlus members haven’t had access to award availability on Singapore Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, and Thai Airways.
This wasn’t just a temporary glitch, but was an intentional outage, and a memo was sent to reservations agents regarding this. United claimed that the issue was because some partner award tickets weren’t confirming correctly, so they pulled those partners for the time being to avoid further issues.
It’s worth noting that over six weeks later, MileagePlus has restored award redemptions on TAP Air Portugal and Thai Airways.
That means at this point MileagePlus just doesn’t have access to Singapore Airlines awards, and that’s noted when you do an award search.
On the plus side, I’d say Singapore’s lack of award availability is the least problematic of the bunch. That’s because Singapore Airlines only makes a vast majority of their premium cabin longhaul award space available to members of their own KrisFlyer program.
However, no doubt having Singapore Airlines as a partner is still useful for shorthaul travel, where they do make some space available to partners.
I’m still skeptical about what caused this problem, and United’s lack of actions to fix this:
- United was the only Star Alliance airline that blocked access to redemptions on these airlines
- Even if there was a legitimate issue of some sort (which I believe is possible), it shouldn’t take over six weeks to resolve it
MileagePlus members can once again redeem for Thai first class
So we’ll probably never know exactly what happened, though at a minimum I think it’s safe to assume that United didn’t make fixing this problem a priority.