Huge Improvement To United Award Search Tool

Filed Under: Awards, United

Star Alliance award availability became much tougher to search in 2015. The three websites most useful for searching Star Alliance award availability are those of Aeroplan, ANA, and United. Unfortunately both ANA and United made negative changes to their award search function in 2015 (though ANA undid some of those — I still don’t like it as much as the old site).

Perhaps the worst change United made is that they eliminated the ability to exclusively search nonstop award availability. What made it so great is that United lets you search two months of award availability at a time, so by being able to specify nonstop award availability only, you could get a good general sense of what award availability was like on a given route. Being able to search two months of award availability on a route with a single click was awesome.

But United eliminated that feature for a while, though it seems to finally be back. United’s website once again lets you exclusively search nonstop award availability.

You’ll see the option when you go to search for award availability.


Beyond that, on the results page you’ll se a button you can click, which says “Show only nonstop flight availability.” This will show you a calendar of availability for two months at a time, and it easily lets you search further months from the same page as well, with just one click.


While United’s website isn’t the most accurate for searching award availability, this does once again make it the easiest for the purposes of getting an overview of award availability, especially if you want to fly a specific route or airline. You can once again easily search an entire year of award availability on a route in a matter of minutes.

Bottom line

This change is the most positive development we’ve seen to searching Star Alliance award availability in a very long time. Being able to search nonstop availability on a single route for months at a time in seconds should make a lot of peoples’ lives easier, regardless of which Star Alliance carrier you’re looking to redeem your miles on.

Are you happy to see the nonstop award search option return to United’s website?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

  1. Finally! I was really irritated by this for the last couple months and am thrilled the nonstop option is back

  2. I was searching yesterday for a business class award on UA Star Alliance from Lisbon to LAX June 13th. I saw an Aer Lingus flight from Dublin to LAX was available so I tried to book it, For some reason, the Aer Lingus segment would not confirm although the website clearly said the flight was available. I called the UA Premier desk and they also could not get the Aer Lingus segment to confirm.
    Some friends have similar problems with “phantom” Aer Lingus availability on United’s website.
    Have you or anyone else had similar problems? This has been very frustrating and a big time waster since I have tried to book what appeared to be available award inventory that turns out to be phantom inventory.
    Thanks, Ed Scheibler
    Flight info below:
    Lisbon, PT (LIS) to Dublin, IE (DUB)
    10:30 am – 1:20 pm (2h 50m)
    EI 483 | Airbus A320
    1h 40m connection
    Dublin, IE (DUB) to Los Angeles, CA, US (LAX)
    3:00 pm – 6:00 pm (11h)
    EI 145 | Airbus A330-200

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