Update: United confirmed it will not be waiving phone booking fees for these awards.
United finds yet another way to screw it’s customers over. Forget the fact that United recently announced a major devaluation of it’s award program – effectively eliminating first class redemptions on partner airlines and increasing the number of miles required to fly on United metal. Today, United announced that starting tomorrow they will no longer be displaying Singapore Airlines award availability online. This is a baffling move for several reasons. First of all, it’s not going to discourage most of us from pursuing those redemptions. It’s only going to make it more difficult. Second, their call center is going to be busier than ever, not to mention poorly trained and unable to assist customers with simply bookings. If you’re not equipped to handle a change, why implement it?
Based on the announcement, it seems this is something Singapore and United decided together. Still, this isn’t good PR for United at all. If you’re going to roll out one piece of bad news after another, pace yourself. And don’t do it in the midst of a #friendlyskies campaign.
In short, if you’re looking to redeem an award with Singapore Airlines in the coming days, you have until tomorrow before you have to start calling in and explaining basic geography to United customer service reps.
What are your thoughts on this move?