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We really enjoyed our trip to the Seychelles in 2009. Our first flight to the Seychelles was on SkyTeam, but we reported that this option no longer exists. So we’ve kept an eye on award availability for our return trip.
We got excited when United bookings became available through Qatar Airways and Ethiopian Airways. We also reported the other ways to book to Seychelles with other Star Alliance options.
Today, I was sitting in a club lounge chatting with a United flyer, Kevin, and we found United partner availability including Qatar and Ethiopian. What we found is interesting.
Our hypothesis was that Qatar Airways shows availability on the United website, but is not always available at booking. United still has to manually contact Qatar to find the availability, even when the website shows it as available and it is booked by the MileagePlus member.
We found and booked the availability and the results were interesting.
Spotting The United SEZ Availability Bug
Our first search for availability was on the direct route to the Seychelles from Doha on Qatar Airways. The business class availability on this award flight did not exist.
Finding & Booking The United Availability To Seychelles
Our second search for availability was a one-way flight from Dubai (DXB) to Sechelles (SEZ). This flight connects on the very same Qatar Airways flight from Doha that did not show availability.
Voila, award availability showed up in business class. The same Qatar Airways flght QR702 was available in business class. We booked a sample award booking and the reservation showed as “ticketed” at the time of this post.
Just to make sure the Dubai availability was not a fluke, we then searched from Frankfurt through Doha on the same Qatar Airways to Seychelles. Again, there was availability in business class.
Other Star Alliance Option To Seychelles
The other option to the Seychelles on Star Alliance is through ADD on Ethiopian Airlines. The best part is the flight is showing on a 787 if you fly through Dubai DXB. Although availability is open on this route, we couldn’t find business class or availability from ADD to SEZ.
To find the availability, you’ll need to play around the United website bugs to find availability.
Award availability was present on the United website to the Seychelles. We booked the award and it showed as ticketed. Kevin even received an email confirmation with the confirmation number.
Qatar availability appears to show as available on the United website. But United still has to manually request the availability from Qatar. Sometimes when you book online, an error will be generated and others you’ll get a confirmation that the reservation is ticketed.
In our example today, we were able to book the award online and view the reservation in the managed reservations location of Kevin’s account. But about an hour later when we plugged in the ticketed confirmation number, the reservation could not be retrieved since there were no flight segments. Usually flight reservations appear in the manage reservations section of your United account almost instantly, even if not ticketed.
We’ll monitor how United handles this reservation and report back. What do you think, will United ticket this reservation or will they cancel it outright?