How to pick Thai award seats online as part of a partner award

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The first thing I do after booking an award including a partner airline is to obtain the partner airline-specific confirmation number so that I can confirm the reservation was ticketed properly and pick seats.  In some cases United will display the partner airlines confirmation number immediately such as Lufthansa but most other airlines are never displayed and require a phone call.

Award flights involving one of the studs of the Star Alliance, Thai Airways do not display a confirmation number online.  When you do receive the number, Thai’s website will allow you to view the reservation online and even order a meal in First Class but it will not let you select a seat.

I have been itching to try out First Class on one of the new Thai A380’s so I booked an award home using United miles the fun way, via Europe.  Currently, Thai operates A380s to Narita, Hong Kong, Paris and Frankfurt.  At first I booked a ticket from Bangkok to Narita on the A380 but on further thought decided a short or medium haul flight was cheating because I wanted to experience the true long haul.  When space opened up on the flight to Paris last week I jumped on that and then this week a more convenient flight opened up to Frankfurt so I grabbed that one.

The upside of my indecision was that I had three opportunities to confirm a simple trick of picking seats on Thai Airways. 

Thai Airways has an incredibly responsive team responding to their email alias below.

In three attempts to request seats on three different days via email, I had a response within 8, 12 and 20 minutes acknowledging my requested change.  I logged on immediately to see the change was executed properly.

The bottom line

If you want to avoid talking to people like me, use Thai Airways incredibly responsive reservations team out of LA the next time you are looking to assign your seats on an international award reservation.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

About alex

Alex loves to travel and does so a lot. Logging 100,000 flight miles each year over the past 4 years, Alex uses points and miles to power his passion. Alex is continuously striving to experience the far reaches of the globe. In his day job, Alex is a Management Consultant frequently on the road advising Technology organizations. I love thinking about, reading about, and talking about all things travel. Feel free to reach me at

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  1. Thanks for the 411 🙂
    I have another A380 F flight out of FRA and will email them. What seat did you select? The last row of F you can hear noise from J galley and 1A you get washroom traffic. Best seats are 1K or 2K from my experience.

  2. Any follow up advice on booking partner awards from Bangkok to/from Koh Samui?

  3. Hi i recently flew bkk to fra a380 thai business, united couldnt give me confirmation number only the ticket number, can you verify you did get a confirmation number for thai from united and how long after booking did you get it thanks

  4. Thanks for the tip. When previously I’ve called Thai on the phone they could only put a request in for seats (not specific seat numbers). The LAX email above was incredibly helpful and fast to get the exact seats I’d requested. Got our 2 First center seats (1E & 1F) on the two A380 flights for next January!

  5. @JakePB – The Thai awards from BKK-USM (Koh Samui) weren’t readily available when I was booking my award 10 months out. So I put a seat alert with ExpertFlyer and just yesterday it came available. Change fee of $75/pp with United to add the segment into my reservation, but it was cheaper than buying the segments full price; plus I got business class since I was on a First award.

  6. @Jeremy – Not sure but certainly worth a quick email.

    @VM – I had 1K on the BKK-CDG flight but switched to 3K on the BKK-FRA since it was the only window available. Will let you know how that goes.

    @sajid – Just email Thai with your United confirmation and they will provide their own confirmation number.

    @TrAAveller – Well done! You can’t beat First in an A380.

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