Alert: Schedule change or cancellation ADD-SEZ on ET

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Jenny & Curt, Dec 29, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    This is not United-specific, but since lots of folks are burning UA miles on partner travel in advance of the Great Changes, I thought I'd try it here. Anyone who is able, please feel free to move it to another thread.
    Booked November 15 an award for May-June 2014 IAD-YYZ-ADD-SEZ and then SEZ-ADD-IST and lots of other onward stuff, finally returning to SFO. We've been tweaking the "onward stuff" as availability shows up, and getting more and more of a schedule we like. Made one change on December 20th which got us back to SFO instead of IAH, for example.
    Then, on Christmas Day we found a better routing for a small piece of the return, and called to change it. The agent called it a "trip to Addis Ababa," rather than a "trip to the Seychelles," which was a bit weird so I called her on it. She said, "There's no travel from ADD-SEZ. It's just a trip to ADD on May 30, leaving June 9. Finally, she said, "Oh, the ADD-SEZ-ADD was cancelled." I said I had just changed the record on Dec. 20 and no one had mentioned anything. She looked and said, "It was cancelled December 23 at 10:30PM." Neither DH nor I received any notice from Ethiopian Airlines or United about it. I told her I could still see the flights on United and on ITA Matrix, but she said she wasn't able to. I went on Ethiopian's site, and sure enough, I got a "no flights on that day" message. I tried some alternate dates, but nothing. So, a planned trip to the Seychelles was looking more and more like a trip to Addis Ababa for 10 days, which was not in the cards for us.
    In the end, we cancelled this booking and made a completely new one to Europe for the same time period, but it appeared that this cancellation was not going to trigger any notice from ET or UA. The flights still don't seem to be available on ET's site. On ITA Matrix, all of the flights now available from ADD-SEZ now connect through NBO, JNB or DXB. So, if you have Star Alliance awards booked including ET to SEZ, please check your reservations.
     
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  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    ET is dropping SEZ as a destination. You caught it before any notification happened.
     
  3. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    It looks, when searching for trips, like Star Alliance routing to SEZ is virtually a thing of the past. (Maybe South African via Johannesburg?)
     
  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    SA doesn't serve SEZ. I believe *A is shut out again.
     
  5. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    ET and QR used to both serve SEZ. Your only alliance choice now is Kenya (SkyTeam). Even though QR joined OneWorld, they no longer fly to SEZ.
     
  6. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    This wouldn't book on a *A award, right?
    [​IMG] Johannesburg (JNB) to Mahe Island (SEZ) - Thu, May 22
    South African Airways 7210 Dep: 12:25PM Arr: 7:20PM 4h 55m Airbus A330 Economy (H)
    OPERATED BY ETIHAD AIRWAYS FOR AIR SEYCHELLES
     
  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Nope.
     
  8. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    I hate myself for saying this, the best option maybe to churn a couple of CCs to get the relevant reward

    Sent from a reasonably priced car.
     
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  9. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    True...but we realized once this happened that we had other destinations we were more interested in, for our *A miles. We had priced this one using AA miles, as we were interested in flying the Etihad product. We thought this *A award option a more reasonably priced option from the US, and decided to book it...but then realized, thanks to the cancellation, that it was not really an aspirational destination for us...we'd been chasing a hard product and chased it down a rabbit hole. So, it was refreshing to walk away and start all over.
     
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  10. ParanoiaTX
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    ParanoiaTX Gold Member

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    That's an HM (Air Seychelles) flight (not Etihad). They have an agreement with EY for operating their aircraft.

    HM uses the Etihad Guest program, so that may be the only way to book awards on HM flights.
     
  11. ParanoiaTX
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    ParanoiaTX Gold Member

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    This may be true, but I think there is also a system issue with UA not displaying updated info for ET flights.

    I flew LHR-ADD-SEZ last November and the actual flight times were quite different from what the UA reservation showed, even the day of the flight. Clearly UA had not gotten the schedule updates. Had I not checked EF, I would probably have missed the flight after spending the day in London.
     
  12. kebrow7

    kebrow7 New Member

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    This couldn't be more frustrating. I booked IAD ADD SEZ a few months ago, just happened to check the departure time on my reservation today, and saw that the flight had been dropped. Thanks for the notification, Star Alliance. I used points but it looks like there are no other options at this point. Any other recommendations into SEZ? It probably makes sense just to buy a full priced ticket now, as it's almost as expensive as connecting from another Star Alliance city (Frankfurt, Dubai, etc.). Any other ideas? Stop flying Star Alliance?
     
  13. ParanoiaTX
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    ParanoiaTX Gold Member

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    Well since you had a valid ticket, There should be some obligation of the ticketing carrier (UA?) to find you a different way to your destination. I'd certainly escalate first before giving up on that ticket.
     
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  14. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Or refund the ticket without penalty. That's what the CoC allows for.
     
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  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    (bolding added)

    how generous flyer friendly of them.
     
  16. kebrow7

    kebrow7 New Member

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    I originally booked with US Airways and unfortunately they aren't under obligation to find me another way there. It appears there is no other way on Star Alliance. US Airways blames Ethiopian Airways and EA doesn't care at all (at least as I have gold status on US they pretend to care). They do have to give back the miles (and fees) without penalty but it's not really a consolation as 1. I transferred miles to have enough to book two tickets--I'm sure they won't be refunding those fees and 2. opportunity cost of not buying a full fare earlier when it was cheaper. The WORST part is we're headed there for a friend's wedding and it looks like she and many of her guests were counting on the ADD to SEZ availability (as in had booked and paid for tickets). Frustrating.
     
  17. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    They could always get married in Addis Ababa! :) That's what my ticket ended up being, once the ADD-SEZ-ADD legs ceased to exist: 10 days in ADD.
     
  18. jcb193

    jcb193 New Member

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    I too got stung on this. Logged in to united to double check my massive RTW trip next year and low and behold, can't find the ticket! Called them, they assured me they sent out and email. Ethiopian airways told me to "call back in 15 days" as they will put me on another flight....whatever that means. SUPER PISSED!!! Had a 22 leg flight built around this stop, and spent a few hundred more than I needed to, to build this itinerary.

    Are you sure Ethiopian is dropping this destination? Any chance of waiting it out, or am I stuck with KA or Emirates??
     
  19. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Yes.
     
  20. jcb193

    jcb193 New Member

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    So I see that the only workaround is Kenya Airways (Skyteam) or emirates. I think I can book KA with delta miles, but is there anyway to realistically book an emirates flight with points? I've seen some paths to an emirates redemption, but seems really expensive. Any tips on what path to take to book an emirates flight?

    Thanks so much!!!!!
     
  21. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    AS has some decent Emirates redemption options, though I think those might only work from North America, not within the region.

    Also, Kenya Airways is KQ; KA is DragonAir out of Hong Kong.
     
  22. jcb193

    jcb193 New Member

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    Will contacting Ethiopian airlines accomplish anything?
     
  23. jcb193

    jcb193 New Member

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    Just an FYI, as I saw some people were cancelling trips. I was scheduled for SEZ-ADD, and I too never got the cancelation notice.
    I contacted Ethiopian airlines and they offered to put me on the Kenya Airlines Flight from SEZ-NBO-ADD. It only added about two hours travel time. They sent me a ticket and everything.
    I double checked the ticket with Kenya and they said it was invalid. I contacted E.A. again and they informed me that if I had originally had a paid ticket, they would accommodate me, but since I had an award ticket, they couldn't do anything. United told me to go pound sand (essentially).

    Moral of the story: If you paid for an EA ticket from SEZ-ADD, they might put you on the Kenya Airways flight.
     

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