It would seem that the rules continue to change, and not in our favor. As a follow-on to the April rules change about North America to South Asia via Europe it now appears that a similar rule exists for flights between North America and Australia/New Zealand/Oceania. Agents are citing a 1 August 2013 memo outlining the new rules. Similar to the prior change the new rule claims 3 connections max on a one-way award and four each direction on a round-trip. Somewhat entertainingly, the United Twitter team claims that this has always been the rule and that awards must adhere to revenue fare rules and that it has long been that way. There are a whole lot of bad things about this change, even for people who haven't focused on stretching awards to the max. Many airports don't have non-stop service to TPAC gateways and award seats on the more direct options are hard to come by (and likely that gets worse as the aircraft are down-gauged). A few weeks ago both of these awards would have been considered valid. Now only one is. That's bad news pretty much any way I can figure.