Just yesterday I got this e-mail from United
Starting today, we’re making it easier to use miles for award travel on Star Alliance(R) airline partners. Now on united.com, you can book Star Alliance Awards on U.S.
Here’s what’s new:
-Continental Airlines and US Airways – two of our largest airline partners – are the first Star Alliance airline partners available online for award travel.
-You can depart on one airline partner and return on another – all on the same online reservation.
More Star Alliance airline partners will become available on united.com throughout 2010. We’re also getting ready to introduce more enhancements to mileageplus.com. Stay tuned.
Which is great except for the fact that the current loophole just closed. It was widely known on the Star Alliance airline forums on FlyerTalk that one could create a frequent flyer account with ANA and search reward availability on star alliance partner airlines. Aside from what United decided to Starnet Block, this was a good indicator of what to suggest when calling into the Mileage Plus hotline. ANA just changed so only accounts with points can search partner availibility. United gives us the ability to look at CO and US Airways online, but there is no easy way to see other partners. Time to sacrifice some hotel points to ANA to give me access to that search again.