What’s Going on with United Awards on Swiss?

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I stumbled into what appears to be a recurring issue with Swiss awards booked with United MileagePlus.

Swiss awards come and go in terms of showing availability on the United website. Sometimes these are booking fine, such as last Thursday I ticketed a trip that includes Swiss for Nairobi-Zurich. It was booked on the website and issued immediately.

On Saturday I tried again to book the same flight as part of a different trip. The ticket was not issued and when I went to the reservation page, this error showed, “There is a delay in the issuance of your ticket(s)…:

There is a delay SwissImportant to note that I never got an email or call from United of the issue. Then when I let it wait for Swiss, the reservation crumbled as the TAP and Ethiopian segments cancelled themselves out, leaving only United and the Swiss that would not issue.

I called up the United 1K line and the Houston-based agent said Swiss has been doing this a lot. “If they go on waitlist, they aren’t going to ticket.” Indeed, even intra-Europe anything she tried went to waitlist and then failed, so we went to a backup Lufthansa option that ticketed immediately.

According to the agent this has been going on for some time. At least by calling rather than relying on the website you can know in real-time what works and what is going to implode.

Readers, do you have an insight on this issue? Are other United partners doing this?

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6 years ago

This completely screwed me last year on a semi last minute PVG-ZRH-MAD reservation.