In his weekly travel column, “ON THE FLY,” Nicholas Kralev wrote about StarNet blocking this week. First of all, if you haven’t checked out his column, I suggest doing so. He has a new topic every Monday, and his column is far more “advanced” than most when it comes to details and the topics he takes on within the travel/airline industry.
Anyway, this seems like the first official recognition of StarNet blocking by Star/LH/UA, so at least we know the UA agents are misinformed when they tell us each Star carrier is only allocated a certain amount of award inventory.
View from the Wing has an excellent analysis on the subject, and my main issue with the blocking is the same as his: it would be one thing if UA just blocked routes that UA also flies, but the blocking that occurs on so many routes that aren’t otherwise accessible by UA is the real problem.
This is a good time to start emailing UA about the blocking, and I would suggest keeping the complaints specific to routes which UA doesn’t serve. We’re making baby steps here. UA has admitted they do it, so now let’s slowly convince them to start unblocking. The fact that it has gotten some mainstream media attention is a great start.