US Airways has made several aesthetic tweaks to their award chart over the past couple of months, which scares me. The fact that they made aesthetic changes to their award chart suggests they’re thinking about it, which isn’t a good thing since there’s only one direction award prices are headed.
Last month I noticed that the footnotes of their award chart were updated to say that redemptions aren’t available in Singapore Airlines premium cabins on aircraft featuring their new product, which makes sense since Singapore Airlines doesn’t release this space to their partner airlines.
However, in the past day or so they’ve added a further footnote to their award chart as follows:
Beginning January 1, 2013, award redemption in Lufthansa first class cabin is unavailable
For a very long time US Airways has been blocking Lufthansa first class award space to differing degrees. A few years ago they started blocking Lufthansa transatlantic award space, though for the past year or so I’ve found that they’ve been blocking all Lufthansa first class award space.
However, I’ve still been able to with some regularity get that space through a “manual sell.” So it’s just that the space doesn’t show up if the agents search, but if they manually request the flight number, date, and fare code, the space will come back as confirmed after they place the passenger information in the record (of course this requires finding an agent willing to do that).
So I’m not sure what this footnote really means. I would guess it just means “business as usual,” and they’ve added that footnote to manage peoples’ expectations. I suspect nothing has changed on the back end of their system so that agents physically aren’t able to book Lufthansa first class anymore. Perhaps another memo was sent out to agents not to book Lufthansa first class, though I question how many of them read those memos.
This is a logical enough clarification, though it’ll be interesting to see if there’s more to it, given the firm date of January 1 that they’ve put in there.