I have a DEN-IAD-AMS in C on the 27th, but I’d rather go LH DEN-FRA-AMS.
It SHOWS Availability on ANA, but I cannot get UA to pull up a seat.
There’s no foolproof way to circumvent StarNet but what you want is for the agent to do a manual sell of the segment you’re looking for, essentially sending a message to the other airline asking if there’s availability, and if there is then it should come back as confirmed. But agents aren’t supposed to do this, really.
I suggest asking something along the lines of,
I talked to another agent today about a different itinerary, and she said there were some problems with the award booking system and she’d have to request the flights manually. I gave her the flight number and then it confirmed.
In other words, non-threatening. And there’s at least some chance you’ll get the flight you’re looking for (if it shows up as being available in other systems).
Update: Score! This reader writes back,
I tried 6 times, and finally got an agent to do it.
She said she wasn’t supposed to do a “manual request” and that they had been scolded for doing so, but she did it! Now Luftansa all in business class! Much better routing!
Thanks so much!