both unicorns and snuffaluffagus appeared at the same time Air New Zealand business class awards between the US and Auckland opened up.
The quickest, easiest way to see award availability across a period of time is to use the United website, which doesn’t require you to log in and will show you two months’ at a time (although intentionally doesn’t let you see all partners).
However the award availability calendar hasn’t been entirely reliable. One issue is that when you say you only want to see non-stop flights, the calendar would show availability when there was only connecting space (all the non-stop option would do was filter out connecting results when you clicked on a given date and looked at specific itineraries).
As a result, when looking at Air New Zealand flight awards, while there was no award availability on their new Houston flight the award calendar showed availability most days over the next two months. That’s because there were connecting options Houston – Los Angeles (or San Francisco) – Auckland even when searching for non-stop space only. As I wrote,
[I]f you pull up the Houston flight you see the same calendar. It’s because while there’s plenty of Air New Zealand award space available between the US and Auckland over that six week period, the United award calendar is broken. Even when you specify non-stop only, the calendar will show connecting availability.
Fortunately United has fixed the nonstop award search option.
Here’s a search for one passenger Washington Dulles – Brussels:
Then, on the calendar, I can click to limit the display to dates with non-stop availability only.
Within seconds I get a two month view of non-stop availability on the route, and of course I can scroll month-by-month. Great job, United!
Now if only they would add support for all Star Alliance partners like Aeroplan and ANA manage and stop showing economy saver and standard awards in the same column I’d be even more thrilled. Although I assume they view some limitations as a feature rather than a bug.
(HT: Dan’s Deals)