Reader Candice asks,
I’ve been looking at United.com for award space from USM [Koh Samui , Thailand] to Bangkok on Thai, and for the past 3 months this segment has not been bookable using MileagePlus miles for Business or Coach. However, there is no issue booking a HKT [Phuket] to Bangkok segment on Thai using MileagePlus miles on United.com
If I’m not mistaken— you’ve traveled to Koh Samui— any idea why a one-way segment from USM to BKK is not bookable using MileagePlus miles on United.com?
Samui is a great destination. But award seats, especially on Thai Airways, can be tough to come by.
Thai Airways has two flights and they’re on Boeing 737s. Bangkok Airways – which owns the Samui airport – has up to 20 flights a day between Bangkok and Samui.
Compare that to Thai Airways service to Phuket where they offer at least 9 flights a day (not including Thai Smile flights), with many of those operated by widebodies (Airbus A330s and Boeing 777s). I’ve flown the route on a 747 several times.
With only two flights a day to a popular resort destination, award seats can be tough to get. That said, it varies seasonally. Award space has also gotten easier as Thai Airways load factors have dropped lately.
And while United.com’s award searches are easy and useful, I don’t ever trust it as the final word on anything. I like Aeroplan’s website because it’s easy and generally accurate. Some prefer to use the ANA website.
Here’s a search for 2 economy award seats Bangkok – Koh Samui on Thai Airways in November. It’s available every day (though not at all in business).
Granted, November is rainy season…
If you can’t get the Thai Airways flights as part of a Star Alliance award ticket, consider:
- Japan Airlines Mileage Bank, a Starwood transfer partner, offers discounted awards on Bangkok Airways.
- The flights are fairly reasonable for purchase, here are roundtrips in November: