United is undergoing massive improvements all-around. I just got back from a 2 week trip that included several flights on United and was really blown away by the changes, but more on that in a future trip report.
I do think that new CEO Oscar Munoz has done wonders to eliminate the poisonous culture that existed under Jeff Smisek. Some people thought it was odd that I was so happy when Smisek was forced out, but I mean there was impromptu cheering in the terminals from customers and parties in the employee crew lounges when the news broke, as reported in this great article from Bloomberg.
At any rate, in May of last year I was invited to preview and beta test the new United site. I wasn’t a fan.
In August I detailed some of the biggest issues and asked for your help in providing feedback and letting United know about them. There was no response from them and United went forward with ditching the old Continental site. Keeping the old Continental site was one of the only good moves they made in the merger, and then it was gone for good.
The new site gives United more ability to upsell during the booking process, so I understand why they wanted to move to it. But for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what they gained by eliminating the nonstop award calendar. After waiting this long and reaching out to every contact at United I figured there must be some reason why they got rid of it.
Finally today United fixed the nonstop award button. Previously if you clicked nonstop all it did was eliminate connecting flight options from the search results, but the calendar still displayed connecting availability. That meant you had to click on each individual date to see if nonstop saver awards were available, an incredibly time consuming process. I went through that process for every date when I reported several weeks ago about the amazing award space in all cabins on the 777 operating between Newark/Washington DC and LAX/SFO.
They still have coach saver and standard awards in the same column which is confusing for many folks, but I can live with that. Though I do wish they would bring back the Paypal hold or phone order hold options that the new site also got rid of 😀
EWR-TLV calendar showing connecting options:
But as of today you can click nonstop on the home page or on the award results page and the calendar will only display dates with nonstop saver award space.
The button on the award results page seems a bit buggy still. It doesn’t always properly limit the calendar to nonstop. And it always defaults the calendar back to the original dates rather than change the current calendar dates that you’re looking at. So you may want to stick with the nonstop button on the home page for now, but be sure to report any bugs using the site feedback button. The site feedback button is located in the middle of the right-side of United.com.
EWR-TLV new nonstop only calendar:
EWR-LAX showing connecting options:
EWR-LAX new nonstop only calendar:
Be sure you are logged into United.com if you are elite or if you have select United cards with an annual fee like the Chase United Explorer card, as that gives you expanded saver coach award space and last-seat standard award space in every class. It will only be reflected in the award calendar if you are logged in.
Another persistent bug has been that if you change the award search parameters on the search results page and then click another date on the calendar it has resulted in an error message forcing you to go back to the home page. I’ve reported that numerous times to United and that has finally been rectified as well.
Way to go United!