Booking Germanwings with United Miles? Read this first

There are some things that just frustrate me and make me grow old quick(er).  Solicitors at the door on Saturday mornings, while I  try to eat breakfast, bananas that go black after a day you buy them, and this recent ordeal:’s failure to display TRUE availability for Germanwings flights!  I’m trying to book CGN-LHR-SFO-PDX, and I am NOT able to complete the booking with saver first availability, because (according to United), Germanwings is NOT releasing the seat. I even checked segment by segment, and United’s site shows full saver availability for the month of October for the route in question.


Now to give you a tad more info; I had the itinerary on HOLD, so I got cocky thinking everything’s good to go. When I went back to purchase it last night, it let me pick seats, put in payment info, and everything else necessary, and then right at the end–BOOM! NO Soup for YOU!

I called United and the lovely agent at first didn’t even know Germanwings was a “partner”. Since Germanwings is not a member of Star Alliance, I bet that raises eyebrows in confusion at the call center.  After putting me on hold for a few minutes, she came back (a lot less snippier this time), and tried to see if she could manually get that segment, but no dice. After some small-talk, she gave me this advice: the ticket is on hold until Wednesday evening 5:00PM my time (PST). I should check tonight and see if it will let me go through the purchase online. If not, I could call United, and ask them to request the seat, and they usually confirm it on the spot, or it takes a few hours, and it will automatically show confirmed. Now I have this itinerary still on hold, and it expires Wednesday evening 5:00PM PST, so I am hoping they will get drunk over there and release the seat to United, or make this process easier.  If not, I will have to wait it out and see if space opens up elsewhere.  I am simply looking for anything across the pond, and the rest should be easy.  This ticket is actually for my sweet dear Mom, and there is no way at her age she can bear the flight in coach for over 10 hours.  She has 80,000 points to play with anyways, so it would be a good redemption for her.

If you are planning to use United miles to fly around Germany, or out of Germany using Germanwings, just be prepared for something like this.  Now this is NOT going to happen on ALL Germanwings flights, and some itineraries just get booked online with no issues.  However, there are some like this one that takes some nudging.  Anyone else seen anything like this with United miles and Germanwings? I’d love to hear your story.


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