It seems that SkyTeam is finally getting on board with the theory that having all members use common fare buckets for award bookings makes life easier for everyone. A couple weeks ago it was confirmed that Vietnam Airlines is updating their booking classes on April 1, 2013. Next up would appear to be China Eastern Airlines. Effective July 1, 2013 the carrier will be using the same booking classes – X for economy awards and O for business awards – as Vietnam Airlines and most other SkyTeam members.
I ran a couple quick checks on my award inventory search tools and was surprised to find that China Eastern wasn’t among the airlines included in the list. I have access to the inventory so there is no reason to be excluding them. Needless to say, I’ve righted that problem. They will now be an available option on the award search and award alert tools. Like most of the other award searches the UI isn’t particularly beautiful, but the data should be accurate.
Also of note is that I expect the Shanghai Airlines award classes to change at the same time. They are currently the same as those of China Eastern, which makes sense since Shanghai is owned by China Eastern. Based on that assumption I’ve updated my award search tools for both carriers, not just the one.