So, for example, I wanted to have United Airlines ticket the following routing from Portland, OR to Tokushima, Japan;
- Portland (PDX) to San Jose, CA (SJC) on Alaska Airlines (non-Star Alliance carrier)
- SJC to Tokyo Narita (NRT) on ANA (Star Alliance carrier)
- Tokyo Haneda (HND) to Tokushima (TKS) on ANA (Star Alliance carrier)
- TKS to HND on ANA (Star Alliance carrier)
- NRT to SJC on ANA (Star Alliance carrier)
- SJC to PDX on Alaska Airlines (non-Star Alliance carrier)
You can't get this routing to show up by just using the United Airlines website. So, it you want United to ticket this itinerary (using the United website), how do you do this? Here's how:
1. Use Hipmunk (hipmunk.com).
2. On Hipmunk, create a "multi-city" itinerary using the following specifications:
FROM: PDX::AS SJC NH
[This means From Portland, OR (PDX) to San Jose, CA (SJC) on Alaska Airlines (AS), then one leg on ANA (NH) to Tokyo, Narita (NRT).]
FROM: NRT::NH SJC AS
Select the appropriate flights from the results. When the itinerary is assembled, hit the "Book" button and Hipmunk will normally send you to the United website where the itinerary will be generated. You can then can book the ticket directly with United.
Hipmunk will not always send you to the United website for booking; it might send you instead to other booking sites such as Orbitz or Expedia. Where you get sent depends on the specific itinerary that you've built.
If Hipmunk doesn't do it for you, you can also follow the instructions at the following webpage to generate an itinerary on the United website for booking.
Though it's a little more complex, this option works well.