Thinking of a European getaway or ski vacation in the New Year?
United Airlines is having a sale on award tickets to Europe this winter. You can save 20% off the number of miles required for a round-trip, coach class saver award ticket to 9 European cities.
Tickets must be booked by December 4, 2014, for travel between January 12, 2015, and March 12, 2015.
But there are restrictions! I’ll explain.
What’s the Deal?
You’ll pay 20% fewer points for a round-trip, coach class saver award ticket between the US & Canada and Europe. Normally, saver award tickets cost 60,000 miles plus taxes and fees. Standard award tickets don’t qualify for the discount.
So with this sale, you’ll pay 48,000 miles plus taxes and fees for a ticket.
Flights must be on United Airlines or United Express (not Star Alliance or other partners, like Air Canada or Lufthansa). The following European cities are included:
- Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Brussels, Belgium
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Geneva, Switzerland
- Hamburg, Germany
- London, UK
- Munich, Germany
- Paris, France
- Zurich, Switzerland
You can book between now and December 4, 2014, for travel between January 12, 2015, and March 12, 2015. But this sale is only valid for flights on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
There are other restrictions:
- Tickets must be purchased at least 21 days in advance
- Only coach class, saver award tickets are eligible for the discount
- The sale is for round-trip tickets, but open jaws are allowed (for example, you could fly to London and return from Paris)
- Stopovers are NOT permitted
- You can combine a discounted saver award ticket 1-way, and a standard award on the return (or vice versa)
I checked the United Airlines website and there are still lots of saver level award tickets available from January to March 2015. You’ll still pay taxes and fees on the ticket.
For example, a round-trip saver award ticket between Chicago and Frankfurt in February costs 48,000 miles and ~$127. And to compare, the same itinerary costs $1,236 as a paid ticket.
If you don’t have United Airlines miles, you could transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines at a 1:1 ratio.
You Could Do Better With Other Sales
While 48,000 miles for a United Airlines award ticket isn’t bad, you could get a better deal by booking Flying Blue Promo Awards on Air France and KLM, or a US Airways off-peak award ticket. But these are only from a select few cities.
You could save up to 50% on a coach class ticket to Europe from certain US destinations with Flying Blue Promo Awards. Included cities change every month, and you’ll pay as few as 25,000 miles for a round-trip ticket.
However, you’ll likely pay more in taxes and fees, because Flying Blue adds fuel surcharges to award tickets.
And if you have the Barclaycard US Airways MasterCard, you could fly to Europe in January or February for as little as 30,000 miles round-trip in coach class! If you’re not a cardholder, you’ll pay 35,000 miles (which is still a good deal).
As always, do the math and see what’s a better deal for you.
You can save 20% off round-trip, coach class saver award tickets to Europe this winter with United Airlines’ award seat sale.
Normally, round-trip tickets cost 60,000 miles. But with this sale, you can book a ticket for 48,000 miles, plus taxes and fees.
This isn’t a bad deal, but there are cheaper ways to get to Europe this winter. You’ll pay fewer miles with Flying Blue Promo Awards or US Airways off-peak award tickets. But you might pay more in taxes and fees.
Are you thinking about a European winter getaway? Will you book a ticket through this deal?