Changes to United Airlines Awards – What You Need to Know

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Changes to United Airlines Awards – What You Need to Know

Million Mile SecretsChanges to United Airlines Awards – What You Need to KnowMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Changes are coming to the United Airlines frequent flyer program!

Via The Points Guy, effective November 1, 2017, United Airlines will introduce new award pricing.  They’ll replace “Standard Awards,” which currently have a fixed price, with “Everyday Awards” that will vary in price.

Additionally, some United Airlines and partner awards will become more expensive, with a handful going down in price.

And if you don’t show up for an award flight and later choose to redeposit your miles, they’re introducing a $125 no-show redeposit fee.

Changes To United Airlines Awards What You Need To Know
Starting November 1, 2017, United Airlines Will Change How It Prices Award Flights. And Some Awards Will Cost More Miles!

I’ll explain the changes!

United Airlines Award Chart Changes

Link:   United Airlines MileagePlus Updates

Link:   Current United Airlines Award Chart

Link:   New United Airlines Award Chart

Here’s what to expect from United Airlines starting November 1, 2017.

1.   New “Everyday Awards”

Currently, United Airlines has 2 award levels – “Saver” and “Standard.”

Starting November 1, 2017, United Airlines will replace “Standard” awards with “Everyday” awards.  These awards will vary in price but will be capped at a maximum number of miles.

As long as you book before November 1, 2017, your flights will be priced using the old award chart (regardless of your travel dates).  Bookings made on or after November 1, 2017, will be under the new rules.

For example, you’ll currently pay 25,000 United Airlines miles for a one-way coach standard award within the mainland US and Canada.  Once the changes take effect, the everyday award price will fluctuate, but will be capped at 32,500 United Airlines miles one-way.

Changes To United Airlines Awards What You Need To Know
Standard One-Way Coach Awards Within the US Currently Cost 25,000 United Airlines Miles. Starting November 1, 2017, They Could Cost up to 32,500 United Airlines Miles

Other routes will see similar changes.  Standard one-way coach award flights between the US and Europe currently cost 65,000 United Airlines miles.  Under the new system, you’ll pay as much as 70,000 United Airlines miles.

You can see the new everyday award pricing here.

2.   Changes to Saver Awards

Some saver award prices are going up.  For example, on United Airlines:

  • One-way Business Class saver awards between the US and Europe will increase to 60,000 United Airlines miles, from 57,500 United Airlines miles
  • One-way First Class saver awards between the US and North Asia will increase to 90,000 United Airlines miles, from 80,000 United Airlines miles
  • One-way Business Class saver awards between the US and Australia / New Zealand will increase to 80,000 United Airlines miles, from 70,000 United Airlines miles

Note:   Certain Business and First Class partner award flights will cost more as well.

Changes To United Airlines Awards What You Need To Know
Headed Down Under? You’ll Pay 10,000 United Airlines Miles More Each Way in Business Class After the Changes Take Effect

United Airlines is also increasing the price of certain “premium” Business and First Class domestic routes.  These are routes where they’ve upgraded the Business and First Class cabins with amenities such as lie-flat seats.  The routes are:

  • Chicago, Denver, Houston, Newark, and Washington, DC to Hawaii
  • Los Angeles and San Francisco to Newark
  • Boston to San Francisco

For example, you’ll currently pay 25,000 United Airlines miles one-way in Business Class between Newark and San Francisco.  After the changes, you’ll pay 35,000 United Airlines miles for a saver award ticket on the same route.

3.   Cheaper Partner Short-Haul Awards

United Airlines currently has lower pricing for flights 700 miles or less within the mainland US and Canada.  You’ll pay 10,000 United Airlines miles one-way in coach, compared to 12,500 United Airlines miles on longer routes.  But you must fly United Airlines or United Express.

From November 1, 2017, United Airlines will introduce short-haul pricing for partner awards.  For flights 800 miles or less on partners outside the US, you’ll pay 8,000 United Airlines miles one-way in coach.

Changes To United Airlines Awards What You Need To Know
Visiting Europe? You’ll Soon Be Able to Book Coach One-Way Flights of 800 Miles or Less for 8,000 United Airlines Miles on Partners Like Lufthansa

This is a nice change for folks who use United Airlines miles to fly on partners in regions like Europe and Asia.

4.   New No-Show Fee for Award Flights

United Airlines will introduce a new $125 no-show fee for folks who fail to show up for an award flight and want to redeposit their miles.

Currently, you’ll only pay a standard redeposit fee (waived for Premier 1K and Global Services elite members).  But after November 1, 2017, you’ll pay an additional $125 if you don’t cancel before the flight departs.

This won’t be an issue if you cancel your award flight instead of not showing up at the airport.

Bottom Line

United Airlines is making changes to their award chart starting November 1, 2017.

They’ll replace “Standard” awards with variable-priced “Everyday” awards.  There will be a cap on the maximum number of miles required, but many awards (both on United Airlines and partners) will increase in price.

Certain United Airlines and partner Business and First Class awards are going up in price, too.  But they’re also introducing lower partner short-haul coach pricing on flights 800 miles or less outside of the US.

And from the same date, you’ll pay a $125 fee to redeposit your miles if you don’t show up for an award flight.  By canceling beforehand (rather than being a no-show) you’ll avoid the fee.

What do you think about United Airlines’ changes to their frequent flyer program?

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I primarily use points combined with money to request upgrade to biz from ORD to BKK. With a K Econ ticket, the upgrade is 60k points and $1200 for a RT. Will this change? Or is this exclusively when using only miles to book?

I see a big problem for me!! We fly to Hawaii every year… and it’s doubling!!! 22.5k to 45k miles one way. That’s really bad!!! That was the first class price!

Call me a optimistic person, but I’m not seeing the huge devaluation you guys are talking about. Granted I only use points for business class fares internationally, for domestic flying I use SW with RR/CSR points.

As I always say, follow the money trail. These changes are for United’s benefit, and customers be damned! They are raking in enormous profits, all the while turning their ass to the customer. Thanks United!

Uhm….didn’t UAL just experience a public relations fiasco/disaster? Uhm….wouldn’t you think they’d do everything they could to attract people back to the carrier? Uhm….who makes these decisions? Uhm…..

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