Another Deal the Bloggers Killed: The Negative Price Oneway from the Carribean to Europe


Currently, the following United award (Newark to London, returning Paris to Newark) would cost 60k miles in economy.

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 12.43.18 AM

Add in a stopover in Newark on the return, and a later one way trip to Jamaica and the price drops 2,500 miles to only 57,500 miles in economy!

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 12.43.36 AM


Unfortunately, this deal I first wrote about last year dies in six weeks! I’m a bit sad this deal will be dying even though I’ve never used it, and it’s pretty niche.

Learn more about negative priced one ways and how I killed them!

In mid-2012, I wrote in an article about Free Oneways on United Awards:


Negative Price Oneways

What about to the Caribbean? The Caribbean is also a separate zone from the continental US for determining miles needed. But amazingly on the United chart, it actually costs fewer miles to get from the Caribbean to Europe than from the continental US to Europe.

This is shocking considering the way to get from the Caribbean to Europe on the Star Alliance is by connecting through the US. Here’s a sample free oneway from the Caribbean to the US tacked on before the main European award. “Free” is a bit of a misnomer though, since adding the oneway actually decreased the price of the award by 2,500 miles!

Take off the oneway from St. Thomas to Philly, and you pay 2,500 more miles.


Well the new award chart for bookings made February 1, 2014 or later has “corrected” the anomaly of Caribbean-to-Europe-via-USA being cheaper than USA-to-Europe,

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 1.37.58 AM

If it’s too small for you to read, the economy price from the mainland US to Europe will still be 30,000 miles per direction.

The economy price from the Caribbean to Europe will rise from 27,500 miles per direction to 35,000 miles per direction.

The title of the post is facetious. I don’t know why United is making the change in price, though I doubt it’s because of my post about this deal last year.

I assume that when United decided to devalue its award chart, employees looked at every single price and found the ones where they thought they “had made a mistake” last time. For instance, USA-Southeast Asia in economy is currently an incredible 32,500 miles per direction. It is rising to 40,000 miles per direction without many posts trumpeting how cheap the old price was on blogs.

If I brought the old deal to United’s attention though, I am sorry to the few who would have found the deal on their own, and I hope the many I have shared it with got a chance to book it or will book it in the next six weeks before the United devaluation kicks in for awards booked February 1, 2014 or later.



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  1. I think you didn’t kill it, and in fact I doubt that bloggers are usually to blame when an opportunity ends. Many end because they’ve run their course; or are a mistake the company knew about, or was going to know about, anyway; or else have a strategic business purpose that will keep them going despite (or even because of) publicity. This one is an anomaly that seems to make little business sense, and it’s reasonable that it would always have been corrected eventually.

    I’m curious how your LifeMiles controversy will play out. I’m looking very closely at buying LifeMiles, which is obviously a business goal of Avianca, but something I wasn’t contemplating before. I’ve had a hunch they may not be in a hurry to “fix” things right away that will create new customers in general for their program. Others will disagree, I know.

    • They certainly are selling a lot of miles, and one has to think it’s quite profitable for them (although the rates they pay partners to access partner space is completely unknown to me.

  2. Scott, I have a booked UA award JFK-MAA/MLE-DUB (stop)-JFK that is 120k UA RT.
    Could I add a negative one way to the end? Can I do it online or do I need to call?
    Thanks for any help.