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United is putting a 787-9 Dreamliner on its only route to Argentina, from Houston to Buenos Aires, starting October 25.
The United 787-9 Dreamliner has 48 beds in Business class in a 2-2-2 configuration. I always choose a middle seat, since both have direct aisle access. If you choose a seat on either side of the plane, you’ll either need to climb over your seatmate or be climbed over during the flight.
Each seat converts to a fully flat bed with 6’6″ of sleeping space.
Some days that the Dreamliner operates have 18 awards seats!
- How many miles do you need?
- What’s the award space?
- How can you get United miles?
- How can you book the awards?
Between the United States and Argentina, United charges 30,000 miles each way in economy and 55,000 miles in Business Class.
But you don’t have to book the United award space with United miles. You can book the space with miles from any Star Alliance partner. If you want to book with another partner, search united.com without signing in. Note the date, cabin, and flight number of any Star Alliance flights with a blue button in its Saver award space column; then call the airline whose miles you’re using to book the award.
Here are the prices charged by some other Star Alliance partners (economy/Business one way) with their transfer partners in parentheses:
- Asiana (SPG) : 25k/35k
- Air Canada Aeroplan (MR, SPG): 30k/47.5k
- Singapore (UR, MR, TY, SPG): 30k/50k
- Lufthansa Miles & More (SPG): 30k/52k
- United (UR): 30k/55k
- Avianca LifeMiles (none, must buy): 30k/60k
Award Space Picture
For over a year, award space on United routes to Buenos Aires has been terrible. That’s probably because United cut its Argentina flights to one per day from Houston, when it previously operated daily flights from Newark and Washington-Dulles also and also because Argentines want to travel to America to take out dollars at a cheaper rate than the “blue market” rate at home.
Award space is pretty weak for the next few months also, but after United puts its 787-9 on the route, award space picks up consistent mid-week award space for up to 9 people in each cabin.
Houston to Buenos Aires
All the calendars below are for Houston to Buenos Aires. It is zero extra miles to start your award anywhere else in the continental United States, Alaska, or Canada and connect to Houston.
Normally United opens up a lot of last minute award space, and it has opened some from Houston to Buenos Aires in the next month, though almost exclusively in economy.
All those calendars just show award space for one passenger. That’s all I expected there to be, considering how sparse award space has been on the route historically.
I changed to 4, 6, and then 8 passengers, and most days remained. That means that almost every day with one award seat has 8+. Finally I signed in and searched for a flight on one day to look at United’s Expert Mode.
On November 4, you can see “I9″ and “X9.”
“I” is Business Class Saver award space and “X” is economy Saver award space. The “9” means that there are nine seats in that fare bucket, or possibly more since nine is the highest number listed. That’s 18+ Saver award seats on the same flight.
Buenos Aires to Houston
Award space from Buenos Aires to Houston is similar to what we just looked at, but a little worse.
For two people, there is a lot of award space in the next month from Argentina back home, almost all of it in economy.
After a dead period, there is award space that again starts right after the 787-9 comes into service on the route on October 25. All the award space is in Business Class.
February and March also have some good award space for 2+ people.
How to Get United Miles
Right now is a fantastic time to get United miles.
- The United Explorer card offers 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months and 5,000 bonus miles for adding an authorized user.
- The Ink Plus business card offers 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months. Ultimate Rewards transfer 1:1 instantly to United miles.
- The Sapphire Preferred offers 40,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $3,000 in the first three months and 5,000 bonus points for adding an authorized user.
United is moving its newest plane the 787-9 Dreamliner to its Buenos Aires route in October. From then on, award space in widely available midweek, sometimes for up to 18 people on the same flight.
United’s Dreamliner features excellent flat bed seats, and the award space is open over the best time to visit Buenos Aires–its Spring through its Fall. What’s not to like? Only that this space might not last because historically United has offered very little space on the route.
- Where to Go Out in Buenos Aires Every Night of the Week
- The Five Best Restaurants in Buenos Aires
- Six Thoughts on Six Months in Buenos Aires
- One Perfect Week in Argentina
- Bariloche Trip Report
Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get an additional $500 in free airfare on any airline in the first 12 months plus free airport lounge access worldwide for only a $450 annual fee. Why I got the card.