As a reminder I’m bumping this post to the top of the blog since today is your last day to redeem United miles before the devaluation kicks in tomorrow!
Back in June I wrote about the changes United MileagePlus announced to go into effect November 1, 2017. Let’s review them briefly as November 1 is right around the corner.
- Standard Awards take on a new name (Everyday Awards) and pricing scheme
- Various Saver Award prices are increasing (but not economy awards touching or within the mainland United States), enough that I’d call it a devaluation
- There’s a new No-Show Fee for all award tickets
You can read about all those changes in detail in the linked post above. Here were the conclusions I came to.
- I don’t really have an opinion on the new Everyday Awards as I don’t book them (I, and most of you, only book the lowest level of award space called Saver level, not Standard level). Time will tell just how fair the new revenue based prices are.
- Devaluations are inevitable. That being said, they still suck, and are the reason why you shouldn’t be hoarding tons of miles for years at a time. Earn your miles in a calculated manner and then spend them!
- I understand why United is putting a no-show fee into place. With an incentive to avoid a fee, hopefully less award space will be wasted. Do us all (including yourself) a favor and free that seat up for someone else if you have prior notice that you won’t be needing it.
Today I want to dive into point 2, as you still have a chance to book the awards that are changing before they increase in price.
First, there is one positive change to Saver award pricing to acknowledge so you don’t book it UNTIL November 1 or later…
- The price of direct Saver awards that fly a distance of 800 miles or less within the same award region (outside the United States) is decreasing to 8,000 miles. For example, from November 1 and on, you can book a Swiss Air flight from Zurich to Warsaw for 8,000 miles instead of the 15,000 miles you’d pay booking that flight now.
So if you want to book an award like this, wait until at least next Wednesday to do so to save yourself some miles.
Now, the bad news.
- Numerous Business and First Class Cabin Saver Awards to or from the United States are increasing in price
- Numerous international Saver Awards that don’t touch the United States are increasing in price (throughout all cabin classes)
- Premium Business Class Saver Awards (domestic transcontinental and to Hawaii) are increasing in price
The price hikes aren’t preposterous, but it is no doubt a devaluation. All prices quoted below are for one-ways. Since writing the original post about changes kicking in November 1, I have condensed the award price info into easier to digest charts so you can check if you should book an award before November 1.
Saver Price Increases Flying Premium Business Class
Premium Business Class = routes that fly planes that have been upgraded with things like lie-flat seats and amenity kits. These include some of United’s transcontinental routes as well as their longer distance Hawaii routes.
International Saver Price Award Increases Flying United Metal (to or from the 48 States/Alaska/Canada)
Saver Price Increases Flying Star Alliance/Partner Metal (to or from the 48 States/Alaska/Canada)
Awards that Don’t Touch the USA
There are lots of other Star Alliance/Partner flights whose Saver award price will increase November 1. Here are some big ones.
Sadly the 40k price for Thai First Class between Southeast Asia and Australia/New Zealand is increasing to 65k.Check out the new award chart for November 1, 2017 and onwards here to see others.
November 1 is a week from today (next Wednesday). If you want to book one of the awards mentioned above that will increase in price, do so BEFORE Wednesday. Right now you can redeem United miles on an award with travel dates as far out as the end of September 2018, and over the course of the next week award space will populate on united.com for the beginning of October of 2018 as well.
If you want to book a direct Saver award that flies a distance of 800 miles or less within the same award region (outside of the United States), then wait until after Wednesday, November 1, as the price is dropping to 8,000 miles.