There has been a lot of chatter in the travel blogs over the past 24 hours about United Airlines’s announcement regarding changes to the cost of award flights. Most of the chatter are negative rants and posts of displeasure. I wanted to highlight one of my favorite blogs to follow, MommyPoints, as she breaks down the changes to us in my favorite format: a bullet point list.
– There are no changes to award redemptions in the lower 48 or Canada at the economy, business, or first class level.
– Partner awards on other Star Alliance airlines (like Lufthansa, Swiss, Air Canada, ANA, etc.) now price differently (ie higher) than awards on United metal to some regions.
– Economy flights at 700 miles or less in US/Canada are still 10,000 miles each way.
– Saver economy awards to/from the US or Canada to Alaska are now 17.5k miles each way, up from 12.5k miles each way.
– You can no longer have a stopover on a domestic award ticket for an additional 10,000 miles.
– Economy saver redemptions from the US/Canada to Hawaii increase 2.5k miles each way. Business and first class Hawaii saver redemptions remain the same, though standard redemptions do increase.
– Intra-Hawaii flights on partners increase 1,000 miles from 5k to 6k.
– Saver awards from US/Canada to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and Northern South America all remain the same for all cabins.
– Saver awards from US/Canada to Southern South America remain the same in economy at the saver level, but increase 5k each way for business, and 2.5k each way in first.
– Saver economy awards to Europe remain the same (30k each way), but increases 7.5k miles each way in business (to 57.5k each way), and increases 12.5k miles each way in first (to 80k each way) on United operated flights.
– Partner awards to Europe also remain the same in economy at 30k miles each way, but increase 20k each way in business (to 70k) and increase a whopping 42.5k each way in first (to 110k)!
– Saver economy awards from the US to Australia/New Zealand remain unchanged at 40k each way, increase 2.5k miles each way in business (to 70k), and remain unchanged in first class (80k) on flights operated by United.
– Partner awards from the US to Australia/New Zealand remain unchanged in economy at 40k each way, increase 12.5k each way in business (to 80k), and increase a tremendous 50k each way in first to 130k.
– Economy saver awards from the US to Japan increase 2.5k each way (to 35k), increase 5k in business each way (to 65k), and increase 12.5 each way in first (to 80k) on United operated flights.
– Partner awards from the US to Japan in economy increase 2.5k each way (to 35k), increase 15k each way in business (to 80k), and increase a very high 42,500 each way in first.
– The partner award pricing also applies to Business/First Awards for itineraries that include travel on both United and at least one partner when at least one flight segment on a partner is in Business or First.
Remember that these award changes do not take place until February 2014, so you still have some time to book award flights. That being said, it looks like international business and first class award flights (especially partner ones) are taking a huge increase in terms of award miles required to book. That’s definitely sad news as I really value my United miles for international flights–especially for USA to Europe or USA to Asia.
Read more over at her blog here to learn more about the changes, as well as to read some of her awesome commentary. 🙂