When United devalued MileagePlus last year, it introduced a bifurcated award chart that charged a premium for first and business class flights on partner metal as opposed to on United’s own planes. An example — business class to Europe was 57.5K miles one-way if you fly United across the water or 70K if you fly on a partner carrier. Through 28 February 2015, United is offering partner (both Star Alliance and other partner) award space for the same price as flying United. If you are looking into 2015 award travel, you want to get your flight booked in the next five days if you can find award space.
The rules are simple — travel through 31 December 2015 between the regions below is discounted if you book by 28 February 2015:
Discounted one-way pricing through 28 Feb 2015
I think this deal is most valuable for travel between the US and Europe. United does not release much space on its own metal, but put together all the Star Alliance carriers serving Europe and you are likely to find something with a bit of flexibility. United defines Europe as one zone stretching from Iceland to Tbilisi, Georgia. 57.5K miles for an itinerary like this is a steal–
Aeroplan, the frequent flyer program of Air Canada, still has even better prices to Europe at 45K each way for business to western Europe and 52.5K to Eastern Europe, but fly on Lufthansa or Austrian and you will be hit with an $800 r/t fuel surcharge. No fuel surcharges on United.
Award Expert is here to help, but united.com is pretty user-friendly — bet you can piece together a nice routing yourself if you are wiling to put in the time!