In June United announced an award devaluation effective November 01, 2017. While a relatively modest devaluation as far as devaluations go, there are still five awards you should book today if you have no already done so.
1. USA to Southeast Asia Business Class
Tomorrow, the price goes from 70,000 to 75,000 one-way on United metal and from 80,000 to 90,000 on partner airlines. While 10K points each way appears modest enough, that’s an additional 80K miles needed for a family of four traveling to Hong Kong, Singapore, or Thailand.
For your reference, South Asia includes:
- Hong Kong
- Myanmar (Burma)
2. USA to Australia or New Zealand in Business Class
Like SE Asia, the price goes from 70,000 to 75,000 one-way on United metal and from 80,000 to 90,000 on partner airlines. With Air New Zealand now releasing award space again and United offering four daily seasonal flights to the region, direct saver space is no longer like finding a needle in a haystack. But with routing via Asia possible, several additional possibilities on Air China, ANA, Asiana, EVA, Singapore, and Thai are available.
3. Southeast Asia to Australia or New Zealand in Business or First Class
This is currently my favorite sweet spot on the award chart and represents an incredible value. Flights between Southeast Asia and Australia or New Zealand are currently 30K one-way in business or 40K in first class (with only Thai Airways offering first class award space). Tomorrow, business class rises to 50K one-way and first class will jump to 65K one-way. That will just match what most of the competition offers, but represents the steepest increase in the MileagePlus award chart.
4. USA to Europe on United Airlines in Business Class
Business Class between North America and Europe on United Airlines own metal (United flights) will rise from 57.5K to 60K one-way tomorrow. Partner awards will remain unchanged at 70K one-way. This modest increase in pricing simply reflects that United has largely caught up to the competition in terms of its transatlantic business class offering.
I’ve reviewed the following Star Alliance carriers in business class:
All great carriers with unique aspects to their onboard product (like the Austrian coffee menu), but not so great that I would label United significantly behind.
5. USA to “Southern” South America in Business Class
Flights on both United Airlines and partners will increase from 55K to 60K one-way tomorrow to Southern South America, defined as:
Avianca, Air Canada, and United offer lie-flat service between North America and Southern South America. You’re much more likely to find award space on Copa, which operates a Boeing 737 fleet without lie-flat seating. Turkish also flies between Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires with award space readily available.
United does allow routing through Central American and Northern South America and you can use the Excursionist Perk, as in any of the examples above, to book a a free one-way intra-region ticket on a round-trip award.
Tomorrow I will review some new bright spots on the award chart, but for now, last call on these handful of great deals using your United miles. Remember, if you have Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer them instantly into United Airlines on a 1:1 basis.
Also remember that today is the last day for fixed-price standard awards. Tomorrow United will introduce Everyday Awards with dynamic pricing on United’s own metal. Thankfully, United has shared caps on the pricing of Everyday Awards that are not terrible.
Will you be booking any United awards today?
> Read More: The One United Award I’m Booking Before Devaluation