Bad News: United MileagePlus Drastically Increases Award Costs for International First Class

by Anthony Losanno
United 787

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One of my favorite redemptions with United MileagePlus miles has been for First Class flights on Lufthansa between the United States and Germany. I’ve never flown ANA in First Class, but know it’s another popular redemption. Bad news today for those looking to redeem miles for these flights as the costs just increased significantly.

UA LH Awards

Lufthansa First Class is one of my favorite ways to cross the Atlantic. It’s lovely heading from the US to Germany and even more impressive if you can check out the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt International Airport (FRA). These used to cost 100,000 miles each way. This was then bumped up to 121,000 miles. Now, it looks like United is raising the cost again and awards will jump to 154,000 miles each way. This is a huge, 27% increase.

UA ANA Awards

All Nippon Airways (ANA) First Class is also being hit with huge increases. The cost to fly from the United States to Japan is doubling from 121,000 miles to 242,000. That’s a crazy bump and will certainly limit redemptions.

United stopped publishing award charts some time ago and has been offering some extremely expensive awards for a while. It has not gotten as bad as some of what Delta offers, but it’s headed that direction. It’s sad that the value of miles has decreased so much as airfare has gotten more expensive and miles have become harder to earn.

Anthony’s Take: I remember when United offered great award flights and partner awards were also good redemptions. Those days are gone. I find value in redeeming for Business Class on some routes and MileagePlus Exclusives can hold value.

(Featured Image Credit: United Airlines.)

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