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A discussion on FlyerTalk is showing massive increases to award pricing for both United-operated flights as well as its partners. Increases of more than 30% are showing up almost across the board for award bookings. This is a huge devaluation and one that has not been officially announced.
United MileagePlus has not published award charts in some time. When booking flights to Europe, the cost was 30,000 miles for Economy and 60,000 miles for Polaris (Business Class). Costs have increased by 33%! Awards are now pricing at 40,000 and 80,000 miles or more. Costs increase even more when booking within 30 days of departure.
Partner awards were not spared, either. These used to cost 30,000 miles in Economy and 70,000 miles in Business Class. Now, they’ve jumped 39-47%, and are pricing at 43,900 miles and 97,100 miles or more, respectively.
United has spoken about the demand for transatlantic travel and we have seen how passengers have been opting for more premium travel experiences post pandemic. United seems to be adjusting to this demand to squeeze out as many miles as they can.
Anthony’s Take: Miles will always devalue, but most carriers have the decency to give members warning so that they have a window to redeem their miles. United pushed this through, without notice, and the percent increase is huge. I guess United needs to somehow recoup the cost of adding hot towels and sundaes back on flights. We’ll wait to see the official announcement and how United tries to spin this as good for customers.
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