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United is running a unique promotion where flights under 700 miles are now only 8,750 miles each way (17,500 round trip). Book by Aug 31, 2010 for flights until Jan 7, 2011. (I checked award availability and this is already loaded.)
I like this promotion, because short flights, especially to Canada, are often very expensive. For example, to fly from Chicago to Toronto this Saturday to Monday, the fare is $448.49- an itinerary that can be had for 17,500 miles, so you are getting 2.6 cents per mile value- not bad for a domestic coach award.
United also offers one-way award flights, which are often nearly as expensive as round trips when purchased.
I’d love to see the other majors match or provide similar mileage promotions to encourage people to use their miles.