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United/Continental just announced a discounted award promotion for Europe and Africa economy awards. There are quite a few restrictions, but this can be a decent deal if you have any award travel to those regions between January 27, 2012 and March 22, 2012.
Full T&C below, but the key details are:
-Book by January 16, 2012
-Travel between January 27, 2012 and March 22, 2012
– Available only on economy awards
-Offer valid for flights originating in the U.S. (including Alaska), excluding Hawaii.
-Valid only on United flights (however see my examples below, this isn’t true)
– 21 day advance purchase
– Roundtrip travel only
– Saturday night stay requires
– 20% off on peak travel days (Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
– 25% on off-peak travel days (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday)
Roundtrips to Europe are normally 60,000 miles, so one way offpeak is 22,500 miles and peak is 24,000 miles (you can combine off-peak and peak segments)
Roundtrips to Africa are normally 80,000 miles, so one way offpeak is 30,000 miles and peak is 32,000 miles.
If you need to top up your United/Continental account, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to United if you have the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Bold cards. Starwood points transfer at a pitiful 2:1 ratio, so I don’t recommend that route. Unfortunately Continental left American Express Membership Rewards Program on October 1, 2011.
These discounts are already loaded and awards are pricing correctly. I even got some partner awards to price at the discount as long as they had Continental/United flight numbers, like the Virgin Atlantic and Aer Lingus flights shown below.
Terms and Conditions:
1. Reduced mileage levels valid for redemption only until 11:59 p.m. CT on January 16, 2012.
2. Member must travel between January 27, 2012 and March 22, 2012.
3. Reduced award mileage prices apply only to travel on United® and United Express®-operated flight. Not applicable on flights operated by other airlines.
4. The Reduced mileage prices also apply for travel on Continental® or Continental Express® if you use miles from your OnePass® account. MileagePlus miles can be transferred to your OnePass account at www.united.com/linkmyaccounts.
5. Valid for travel from the US (D49) and Europe and from the US (D49) and Central/South Africa.
6. Reduced awards only valid on round-trip travel on a Saver award.
7. Stopovers are not permitted.
8. A 21 day advance purchase is required.
9. Save 20% on peak travel days (Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and 25% on off-peak travel days (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday).
10. Can combine peak and off-peak.
11. Open jaw allowed within the same region (i.e. fly into LHR and out of FRA).
12. This offer cannot be applied to previously issued tickets.
13. Saturday night stay required.
14. Valid on all-miles or Miles & Money awards when available.
15. Taxes and fees associated with award travel are the responsibility of the passenger. Award tickets are subject to applicable departure taxes, federal inspection fees, passenger facility charges, and other fees, charges or taxes, and the person utilizing the award is responsible for the payment of any such items that may apply. Any valid unused award ticket may be returned to the MileagePlus Service Center, for a service charge, up to one year from the date of issue.
16. Award space is subject to availability, and capacity-control restrictions apply. Only a limited number of seats are available at the reduced rate for each market. Travel on award tickets is not eligible for mileage accrual in United MileagePlus or any other frequent flyer program.
17. Not combinable with other offers.
18. Award only eligible for travel in United Economy.
19. No upgrades are permitted on award travel tickets.
20. Changes to travel dates are permitted in advance by calling United Reservations. Changes may be subject to additional service fees up to $150 per ticket (based on account status from where miles were redeemed):
• After an award ticket is issued, applicable service charge may be imposed for each change requested by the member that necessitates the re-issuance of the ticket.
• If a wholly unused ticket is exchanged for travel outside of the validity period, the mileage will be credited back into the member’s account for the applicable service charge, and a new ticket will be issued at the appropriate number of miles for the new award.
• On a partially used ticket, if the new travel date requested is outside of the validity period, a new one-way ticket needs to be purchased or a new one-way award at the applicable mileage level needs to be redeemed. The unused return ticket is not valid for travel and cannot be credited back into the member’s account.
21. Offer subject to change without notice. Other restrictions may apply.
22. Miles accrued, awards issued and bonus offers are subject to the rules of the United MileagePlus program. The MileagePlus program, including accruals, awards and bonus miles offers, is subject to change without notice. Taxes and fees related to award travel are the responsibility of the passenger. United and Mileage Plus are registered service marks. For complete details about the MileagePlus program, visit united.com.