Back in November, United announced it would be devaluing its award chart and charging a lot more miles for various awards starting February 1. We all got a two-day last-minute reprieve late Friday night, but the new, higher award levels should now be live. Though a lot of awards have gone up drastically in price – especially premium cabin award tickets on partner airlines, there are still a few decent redemptions on the United award chart that could hold great value for certain flyers, as Australian Business Traveller pointed out this weekend.
In terms of North America awards within the continental US and Canada – there have been no mileage level changes, so you can continuing flying United and its partners at the same levels of 12,500, 25,000 and 35,000 each way in economy, business and first class, so if you’re primarily interested in domestic redemptions, you’re in luck.
The other good news if you’re in North America is that if you want a business or first class ticket to Hawaii, you’ll still be paying the same amount in miles – 40,000 in business and 50,000 in first each way, though coach redemptions have gone up 2,500 miles in each direction.
However – and this is why the Australian Business Traveller article was so interesting – there are actually a few spots where the new award chart is significantly lower! It pointed out the benefit to Australian flyers of flying to South Asia including Singapore and Thailand.
Before the award chart change it would have cost 30,000, 45,000 or 60,000 miles each way between Australia and South Asia per the chart below:
However, now those same awards will cost the following amounts:
These redemptions are now almost half the price as previously! That means you could fly Sydney to Bangkok in Thai’s first class for just 40,000 miles each way, a pretty great deal given how much award availability there is on this route.
There are a couple other bright spots I was able to pinpoint as well. Speaking of Australia, awards to North Asia will also be cheaper:
At 20,000, 40,000, or 50,000 in economy, business or first class each way as opposed to their former levels of 35,000/50,000/65,000, which is a pretty decent discount of 10-15,000 miles in each class in each direction.
Awards from Australia to the Middle East are also going down
From the Middle East, it’ll cost you the following amounts to get to South and North Asia:
So while I don’t want to sugarcoat the devaluation – it was a massive amount of bad news and most awards are a lot more expensive – especially on the partner award chart from which I culled these numbers, there are at least a couple of interesting routes to explore and if you’re an Australia-based member of Mileage Plus, you have some great new options to fly for less.
This is far from an exhaustive roundup, and there are several more coach redemptions that did go down between regions, so if you find any additional ones that I missed or think I should include, please comment with them below and I can add them in!
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