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United Offers Bonus for Premium Travel to London

Oct. 10, 2012
3 min read
United Offers Bonus for Premium Travel to London
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Airlines love to mimic each other, especially when it comes to promotions targeting some of their most profitable customers: travelers paying for business and flexible coach fares. So it's no surprise that after American and British Airways launched concurrent transatlantic flight promotions between the US and London where travelers in premium classes could earn huge mileage bonuses, Delta and now United were soon to follow.

Here's the registration link for the United promo, and I'll review the details below.

Eligible Fares
Valid on paid qualifying roundtrips in United Global First, United BusinessFirst and full-fare Economy fares (F, A, J, C, D, Z, P, Y and B booking classes).

- 15,000 bonus miles for the first roundtrip,
- 35,000 bonus miles for the second roundtrip
- 50,000 bonus miles for each additional roundtrip.

Terms and conditions:

  • To qualify, register on before travel, then purchase and complete paid qualifying roundtrips between the U.S. and London Heathrow on flights marketed and operated by United.
  • Offer valid on tickets purchased between October 4, 2012, and January 31, 2013, with travel completed between October 4, 2012, and January 31, 2013.
  • There is no limit to the number of bonus miles that may be earned with this promotion.
  • Bonus award miles do not count toward Premier® status, and do not apply to class-of-service, Premier bonus miles or promotional Premier qualifying miles.
  • Offer is not valid on United-marketed codeshare flights operated by other carriers.
  • Offer is not valid on government fares.
  • Roundtrip is defined as travel from an origin city to a destination city with return travel beginning in the destination city back to the origin city. Open jaw and circle trip itineraries do not qualify.
  • Bonus is not combinable with other non-combinable bonus offers.
  • Bonus will be posted to the member’s MileagePlus account six to eight weeks after the end of the promotion period.
  • Electronic ticket purchase is required. Tickets purchased in the U.S. through United Reservations are subject to a $25 ticketing fee and tickets purchased at airport ticket counters are subject to a $30 ticketing fee. Fees are subject to change.

My Take
It's good to see United get in the game, though I would rather have seen them match AA/BA's promo and open it up to all European destinations (why so much love for London? The Olympics are over! Kidding...). Even though premium class fares are required, there are still plenty of discounted Thanksgiving business class fares, like New York to London for $1,808 roundtrip total.

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Reasonable business class fares to London over Thanksgiving

Fares around the Christmas holiday are in the $2,500 range as well. Not super cheap, but much less than normal and even sweeter with the bonuses. I value United miles at about 2 cents apiece so a 15,000 bonus is worth $300, 35,000 is $700 and 50,000 about $1,000. A potential $1,000 rebate on a $1,800 fare is a pretty good deal if you can somehow get to the 50,000 bonus mile level!
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