1-day United deal alert: Flights starting at $49 one-way

Dec 14, 2021

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For one day only, United is offering a sale from select U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C., starting at just $49 or 4,900 United MileagePlus miles for select one-way routes in basic economy.

Head to United and book now as this sale only lasts through Dec. 14.

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(Screenshot courtesy of United)

Deal basics

Airlines: United
Routes: LAX/ORD/SFO/IAD/EWR/IAH to BNA/AUS/LAS/CHS/IND/PVD/PHL and others, depending on the route.
How to book: Directly through the airline sale page.
Travel dates: Dec. 28, 2021 — March 9, 2022, with blackout date on Jan. 2, 2022. Most fares exclude travel on the weekends.
Book by: 11:59 p.m. ET on Dec. 14.

Sample flights

(Screenshot courtesy of United)

One-way flights starting at just $49 are available departing from more than 70 U.S. cities, including the below routes:

  • Fresno (FAT) to Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Nashville (BNA) to Chicago (ORD)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)/Palm Springs (PSP)/Seattle (SEA) to San Francisco (SFO)
  • New York (EWR)/Boston (BOS)/Cleveland (CLE)/Detroit (DTW)/Charlotte (CLT) to Washington, D.C. (IAD)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Portland (PWM)/Providence (PVD)/New York (LGA)
  • Columbus (CMH)/Boston (BOS) to New York (EWR)

The deals also work in reverse, so you can book two one-way fares to make a round-trip.

Related: United announces codeshare partnership with Virgin Australia

All included fares are in United’s basic economy, which does not include seat selection or a full-size carry-on, so factor in an additional $25 to check a full-sized carry-on bag at the gate. You can pay $30 ahead of time to check a bag or $35 at the airport. Fares are nonrefundable except during the first 24 hours after purchase, and basic economy tickets can only be changed for travel commencing by Dec. 31, 2021.

(Screenshot courtesy of United)

Let’s start with this below nonstop flight from New York to D.C. in early January. You’ll note a total just short of $49, which includes a base fare of roughly $31 and $17 in taxes and fees.

(Screenshot courtesy of United)

Although this sale highlights one-way fares, I could easily make this a round-trip by booking two separate one-way tickets, as shown below.

(Screenshot courtesy of United)

This sale is also for award travel, so United MileagePlus members could redeem 4,900 miles for any $49 fare, plus $5.60.

(Screenshot courtesy of United)

TPG currently values United MileagePlus miles at 1.13 cents, so in this case, it would make more sense to pay for this fare in cash.

Related: United bringing back Kosher options and other specialized meals

Maximize your purchase

Don’t forget to use a card that earns bonus points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare), Citi Premier® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on airfare), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

The information for the Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer

Bottom line

(Screenshot courtesy of United)

Outside of the $49 fares, you can find one-way economy deals for $69 (or 6,100 miles), $89 (or 7,400 miles), $99 (or 8,000 miles), $119 (or 9,300 miles) and $139 (or 10,500 miles).

Be sure to book quickly because this deal will be gone in a matter of hours.

Featured photo of United Airlines aircraft to Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport in Italy on Nov. 1 by Massimo Insabato/Archivio Massimo Insabato/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

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