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Bid Miles for Business Class on United's Inaugural 787-10 Flight

Dec. 11, 2018
3 min read
Bid Miles for Business Class on United's Inaugural 787-10 Flight
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On Jan. 7, 2019, United will begin flying its first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner on the Newark (EWR)-Los Angeles (LAX) route. With no upgrade or saver award space, business-class seats on this very first flight did not go cheap — still, they're almost completely sold out.

The inaugural is scheduled to depart LAX at 8:15am on Jan. 7, arriving in Newark at 4:19pm — if you don't mind ponying up the cash or miles, you can still book a lie-flat seat for the princely sum of $3,151 or 60,000 miles for the one-way flight.

Alternatively, you can travel onward from Newark and save quite a bit — adding a segment from Newark to San Juan (SJU) brings the total cost down to a more manageable $1,868 — but you should only do that if you actually plan on taking the flight.

Another option is to bid miles for United's MileagePlus Exclusives auction — currently, bidding has reached 468,000 miles, worth a whopping $6,550 based on TPG's valuations.

Winners will get to travel in business class on United's first 787-10. Photo by Zach Honig.
Winners will get to travel in business class on United's first 787-10. Photo by Zach Honig.

The package includes the following:

  • Two round-trip tickets in United business class (worth up to 240,000 miles)
  • Access to the United Private Suite at LAX, with private security screening, food and drinks and a BMW ride to the plane (worth up to $700 round-trip)
  • Two-night hotel stay in NYC (worth up to $1,000)
  • $200 toward dinner at Classified
  • $200 ground transportation allowance

Subtracting the 240,000 miles you'd otherwise need to redeem for these round-trip flights, the net package cost is 228,000 miles for $2,100 worth of perks, although it's difficult to calculate the exact value of the two-night stay in NYC. Assuming a generous value of $1,000 for the hotel, that's not a fantastic return, even if you're able to utilize the United Private Suite on both departure and arrival at LAX.

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While you can still bid until 1pm ET on Wednesday, I'd rather scoop up those remaining award seats for 60,000 apiece, and book a hotel stay — and perhaps even a visit to the Private Suite — separately.

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