This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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
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.

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.

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.