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"Dynamic Award Pricing" by UA; questions, experiences, .... (No Award Chart Nov 2019)

Old May 1, 2021, 1:27 pm
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
Award travel updates

Introducing a broader range of award prices

Updates to award travel are on the horizon. For flights on or after November 15, 2019, well no longer publish an award chart listing the set amount of miles needed for each flight.

The details:
  • Some award prices will be lower than whats currently published in our chart. You may have already seen these prices, and youll be able to get them immediately.
  • Other award prices may be higher than what you see today, especially if youre traveling at a popular time. These prices will take effect immediately for travel November 15 or after.
  • Starting November 15, were removing close-in fees, so you wont be charged the extra fee of up to $75 for booking last-minute award travel.
  • A flexible award travel calendar is available on united.com or in our app.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is changing?

    For travel on or after November 15, we will no longer publish an award chart listing the set amount of miles needed for award flights. Award pricing will now fluctuate based on a variety of factors, including demand. Additionally, starting November 15, we will no longer charge a fee of up to $75 for award flights booked within 21 days of departure.
  • When will these updates take effect?

    The award pricing changes apply immediately to flights on or after November 15, 2019. Until then, award prices will be the same as or lower than whats currently published in our award chart.
  • How many miles will I need for award travel after November 15?

    Award prices will now fluctuate based on a variety of factors. Some air awards will be available for less than whats listed in our chart, which you may have already noticed. After November 15, award prices may also be higher, especially if youre traveling at popular times. Use our flexible award calendar to get a monthly view of the award prices for a specific destination.
  • Why are you making these changes?

    Increasing award prices for the most in-demand flights allows us to offer better returns for our shareholders. If your award travel is flexible, these updates will help you make the most of your miles.
  • How will these updates affect award travel availability?

    United MileagePlus members with Premier status and qualifying United Chase Cardmembers can continue to book award travel without blackout dates. For other members, most award flights that are available today will continue to be available after these updates take effect.
  • Do the lowest-priced awards have any extra flight restrictions?

    No. Our lowest priced awards do not have any added restrictions; the fare rules for all award travel apply.
  • How can I find the lowest priced award for my travel?

    The award calendar on united.com or in our app will continue to show the lowest available price for your destination.
  • Will I earn miles on my flight if I book an award?

    No. As with current award bookings, award travel in the future will not be eligible to earn miles with MileagePlus or any other loyalty program.
  • What if I need to change my existing award?

    If you need to change your award ticket, you will be issued a new ticket for which new pricing and additional fees may apply.
  • What if I purchase a close-in award before November 15

    The close-in booking fee will still apply to all tickets booked within 21 days of departure prior to November 15, 2019. We will not refund fees paid prior to November 15, even if travel occurs on or after November 15.
https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...l-updates.html

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"Dynamic Award Pricing" by UA; questions, experiences, .... (No Award Chart Nov 2019)

Old May 7, 2023, 4:15 pm
  #151  
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Join Date: Oct 2001
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Originally Posted by cagcag
Routing: N.America to ISt/SAW. Economy previously at 30 or 33K now cheapest at 43.9K. Other European destinations pricing the same or 70K on a wide variety of dates even into 2024. Is this "dynamic pricing" at work? Even on itineraries not containing UA segments?
There have been reports that UA has raised the number of miles required for many European destinations. I did a quick search, and Im only seeing 70K for awards that include a UA segment; pure partner awards are all 43.9K. I have seen some variation between partner flights in other markets, but its less than 10%.

I do believe UA will use a greater range in pricing between partner awards as soon as they can figure out how.
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Old May 16, 2023, 9:47 pm
  #152  
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Location: Sub Carolina
Programs: AC, AA, TK, OW Emerald
Posts: 1,437
US - Europe partner saver business class award used to be 74k miles. Thats the rate I saw earlier today.
Now the lowest I see is 98.4k miles even if I search for dates with (supposedly) lower demand.
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Old May 16, 2023, 10:00 pm
  #153  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Programs: Northwest, United
Posts: 3,259
I'm seeing widespread increases in prices for award flights today - and have screenshots of a couple 30-day award availability/price calendars taken early afternoon, and screenshots of the same search results an hour or two later, showing every single day had gone up significantly. Literally everything.

I've been watching award prices on these routes for many weeks; prices, availability and the mix of options for layovers/mixed cabin itineraries had been very consistent with little or no variation. Today, prices on everything went up, and layover/mixed cabin options became significantly worse. Looks like someone at United grabbed the "inflict pain" dial and turned it up.

Others seeing similar things?
nwflyboy is offline  
Old May 16, 2023, 10:22 pm
  #154  
formerly wunderpit
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: ONT-SNA-LAX
Programs: UA1K-HHDiamond
Posts: 1,344
Originally Posted by nwflyboy
I'm seeing widespread increases in prices for award flights today - and have screenshots of a couple 30-day award availability/price calendars taken early afternoon, and screenshots of the same search results an hour or two later, showing every single day had gone up significantly. Literally everything.

I've been watching award prices on these routes for many weeks; prices, availability and the mix of options for layovers/mixed cabin itineraries had been very consistent with little or no variation. Today, prices on everything went up, and layover/mixed cabin options became significantly worse. Looks like someone at United grabbed the "inflict pain" dial and turned it up.

Others seeing similar things?
I swear, you gotta search with a VPN or you get tagged by IP address.
Weyland Yutani Corp is offline  
Old May 16, 2023, 11:21 pm
  #155  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Programs: DL BA Amex
Posts: 916
I see the same increases... USA-EUROPE went from 60k to 80k in J.
puts me in a pickle.
I currently have a O/W booked at 60k, but I was considering cancelling it to use AF miles on a different day. But If I can't use the 60k for J at a later date I may just keep the current reservation and burn the miles. (Its all I have in UA, and unlikely to accumulate much more in the near future)

There is an interesting award I stumbled across that IS STILL AVAIALBLE... FRA-EWR for 20k in economy.
Only available that direction. (higher price EWR-FRA)
bajrbajr is offline  
Old May 16, 2023, 11:38 pm
  #156  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Programs: Northwest, United
Posts: 3,259
I'm also seeing search "results" that appear to be completely broken - searching for ANY nonstop award flight to Europe in J, it doesn't return results with high numbers, it just doesn't return anything. Searching for nonstop PAID flights also just fails completely. The "Find Flights" button just doesn't do anything - basic stuff (tried multiple browsers, relaunching, restarting), the problem comes and goes.

It looks to me like there may be system issues AND an across-the-board price increase/devaluation on award redemptions. I'd like to think it's all just bad IT and tomorrow prices will go back to what they ave been, but it seems more likely that it's just a big devaluation that's only partially rolled out, and once things settle down, any prices that haven't gone up yet will go up then.
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Old May 17, 2023, 12:37 am
  #157  
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Originally Posted by Weyland Yutani Corp
I swear, you gotta search with a VPN or you get tagged by IP address.
On the theory that VPNs dont have IP addresses?

There is no truth to this. None. There never has been. If UA wanted to track someone, there are far better ways to do it than an IP address. And theres no evidence that repeated searches make the price go up, nor is there ever any explanation why, in airfare and in airfare only, nobody ever tries to reduce a price to make a sale.
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Old May 17, 2023, 4:35 am
  #158  
 
Join Date: May 2023
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by bajrbajr
I see the same increases... USA-EUROPE went from 60k to 80k in J.
Same here. I have been monitoring EWR-LHR for several weeks. All flights in 2023 and 2024 went up. I certainly hope that it is temporary.
GreenDiceLiu is offline  
Old May 17, 2023, 5:03 am
  #159  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: RIC
Programs: UA 1K MM
Posts: 3,392
Saver F domestic awards seem to have increased from 25K to 30K across the board.
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rch4u is offline  
Old May 17, 2023, 6:08 am
  #160  
nsx
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Programs: WN Companion Pass, A-list preferred, Hyatt Globalist; United Club Lietime (sic) Member
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Sad news. I was resigned to the end of redeeming miles for business class, but I did not expect coach redemption to become uncompetitive with cash fares. I'm considering shifting my focus from Chase UR to Venture X, which is a better deal if you are buying coach tickets for cash fares rather than miles.
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Old May 17, 2023, 7:00 am
  #161  
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Coach award tickets (at least US -> Europe) went up two weeks ago, not yesterday or today. I had just booked a US->Europe->Europe->US award ticket at 'saver' award levels of 33K outbound and 30K return with the excursionist perk in the middle. A couple of days later the prices went up almost 50% to 43.9K each way in coach. As of yesterday I could still find J award tickets for the same city pairs for 60K each way but I haven't checked today; maybe those finally went up.

Edit: yep, the J price went way up as well. Yesterday they were 60K. Now they are 79.8K for the exact same flights and same dates as I was looking at. That's over a 30% increase in both coach and business awards now.

-RM

Last edited by RobOnLI; May 17, 2023 at 8:00 am
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Old May 17, 2023, 9:08 am
  #162  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Programs: Northwest, United
Posts: 3,259
Based on the flights I'm checking (from west coast USA to various destinations around Europe, in business class), prices for award flights have gone up by 33% across the board. That's for flights next week through next spring.
nwflyboy is offline  
Old May 17, 2023, 9:32 am
  #163  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: None - previously UA
Posts: 4,935
Originally Posted by nwflyboy
Based on the flights I'm checking (from west coast USA to various destinations around Europe, in business class), prices for award flights have gone up by 33% across the board. That's for flights next week through next spring.
Seems like partner X & I has not been devalued to some destinations yet...

Last edited by escapefromphl; May 17, 2023 at 9:38 am
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Old May 17, 2023, 9:50 am
  #164  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Programs: Northwest, United
Posts: 3,259
Originally Posted by escapefromphl
Seems like partner X & I has not been devalued to some destinations yet...
If that's true, it's not the case on all partners - you and I must be looking at different partners/destinations.
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Old May 17, 2023, 9:50 am
  #165  
formerly wunderpit
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Programs: UA1K-HHDiamond
Posts: 1,344
Originally Posted by jsloan
On the theory that VPNs don’t have IP addresses?

There is no truth to this. None. There never has been. If UA wanted to track someone, there are far better ways to do it than an IP address. And there’s no evidence that repeated searches make the price go up, nor is there ever any explanation why, in airfare and in airfare only, nobody ever tries to reduce a price to make a sale.
None? Maybe not IP, but something regarding login or origination of search. It's uncanny how things change after an initial search.

You think this is all random? On the flip side, I have had searches go in my direction after seeking saver awards for a few days with only 200k options showing , suddenly 88k saver awards show. I am talking 8 months out, with no date correlation (I.e., not to the exact month out or any sort of logical date).

Last edited by Weyland Yutani Corp; May 17, 2023 at 9:53 am Reason: added more
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