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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 Jan 24, 2023, 12:41 pm
  #31  
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This is for XN?

Agree with the above, not sure what the significance here is.

The close-in premium is 30 days out, although I think I have seen it sometimes not applied until even closer in. They are opaque about how that works.
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Old Jan 24, 2023, 1:30 pm
  #32  
 
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Depending on your view of RTB being Carib or not, it has been all over but mainly high. I snagged some mid weeks for 22.5k recently in coach with plus pts for the upgrade but they have normally been 40k or more and biz (F in US) was 60 plus for a long time.
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Old Jan 24, 2023, 1:34 pm
  #33  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Rochester, MN
Programs: UA Silver, Hilton HHonors Diamond, IHG Plat
Posts: 1,830
Originally Posted by fumje
This is for XN?

Agree with the above, not sure what the significance here is.

The close-in premium is 30 days out, although I think I have seen it sometimes not applied until even closer in. They are opaque about how that works.
Significance is, was seeing 17.5K one ways and now the same itin is 20K a week later. Usually a larger jump if booking is the simple cause of this. I think they pushed the floor up for UA metal to Carib.
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Old Jan 24, 2023, 1:42 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Hawkeyefan
Significance is, was seeing 17.5K one ways and now the same itin is 20K a week later. Usually a larger jump if booking is the simple cause of this. I think they pushed the floor up for UA metal to Carib.
It does look like XN is booking at 20K; I'm seeing some partner awards at 19.3K. But, ultimately, without an award chart, they can do whatever they want without any notice.
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Old Jan 24, 2023, 1:44 pm
  #35  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Rochester, MN
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Posts: 1,830
Originally Posted by jsloan
It does look like XN is booking at 20K; I'm seeing some partner awards at 19.3K. But, ultimately, without an award chart, they can do whatever they want without any notice.
Yeah. I guess for a small savings go with a partner, though you ALWAYS get stuck with an undesirable stopover when flying to the Carib.
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Old Feb 1, 2023, 9:14 am
  #36  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 29
Can someone explain how the points required to book a flight keep going up? I've been checking SFO->AKL and 2 weeks ago, the one way business seats were 200k looking all the way through next december. Then about a week ago, I noticed they were all 250k. Today I notice the ones closer to next year are now 300k. Those seem like pretty massive across the board increases in such a short time looking out to next year. Is there an announcement I missed?
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Old Feb 1, 2023, 9:17 am
  #37  
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Originally Posted by arian487
Can someone explain how the points required to book a flight keep going up?
UA has been using dynamic pricing for awards for several years now. No charts; they just play with the redemption amounts as they see fit.
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Old Feb 1, 2023, 9:33 am
  #38  
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Originally Posted by jsloan
UA has been using dynamic pricing for awards for several years now. No charts; they just play with the redemption amounts as they see fit.
And with no change or redeposit fees, it's generally a mistake not to book as soon as you find something acceptable, rather than watch the price continue to climb.
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Old Feb 1, 2023, 10:59 am
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Rochester, MN
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Originally Posted by Kacee
And with no change or redeposit fees, it's generally a mistake not to book as soon as you find something acceptable, rather than watch the price continue to climb.
This. I've missed a few 'fair' deals by waiting, only to take worse deals later on.
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Old Feb 3, 2023, 6:36 am
  #40  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Originally Posted by Kacee
And with no change or redeposit fees, it's generally a mistake not to book as soon as you find something acceptable, rather than watch the price continue to climb.
This is generally true across hotel & airline loyalty programs these days, with the exception of Hyatt (which is gamely sticking with fixed categories, albeit with peak/off-peak pricing). One downside is that users have an incentive to keep obsessively re-checking awards periodically for price drops.
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Old Feb 3, 2023, 8:29 am
  #41  
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Originally Posted by beltway
One downside is that users have an incentive to keep obsessively re-checking awards periodically for price drops.
I don't consider that a downside

Recently saved 24k Marriott at StR Rome, when price for 1 night progressively dropped from 95.5k to 71.5k.
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Old Feb 3, 2023, 10:59 pm
  #42  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: SF Bay Area
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This is the highest reward I’ve seen personally 650k miles for SFO-HKT (Phuket, Thailand)

Wow
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Old Feb 5, 2023, 1:56 am
  #43  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SFO, TPE, HNL
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Originally Posted by djmp
This is the highest reward Ive seen personally 650k miles for SFO-HKT (Phuket, Thailand)

Wow
The largest I have seen for TPE-SFO is 900K miles. I wonder if there are >= 1M miles tickets?

900K miles for TPE-SFO one-way
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Old Feb 5, 2023, 4:43 pm
  #44  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
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wow - more to the question of if anyone actually pays these amounts for these tickets
I think I asked that question a few months back after I got laughed at for spending 150k for a true Polaris DEN-OGG one way last year

I think another interesting search would be the lowest and highest combination on the same day to the sam destination......
for example (and just a random search)

on Feb 9th:
SFO-NRT-NGO-BKK in Business: 86.3k miles
(38 hours)
vs
SFO-TPE-HKG-BKK in Business for 653.3k miles
(33h, 55min)
... of course, if you can leave a day earlier, it is only 303.3k miles
unless you want to take SFO-SIN-BKK for 653.3k.... but why spent 7 hours less in Business when you want to get your money's worth?

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 11, 2023 at 10:51 am Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
mfirst is online now  
Old Feb 5, 2023, 6:31 pm
  #45  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SFO, TPE, HNL
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Originally Posted by mfirst
wow - more to the question of if anyone actually pays these amounts for these tickets
I think I asked that question a few months back after I got laughed at for spending 150k for a true Polaris DEN-OGG one way last year
You got a bargain. This is next Saturday's mileage ticket fares. The nonstop on already sold out. None of the remaining flights are Polaris

The J fares are for 777-200 dormitory seats, or 737 recline seats
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