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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 Feb 5, 2023, 8:14 pm
  #46  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
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PanAmWT - which is interesting in that about a month ago, UA was running a special and I was able to score RT DEN-OGG, non-stop, in E+ for 15k each way (I booked as 2 separate 1-way and I think if I booked at a RT together I could have gotten RT for 25k total) - and there was wide open availability.... and on the return flight, which is a redeye 777 - was able to get an entire row of 4 seats to stretch out and sleep...... spent a nice week in OGG in the end of Jan.....

-m
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Old Feb 11, 2023, 7:59 am
  #47  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Mileage Tickets Ridiculous

I have been looking for a Business Award from PHL-BKK for months for the summer or fall. I find nothing under 300,000 miles. I love UA "Dynamic Pricing". or robbery might be another word. No reason to fly UA and acquire miles.
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Old Feb 11, 2023, 8:05 am
  #48  
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Originally Posted by TonyBurr
No reason to fly UA and acquire miles.
I agree with you about ridiculous award pricing...

But nobody flies a specific airline to acquire miles any more. They fly a specific airline to earn elite benefits and they use a specific credit card(s) to acquire miles...
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Old Feb 11, 2023, 8:47 am
  #49  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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I've also been searching for flights to BKK from DTW, ORD, and from a few others, and have found quite a few for 99K in business over the past few months. The schedules sometimes aren't very good but at least they've been options.

Try looking for flights on AA or DL - it's rare to find a business class seat for any date on AA, and on DL, they're 395K or 410K each way.
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Old Feb 11, 2023, 9:18 am
  #50  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: IAH
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UA releases a lot of space last minute. IAH-NRT is I5 tomorrow, EWR-NRT is I6 on Feb 14. Some limited availability thru start of March on NH in business to TYO. You will have hard time getting TYO-BKK in business - will have to be NH and their intra-Asia space is harder to find. The way to do it is to book 300k and drop to cheaper pricing closer-in. Or to book a cash ticket in J. NYC-SE Asia has a few sweet spots under $3k round trip.

EDIT: Miles can still be “ridiculously” good (not just bad). Getting F for peanuts in taxes to NRT/HND/FRA, for instance.
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Old Feb 11, 2023, 9:25 am
  #51  
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Originally Posted by FlytheTail
I've also been searching for flights to BKK from DTW, ORD, and from a few others, and have found quite a few for 99K in business over the past few months. The schedules sometimes aren't very good but at least they've been options.

Try looking for flights on AA or DL - it's rare to find a business class seat for any date on AA, and on DL, they're 395K or 410K each way.
There's a hack on DL. If you fly out of Mexico airports, Biz awards to BKK are available from 90K Skymiles one-way on CI (involving DL/AM flights to LAX). Maybe not a great option for Midwesterners (unless you want to combine vacations), but may not be too inconvenient if you are based in South or Southwest.

If you are flying out of US/Canada, the cheapest DL award levels to BKK look to be out of SEA at 235K miles each way. But these awards have roundtrip booking requirement (they can't be booked as one-way's and you will never see them offered if doing one-way searches), as well as a 7 day minimum stay requirement. Expecting to find anything cheaper than that out of US/Canada with DL will likely be fruitless due to recent DL/partner metal award level harmonization out of US/Canada.
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Last edited by xliioper; Feb 11, 2023 at 10:08 am
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Old Feb 11, 2023, 9:38 am
  #52  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NYC / TYO / Up in the Air
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Originally Posted by TonyBurr
I have been looking for a Business Award from PHL-BKK for months for the summer or fall. I find nothing under 300,000 miles. I love UA "Dynamic Pricing". or robbery might be another word. No reason to fly UA and acquire miles.
I agree - it's very frustrating. I would suggest you broaden your search to APAC cities with cheap / easy flights to BKK - SIN, HKG, TYO, TPE, ICN -- and see if you can lock down the long flight to AP and then look for the add on fight...
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Old Feb 11, 2023, 10:04 am
  #53  
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If you have AMEX points, look at what you can find on Singapore Airlines. If you find availability, then transfer points. Be aware that Singapore has an expiration date on their points.
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Old Feb 11, 2023, 10:31 am
  #54  
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Alaska is still the best TPAC redemption for US programs based on my experience.

But, in general, diversification can help open up more options than just one airline/alliance program(s). Also, be willing to reposition and be flexible in general.
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Old Feb 11, 2023, 10:49 am
  #55  
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Nothing new here. It's been bleak for quite some time. I find UA generally has the worst redemption options overall of the US majors, though there are always exceptions and good deals can still be found.
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Old Feb 11, 2023, 11:38 am
  #56  
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I wonder when some mileage redemption would exceed 1 million miles for one-way.
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Old Feb 11, 2023, 1:14 pm
  #57  
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Originally Posted by TonyBurr
I have been looking for a Business Award from PHL-BKK for months for the summer or fall. I find nothing under 300,000 miles. I love UA "Dynamic Pricing". or robbery might be another word. No reason to fly UA and acquire miles.
"Hyperbole" might be another word too. Nobody is putting a gun to your head and forcing you to accept these prices.

The very first date I tried -- Tuesday, Oct 10 -- had 99K award availability from PHL to BKK. Of course, it's PHL/EWR/LFW/ADD/BKK and takes 44 hours. There are some 200K options that are reasonable timewise but are mixed cabin. If I click over to Sat. Oct 7, I get a similar 99K award through Addis Ababa, but also a 104K award PHL-DUB-ARN-BKK in like 30 hours, which is par for the course. The 30 day calendar shows no days over 200K for the minimum, and even pulls up a couple of 82.5K awards in July and August, assuming your profile is up-to-date and you're UA Plat.

I'm not going to argue that 200K each way is some fantastic price, but if you're flexible, the 82.5K and 99K awards are as low as they're going to get.
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Old Feb 11, 2023, 1:31 pm
  #58  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
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Originally Posted by kb1992



I wonder when some mileage redemption would exceed 1 million miles for one-way.
Hey now, at least you'd get a fat stack of PQP for the trouble, it's not all bad!
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Old Feb 11, 2023, 2:31 pm
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Kacee
Nothing new here. It's been bleak for quite some time. I find UA generally has the worst redemption options overall of the US majors, though there are always exceptions and good deals can still be found.
Rare dissent on this point though of course it is very much YMMV depending on how you try to use your miles. Over past decade I have had far more success finding saver pricing for UA itineraries originating on West Coast, though it requires some patience and jumping when rare windows open (like the recent LAX-LHR flights). By saver I mean 60-77k TATL & TPAC biz, 12.5k domestic (rarely used but useful for ASE and other pricey flights), and 17.5k Mexico. I don't accumulate much on AA but have also found 57.5-60k TATL biz. I have never found anything I needed on AS though there are often sweet spots on JAL and Finnair. DL is the worst (not the least bc one-ways cost extra) and of course WN does not offer C international.
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Old Feb 11, 2023, 3:03 pm
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Boraxo
Rare dissent on this point though of course it is very much YMMV depending on how you try to use your miles. Over past decade I have had far more success finding saver pricing for UA itineraries originating on West Coast, though it requires some patience and jumping when rare windows open (like the recent LAX-LHR flights). By saver I mean 60-77k TATL & TPAC biz, 12.5k domestic (rarely used but useful for ASE and other pricey flights), and 17.5k Mexico. I don't accumulate much on AA but have also found 57.5-60k TATL biz. I have never found anything I needed on AS though there are often sweet spots on JAL and Finnair.

DL is the worst (not the least bc one-ways cost extra) and of course WN does not offer C international.
Agree with is.

DL is the worst. Period.
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