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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 11, 2023, 7:14 pm
  #61  
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Programs: AS 75K; UA 1MM; Hyatt Globalist; Marriott LTP; Hilton Diamond (Aspire)
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Originally Posted by Boraxo
Over past decade . . . .
Two or three years ago, I would have agreed with you. But within the last year, UA has gotten really bad, particularly for domestic redemptions. The bright spots are the occasional international saver availability and the dynamic international J awards pricing in the 150k range which can still be a decent value on a cpp basis.

But in terms of overall value, taking into account both domestic and international, I personally find UA worse than AS, AA, and DL.

Originally Posted by kb1992
DL is the worst. Period.
DL domestic redemptions in F are overall much better than UA, where domestic redemptions in F just suck. I do several DL F redemptions per year and consistently get 1.6 cpp or higher. DL international Y redemptions for non-elite pax can also be a good deal, particularly since they offer the best Y cabin of the three US majors (with 2 seat window pairs on a good chunk of their widebody fleet). I've gifted several of those over the past year or so.

DL international J redemptions? I'm not gonna argue with you there :-)
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Old Feb 12, 2023, 11:44 am
  #62  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Rochester, MN
Programs: UA Silver, Hilton HHonors Diamond, IHG Plat
Posts: 1,830
XN Mexico and Caribbean is no longer 17.5K floor folks. Its now 20K.
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Old Feb 23, 2023, 10:27 am
  #63  
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Programs: United MileagePlus
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London 23Feb2023 to 18May2023

Looks like UA is doing a one-day-only X/XN fare sale to LHR for travel between 23 Feb and 18 May for 23,000 miles each way.
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Old Feb 24, 2023, 8:42 am
  #64  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Programs: *A
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Change award pricing different than new booking?

I had booked a OW award flight BWI-LAX for 15k miles which had a four hour layover in IAH. Was hoping for a shorter connection and earlier arrival in LAX and kept checking availability.

Eventually found a good option (same routing, but earlier flight for second leg so just 1 hour in IAH) but it was pricing at 23k miles. Decided to go for it anyway, and used the change ticket option to update to the new itinerary. I was pleased to find that it was pricing at the same 15k as the original (with a small refund on the taxes too despite being the same routing?), when I was processing as a change vs looking at pricing for a new ticket.
This didn't seem to be related to availability, as I had both prices pulled at the same time in different browsers.

(Possibly related data point, I actually got an error when trying to confirm the change, but I was able to call in and after a little bit of holding the agent was able to process and confirm the 15k.)

I haven't booked United in a long time, is this typical behavior? Where prices might be different for change versus making a new booking?
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Old Feb 24, 2023, 8:57 am
  #65  
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Originally Posted by sds1493
I haven't booked United in a long time, is this typical behavior? Where prices might be different for change versus making a new booking?
It depends, but in most cases I'd expect it to use current pricing. Sounds like you got lucky.
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Old Mar 16, 2023, 11:40 pm
  #66  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 38
United Award Pricing: LAX >> AKL

Hi allbeen starting to research United award flights between Los Angeles and Aukland, New Zealand. Looking at Business Class awards. I was a little surprised that it costs between 250 - 350K points one way. For the experts out herehas that been the typical award pricing in the past or has United raised it? (maybe due to dynamic pricing?)

My flight isnt until early 2024 so yes, a tad bit early, but just trying to get an idea of what to expect.

thanks for any advice
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Old Mar 17, 2023, 8:59 am
  #67  
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Originally Posted by BoldAndRestless
Hi allbeen starting to research United award flights between Los Angeles and Aukland, New Zealand. Looking at Business Class awards. I was a little surprised that it costs between 250 - 350K points one way. For the experts out herehas that been the typical award pricing in the past or has United raised it? (maybe due to dynamic pricing?)

My flight isnt until early 2024 so yes, a tad bit early, but just trying to get an idea of what to expect.

thanks for any advice
Seeing some dates with 200K awards on SFO-AKL non-stop (in addition to 250K, 300K, and 350K also showing for LAX-AKL). My guess is the 200K awards are likely the lowest you will see on route. Still better than what you will find on DL LAX-AKL flight where D1 awards start at 325K miles each way with a roundtrip booking requirement (as with most D1 routes these days, booking awards as two one-ways will cost more miles than a roundtrip booking).
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Old Mar 17, 2023, 9:10 am
  #68  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 38
Originally Posted by xliioper
Seeing some dates with 200K awards on SFO-AKL non-stop (in addition to 250K, 300K, and 350K also showing for LAX-AKL). My guess is the 200K awards are likely the lowest you will see on route. Still better than what you will find on DL LAX-AKL flight where D1 awards start at 325K miles each way with a roundtrip booking requirement (as with most D1 routes these days, booking awards as two one-ways will cost more miles than a roundtrip booking).
Thanks xliioper. I guess this is the new norm.
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Old Mar 17, 2023, 9:11 am
  #69  
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Originally Posted by BoldAndRestless
Hi allbeen starting to research United award flights between Los Angeles and Aukland, New Zealand. Looking at Business Class awards. I was a little surprised that it costs between 250 - 350K points one way. For the experts out herehas that been the typical award pricing in the past or has United raised it? (maybe due to dynamic pricing?)
I mean, the answer to that question is always that UA has raised it. However, there have been two 60K fare sales in the last year or so, both of which included flights to New Zealand (but, IIRC, you had to go through Sydney). And its theoretically possible to find saver space that, IIRC, is about 80-90K each way. However, thats going to be easier if you have Platinum status or above, and

Originally Posted by BoldAndRestless
My flight isnt until early 2024 so yes, a tad bit early, but just trying to get an idea of what to expect.
if you arent traveling during peak times. Early 2024 sounds like southern hemisphere summer, and therefore I doubt youll see much below the 200K that xliioper mentions. (Theres quite a bit of saver space for Platinum/1K/GS in May / June. I wouldnt expect any in Dec./Jan.)
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Old Mar 17, 2023, 10:04 am
  #70  
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Originally Posted by xliioper
Seeing some dates with 200K awards on SFO-AKL non-stop (in addition to 250K, 300K, and 350K also showing for LAX-AKL). My guess is the 200K awards are likely the lowest you will see on route. Still better than what you will find on DL LAX-AKL flight where D1 awards start at 325K miles each way with a roundtrip booking requirement (as with most D1 routes these days, booking awards as two one-ways will cost more miles than a roundtrip booking).
I booked for 80k recently ...
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Old Mar 17, 2023, 12:39 pm
  #71  
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It's a bit of a resignation to the new era, but given current revenue fare tables, 200k each way for JN to AKL is substantially over 2cpm.
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Old Mar 18, 2023, 9:18 pm
  #72  
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What I've sussed out from various posts about MP bookings is to book whatever is the lowest available the first time you check. Then keep checking on a regular basis to see if something lower is being offered. The mileage amounts seem to change a lot and often go up and never come down, but there are those occasional unicorns that shows up that are lower.

Also, unless you are taking advantage of the Excursion Perk, book two one-ways rather than a round-trip. Makes changing just the outbound or inbound to a lower mileage amount much easier.
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Old Mar 18, 2023, 9:37 pm
  #73  
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Originally Posted by wpcoe
What I've sussed out from various posts about MP bookings is to book whatever is the lowest available the first time you check. Then keep checking on a regular basis to see if something lower is being offered. The mileage amounts seem to change a lot and often go up and never come down, but there are those occasional unicorns that shows up that are lower.
IME the mileage amounts often go down the closer you get to departure, especially TATL.
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Old Mar 23, 2023, 11:38 am
  #74  
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
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Hi all, I've been slow playing some United/Ink cards to gain points in hopes of redeeming some J seats to Australia in 2024. When I started this process ~6 months ago, I had gone through the United calendar and found a lot of ~125-150k options OW from various airports (mostly ORD and NYC). Looking now towards current openings, I don't see anything under 250k and many routes at 300k. Is this the new norm? I'm not married to needing to fly in J and see plenty of very good routes for 40k OW in X, it just seems like the J pricing has skyrocketed recently and I wanted to get a feel for whether I'm missing something or if this is just how it is now.

Last edited by rariya; Mar 23, 2023 at 12:11 pm
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Old Mar 23, 2023, 12:46 pm
  #75  
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Originally Posted by rariya
Hi all, I've been slow playing some United/Ink cards to gain points in hopes of redeeming some J seats to Australia in 2024. When I started this process ~6 months ago, I had gone through the United calendar and found a lot of ~125-150k options OW from various airports (mostly ORD and NYC). Looking now towards current openings, I don't see anything under 250k and many routes at 300k. Is this the new norm? ... .
Cheaper seats don't last, especially for peak season.
With no penalty for booking and then cancelling. Best to book if the price / dates are liveable and change if you find something better.
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