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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 Apr 27, 2023, 12:29 pm
  #91  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: DEN
Programs: UA 1P-1MM, Marriott LT Titanium
Posts: 3,969
Originally Posted by cfischer
Perfectly normal. Same as with 'paid' flights ... a direct non-stop can often price higher than one where we tag on another segment. Happens all the time with dynamic JN/YN awards
This is especially true when the non-stop is a UA flight. On the flip side, I'm always amazed when you have a flight like DEN-ORD-IST where ORD-IST is on TK, you get things like 70K miles for C, if DEN-ORD is in Y, but it jumps up to 155K miles if DEN-ORD is in F. I don't see any scenario where I'm willing to pay that many more miles to sit in domestic F. I'm sure that this has been mentioned somewhere in this thread, I just happened to be doing some searches and this was fresh in my mind.
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Last edited by tods27; Apr 27, 2023 at 12:39 pm
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Old Apr 27, 2023, 9:43 pm
  #92  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Delaware
Programs: UA Mileage Plus, Amtrak Guest Rewards
Posts: 1,419
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? 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.

Mrs. and I did EWR-SYD/MEL-EWR back in July 2022. 200k each way per person.

The non-refundable fare was about $7,500 rt per person when we booked in October 2021, however, Australia was still closed when we booked and as they reopened, our plans changed several times, causing us to make maybe 9 or 10 changes to our ticket over the 9 month period. Issues were QFs schedule kept changing with one of our destinations having 3x weekly service, and UAs return to MEL constantly being pushed back. It got so bad that one agent, who was really good, decided it was best to outright cancel our ticket and re-book a new one. (he got authority to do something to the new ticket in case the miles didnt refund imeadiately, but they did.). Thankfully every UA routing to/from OZ was 200k then.

Of course, in reality, we never would have booked so early if we were paying cash. This made it difficult to determine an exact cash equivalent, since we dont know how much we would have spent in cash in fare differences, even with free changes, but Im going with a ballpark figure of nearly 2.5 - 3.0 cpm, a cash price of between $10,000 and $12,000 round trip per person. Also, $12,000 was around the average for a fully refundable ticket.
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Old Apr 28, 2023, 2:28 am
  #93  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: Chase and American Express
Posts: 261
Booked lax to fra with a 1hr layover in lhr for 69k for may 1st for my business partner.

We were going to hold out for the non stop lufthansa flight but we prefer polaris anyday over lufthansa's business class where your practically sleeping with a stranger. So its polaris till lhr and then lufthansa from lhr to fra.

Cash price is currently $7076 one way, round trip $6906.

Even though this dynamic pricing sucks if your flexible enough you get pretty good last minute deals. Not sure if that'll be the case when summer really begins though.
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Old Apr 30, 2023, 10:38 pm
  #94  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: Chase and American Express
Posts: 261
Looks like i jinxed my self with the above post. Been waiting for ewr to fra to drop from the 160k range to 70k range but it looks like they are going to play chicken with me till the last minute even though they got like 15 business seats open on both flights that day.

Singapore has 3 tickets at 81k each from jfk to fra but i never know if jfk is going to take 1 or 2 or 3 hours to get to from nj. I also want to wait for united so it can count towards my status
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Old May 1, 2023, 7:29 pm
  #95  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 73
Award Redemption Price Increase

Looks like United today raised the price of Economy Saver Award Redemptions to Europe. All 30k "saver awards" look to be 35.5k or 40k now. Checked multiple cities and dates.
Was there an announcement? Not seeing any other posts.
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Old May 1, 2023, 7:38 pm
  #96  
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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UA dynamically prices awards. They are not going to make announcements of these things. The price can easily go back down if they want (and they won't announce that, either).

The reminder here is that prices can change at anytime, so if you think you might be interested in an award, book it first. No change or cancel fees, so can always deal with that if you figure out you don't want it anymore (with no change fees, same goes for cash bookings to an extent as well, though you can't refund after 24 hours, and just end up with a credit).
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Old May 1, 2023, 7:39 pm
  #97  
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Posts: 67,289
Originally Posted by bgallthat1
Looks like United today raised the price of Economy Saver Award Redemptions to Europe. All 30k "saver awards" look to be 35.5k or 40k now. Checked multiple cities and dates....
I see 31.8K (for EWR-LHR in later summer & Fall (marked down from 35K
Originally Posted by bgallthat1
Was there an announcement? Not seeing any other posts.
there never is
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Old May 1, 2023, 8:14 pm
  #98  
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Yes and no.

Yes = US -> Europe award ticket I've been watching has been 33K for two weeks now. Today it's up to 43.9K for the same exact flights. Thankfully I'm already booked on an outbound that I'm relatively happy with but hopefully the non-stop will open up before my travel in August.

No = Europe -> US award ticket is still pricing at 26.9K for Rome -> NY in August. I can't believe it's that low at all but this price hasn't changed.

-RM
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Old May 2, 2023, 6:38 am
  #99  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 73
Thanks for the replies. I am just surprised why a "Saver Award" is now 40k for the flights I'm looking at. What is considered a saver?
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Old May 2, 2023, 6:54 am
  #100  
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Originally Posted by bgallthat1
Thanks for the replies. I am just surprised why a "Saver Award" is now 40k for the flights I'm looking at. What is considered a saver?
The concept of "saver", and award charts in general, are no longer applicable for MileagePlus. They are all dynamic, similar to revenue flights changing prices all the time.
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Old May 2, 2023, 7:10 am
  #101  
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Programs: United MileagePlus
Posts: 338
Originally Posted by goodeats21
The concept of "saver", and award charts in general, are no longer applicable for MileagePlus. They are all dynamic, similar to revenue flights changing prices all the time.
That's just not true as of yet. I (an IN) / X (and XN) are business and economy saver awards. They might be few and far between, but they are there.
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Old May 2, 2023, 7:20 am
  #102  
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Originally Posted by jcturnbull
That's just not true as of yet. I (an IN) / X (and XN) are business and economy saver awards. They might be few and far between, but they are there.
But does that relate to a standard "saver" rate?
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Old May 2, 2023, 7:49 am
  #103  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Washington, D.C.
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Originally Posted by bgallthat1
Thanks for the replies. I am just surprised why a "Saver Award" is now 40k for the flights I'm looking at. What is considered a saver?
In the literal sense, a "saver" will be labelled that way when you look to buy your ticket. In the practical sense, a "saver" is going to be the least expensive award offered for that flight, representing a signficant discount from the 'normal' award price, but not always available. As others are saying, there is not a fixed amount of miles for any category of award or any particular region, it's all relative (in addition to being "dynamic," meaning constantly shifting).
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Old May 2, 2023, 8:42 am
  #104  
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Originally Posted by goodeats21
But does that relate to a standard "saver" rate?
You're right, there's no longer a fixed standard rate. There's still a baseline price but (a) it changes as opposed to being fixed in a publicly posted award chart, and (b) the actual price at any given time can be higher or lower and still book into X or I.
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Old May 2, 2023, 9:25 am
  #105  
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
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United confirmed it to me via chat that the "baseline price" to Europe went up 10K
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