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

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

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Old May 1, 21, 5:27 am   -   Wikipost
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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, we’ll 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 what’s currently published in our chart. You may have already seen these prices, and you’ll be able to get them immediately.
  • Other award prices may be higher than what you see today, especially if you’re traveling at a popular time. These prices will take effect immediately for travel November 15 or after.
  • Starting November 15, we’re removing close-in fees, so you won’t 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 what’s 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 what’s listed in our chart, which you may have already noticed. After November 15, award prices may also be higher, especially if you’re 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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Old Jan 5, 20, 9:04 am
  #1  
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"Dynamic Award Pricing" by UA; questions, experiences, .... (No Award Chart Nov 2019)

Pre-2020 posts have been moved to "Dynamic Award Pricing" by UA; questions, experiences, .... (No Award Chart Nov 2019)

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Last edited by WineCountryUA; May 1, 21 at 4:01 pm
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Old Jan 5, 20, 9:04 am
  #2  
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"Dynamic Award Pricing" by UA; questions, experiences, .... (No Award Chart Nov 2019)

Was just looking to book SFO-PHX which was regularly available for 8k miles saver Y prior to these changes. Now the regular price has climbed to 12.5k - a 56% price increase.

That sound you hear is UA sucking all the value out of the MP program.

Meanwhile I'm off to transfer AMEX to Avios, to book same route in F on AA for 15k.
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Old Jan 5, 20, 12:59 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Was just looking to book SFO-PHX which was regularly available for 8k miles saver Y prior to these changes. Now the regular price has climbed to 12.5k - a 56% price increase.

That sound you hear is UA sucking all the value out of the MP program.
Wow, I'm glad I chose to keep most of my points in Chase UR. If UA isn't giving good value for miles, then I'll burn my UR points in another program. I'm already abandoning UA MP for status, but if this happens too, then I'll just abandon it entirely, even for SAUA.
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Old Jan 5, 20, 2:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post

That sound you hear is UA sucking all the value out of the MP program.
.
IME the sky is not falling, at least not completely. Seeing a bunch of good 25k domestic R/T in peak summer on several routes I need.
For example, just booked 3 RT Y seats SHD - JAC for 75K total in mid July. Bunch of dates available. Cash price is $600+, so getting around 2.5 cpm
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Old Jan 5, 20, 2:08 pm
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I am looking to improve IST-DEN flights in April and one of the agents told me to look at FRA-DEN availability. This made me laugh for a couple reasons, but the main one was when I looked at that route, they want 240K miles for C (one-way). If they ever happen to open some saver space, I should be able to snag it IST-FRA-DEN for 70K as a partner award. We'll see, but I wouldn't be surprised to check every day and never see the UA FRA-DEN flight open up "saver" level space in C. Of course, I can get IST-FRA-DEN on that same flight for 155K if I want to blow that many miles.
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Old Jan 5, 20, 3:22 pm
  #6  
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I am finding some strange behaviors on the web...

Trying to book US-Europe-US with an excursionist intra-Europe. Amazingly, 30,000 miles each way in Y but...

For the return, there is actually J available at 60K - it only shows up if I search it independently (one-way) but does not show on the multi-segment search, which I have to do because of the excursionist segment. Is it because my US-Europe is in Y? Works as designed or a bug?

Even on that J routing, it forces me to overnight at SFO and connect to the domestic flight the next morning in Y (XN) when Y (XN) is available for 2 later flights the same day. Bug or Works as Designed?

1K agent said he does not even see the J inventory when it pops for me fine. He transferred me to Web Support and she was actually able to fix it for me manually! Very impressed that she did it but not sure why the website worked this way.

Any ideas? Thanks.
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Old Jan 5, 20, 3:31 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by username View Post
Any ideas? Thanks.
The website searches for entire itineraries at once, and then limits the whole result set to 200. It misses quite a few valid itineraries. It's often necessary to call in order to get Excursionist Perk itineraries to book properly.
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Old Jan 5, 20, 4:18 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Was just looking to book SFO-PHX which was regularly available for 8k miles saver Y prior to these changes. Now the regular price has climbed to 12.5k - a 56% price increase.

That sound you hear is UA sucking all the value out of the MP program.
That is not entirely true. I looked in May, and SFO-PHX is running as low as 7K miles. Now thru the end of Spring Training is peak travel to PHX, so I'm not surprised it is more miles in Jan-Mar.
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Old Jan 5, 20, 4:31 pm
  #9  
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Unhappy

Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
The website searches for entire itineraries at once, and then limits the whole result set to 200. It misses quite a few valid itineraries. It's often necessary to call in order to get Excursionist Perk itineraries to book properly.
Thanks. Just another thing to trip over for people who don't pay attention to these things

The agent was able to fix my existing trip manually - essentially replaced 2 segments - one from LH to LX and one UA segment. Miles adjusted and actually got a refund on some taxes. LH/LX sites say ticketed (same system since the PNR is the same). Anything more I need to do to make sure the ticket is OK (since in the past changing *A segments can lead to trouble)?

Thanks.
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Old Jan 5, 20, 6:21 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by username View Post
Thanks. Just another thing to trip over for people who don't pay attention to these things

The agent was able to fix my existing trip manually - essentially replaced 2 segments - one from LH to LX and one UA segment. Miles adjusted and actually got a refund on some taxes. LH/LX sites say ticketed (same system since the PNR is the same). Anything more I need to do to make sure the ticket is OK (since in the past changing *A segments can lead to trouble)?

Thanks.
If it looks OK in both UA's and LX/LH's system, the only other thing to verify is that the ticket number matches.
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Old Jan 5, 20, 6:58 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
Wow, I'm glad I chose to keep most of my points in Chase UR. If UA isn't giving good value for miles, then I'll burn my UR points in another program. I'm already abandoning UA MP for status, but if this happens too, then I'll just abandon it entirely, even for SAUA.
What's SAUA?
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Old Jan 5, 20, 8:29 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
If it looks OK in both UA's and LX/LH's system, the only other thing to verify is that the ticket number matches.
Thank you. They match.

Originally Posted by FlyingHighlander View Post
What's SAUA?
Star Alliance Upgrade Award
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Old Jan 6, 20, 5:34 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by tods27 View Post
We'll see, but I wouldn't be surprised to check every day and never see the UA FRA-DEN flight open up "saver" level space in C. Of course, I can get IST-FRA-DEN on that same flight for 155K if I want to blow that many miles.
I wouldn't either, but LH might open space . . . that's traditionally been one of the decent routes for LH availability.
Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
Now thru the end of Spring Training is peak travel to PHX, so I'm not surprised it is more miles in Jan-Mar.
Spring training doesn't start until late February and in any event, it does not drive demand for air travel at a macro level. If your theory were true, I would not be able book using Avios for 7.5k/15k Y/J. And yet I am, with availability on most dates.

My challenge this year will be burning my remaining UA miles at a tolerable redemption rate.
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Old Jan 6, 20, 9:48 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Spring training doesn't start until late February and in any event, it does not drive demand for air travel at a macro level. If your theory were true, I would not be able book using Avios for 7.5k/15k Y/J. And yet I am, with availability on most dates.
I hadn't realized Avios accrues at the same rate as MP - I'll look into that.
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Old Jan 6, 20, 10:03 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
I hadn't realized Avios accrues at the same rate as MP
No, it's even better than that. I use AMEX MR transfers for Avios. MR points are earned at a rate of 5 per dollar when airline tickets are purchased with the Platinum card. So the Avios "accrual" is on top of whatever is earned on the underlying ticket in the program of choice (whether UA or any other).
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