United MileagePlus Will increase Transatlantic Award Pricing


Earlier this week, United quietly devalued transatlantic awards on its MileagePlus program. In the meanwhile, it seems that this solely impacts flights to and from Europe; nevertheless, there may very well be adjustments to different areas at any time.

So as to add insult to harm, the rise in pricing impacts flights with each United and associate airways.

United MileagePlus Hikes Transatlantic Awards

Earlier this week, transatlantic flight awards operated by United and associate airways had been elevated by at the least 30% throughout the board with United MileagePlus. The hike principally impacts financial system and enterprise class awards, whereas premium financial system pricing seems to have been spared.

Recall that MileagePlus has lengthy completed away with award charts and as an alternative makes use of a type of dynamic pricing for flights operated by United and its companions. This leaves the door open for pricing to vary at any time, and adjustments are a bit harder to identify than with applications that use a set pricing mannequin.

For instance the extent of the no-warning devaluation, let’s check out a couple of examples.

Financial system Saver awards for a flight from Washington DC (IAD) to Paris (CDG) now price at the least 40,000 miles, whereas beforehand, this route would’ve sometimes price as few as 30,000 miles. This represents a 33% improve.

In the meantime, a United Polaris Enterprise Saver award on a flight from Washington DC (IAD) to Amsterdam (AMS) now prices at the least 80,000 miles, whereas the identical flight beforehand price 60,000 miles, likewise representing a 33% improve.

United MileagePlus additionally applies dynamic pricing to awards with associate airways, giving them free rein to extend costs at any second. Sadly, transatlantic associate awards weren’t spared from this spherical of devaluations.

For instance, a flight with TAP Air Portugal from Washington DC (IAD) to Lisbon (LIS) is now priced upwards of 40,000 miles for financial system and 80,000 miles for enterprise. This is a rise from round 30,000 and 60,000 miles, respectively.

You possibly can see related tendencies for different Star Alliance companions, too. For instance, a Swiss enterprise class flight from New York (JFK) to Geneva (GVA) now prices 88,000 miles.

But it surely’s not all dangerous information, as there are nonetheless some Saver awards that may be discovered for the pre-devaluation price, at the least for now. 

For instance, it’s nonetheless potential to discover a flight from Newark (EWR) to Amsterdam (AMS) with tickets priced at 31,800 miles.

As talked about, Premium Financial system Saver awards don’t appear to have elevated in value with this devaluation. Going again to the instance above, you’ll see that premium financial system continues to be priced at 45,000 miles, and you may see the identical pricing for a lot of different transatlantic flights.

Consequently, the distinction between an Financial system Saver award versus a Premium Financial system Saver award is narrowed to five,000 miles, making the improve a no brainer.

Whereas there haven’t been any adjustments to award pricing on different routes, it’s very potential that these might observe within the close to future. If in case you have any factors sitting round in your MileagePlus account, you might need to lock in a reserving quickly to keep away from some other adjustments which will come.

Ought to You Ebook Flights to Europe with United MileagePlus?

It’s value noting that reserving transatlantic flights by way of United MileagePlus wasn’t the most suitable choice earlier than, and it’s now simply turn into worse.

Clearly, this can be a good alternative turn into acquainted with different Star Alliance loyalty applications, for those who haven’t completed so already.

The primary two applications that come to thoughts are Aeroplan, which is a switch associate of American Categorical US Membership Rewards, Capital One, and Chase Final Rewards, and Avianca LifeMiles, which is a switch associate of Amex US Membership Rewards, Capital One, and Citi ThankYou Rewards.

With these two applications, you possibly can count on Star Alliance associate awards to be priced decrease than United MileagePlus. Let’s use the examples above.

A one-way enterprise class award with TAP Portugal from Washington, DC (IAD) to Lisbon (LIS) prices 60,000 Aeroplan factors or 63,000 LifeMiles.

Equally, a Swiss enterprise class flight from New York (JFK) to Geneva (GVA) can also be priced 60,000 Aeroplan factors and 63,000 LifeMiles.

Some fast math reveals that the price of the identical flight is round 30,000 factors much less when booked with Aeroplan or LifeMiles as an alternative of United MileagePlus. 

As illustrated by the examples, merely diverting your bank card factors to a different Star Alliance program might prevent a tidy sum of factors or miles versus reserving the identical flight with United MileagePlus.

Between Aeroplan and LifeMiles, Aeroplan is arguably the higher choice for transatlantic awards, on condition that the factors are simpler to come back by and this system’s many different options.


United has devalued its MileagePlus program by rising transatlantic award costs by itself flights and on associate airways. On common, transatlantic enterprise class and financial system awards now price 30% extra, whereas premium financial system award costs nonetheless stay the identical as earlier than, at the least for now.

Reserving transatlantic flights with MileagePlus wasn’t the most suitable choice earlier than, and now it has solely gotten worse. Aeroplan and Avianca LifeMiles value transatlantic awards on companions like TAP Portugal and Swiss a lot decrease than United MileagePlus does, so it’s higher to focus your efforts there as an alternative.

Devaluations are the first purpose why you shouldn’t maintain onto miles and factors for too lengthy. With post-pandemic journey demand not displaying any indicators of letting up, we’re more likely to see extra devaluations to come back sooner or later, which is unlucky.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here