Discounted United Partner Business Class Awards are Bookable for All of 2015 Starting Feb. 10 if you ticket by February 28 (see United announcement) via Dan–good news if you have tons of United miles you didn't manage to redeem before last year's United Award Chart Devaluation. It's also good news if you have a glut of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, as these transfer 1:1 to United and can be earned at 5X or more per dollar, thanks to the Ink Plus and Chase Freedom rotating 5X categories, plus shopping portal bonuses.
After the United Award Chart Devaluation in 2014, United now has two award charts, one for awards on United operated flights, one for awards on United's Star Alliance partners, which in some cases increased by 86% in the case of first class. These discounted awards are only for partner business class, but at least make it a little cheaper to use United miles for partners. That said, the AAdvantage award chart is still cheaper for all business class awards, even with these discounts.
Here are the details of the discounted business class awards on United partners:
- One way between U.S. and Europe: 57,500 United miles (usually 70,000 United miles)
- One way between the U.S. and North Asia: 70,000 United miles (usually 80,000 United miles)
- One way between the U.S. and Central Asia: 70,000 United miles (usually 80,000 United miles)
- One way between the U.S. and South Asia: 70,000 United miles (usually 80,000 United miles)
- One way between the U.S. and Middle East
United Award Chart Country Groupings (Destinations by Region):
Albania, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom
China, Mongolia, South Korea, Taiwan
Afghanistan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Yemen
Previously, in Discounted United Partner Business Class Awards to Europe and Maldives, Winter 2015, it was possible to book discounted partner awards only through March 2015; now you can book through December 2015.
Here are examples:
1. North America to Europe in Swiss Business Class or Air Canada Business Class
In terms of business class products from North America to Europe, my favorite is Singapore Business Class, but that's only available with Singapore KrisFlyer miles, and even so it can be tough. After Singapore Business Class, I also like SWISS Business Class, which in my view is much better than Lufthansa New Business Class.
Here's an example of Montreal to Zurich for 57,500 miles one way:
Update: Lufthansa Business Class awards are also discounted, but note that generally Lufthansa Business Class (and First Class, although First Class is not discounted with this offer) is only bookable up to about 15 days prior to departure.
Here's Air Canada Business Class on the 787-8 Dreamliner:
2. U.S. to North Asia in Asiana Business Class on the A380
Asiana Business Class isn't in the same league as Singapore Business Class, but it's still usually preferable to flying United or another U.S. carrier. And say goodbye to bland airline food with yummy Bibimbap and other Korean favorites.
3. U.S. to Maldives in Turkish Business Class
My favorite carriers flying to the Maldives are Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Etihad and Emirates, but Turkish Airlines also has a decent business class product and if you're lucky, you may be able to find an award such as this one with business class on the entire routing. Many days, unfortunately, only offer mixed class award bookings, with one flight in business class and one in economy. So try to be flexible, or consider using American AAdvantage miles instead to fly Etihad First Class.
4. U.S. to South Asia in Asiana Business Class or in United Business Class / Thai Business Class on the A380
Even if you don't plan to stay in Korea, Asiana Business Class can be a good way to get to South Asia destinations, such as Bangkok.
Alternatively, fly United Business Class to Europe then connect to Thai Business Class on the A380 to Bangkok.
5. Europe to the Middle East
Fly SWISS Business Class from Zurich to Tel Aviv for 35,000 United miles each way:
Or fly SWISS Business Class from Zurich to Dubai, also for 35,000 United miles each way.
Do you plan to book any discounted United Partner Business Class awards?
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