United MileagePlus Award Chart Devaluation 2017 and Everyday Awards

United MileagePlus Award Chart Devaluation 2017 and Everyday Awards

 

United MileagePlus is introducing Everyday Awards and devaluing its Award Chart, effective November 1, 2017. Fortunately, United is providing 4 months of lead time before these changes take effect, and the changes, while not great, could be worse, at least for U.S.-based flyers, with a number of awards remaining the same rate, and most increases in the 7-25% range, with only a few increases that are higher than that.

Since the last major United award chart devaluation was in 2014, I'm not surprised to see another one go into effect later in 2017, or see United adopt Everyday Awards (more on these below).

The new United award chart pdf effective November 1, 2017 has the United award chart on p. 2 and the Star Alliance award chart, for partner airlines, on p. 3. 

Here are the key changes of United's New Saver Chart that takes effect on November 1, marked in bold font:

Between Continental U.S. and: Class Current Saver New Saver
       
U.S./Canada 700 Miles or Less Economy 10K 10K
  Business 25K 25K
  First 35K 35K
U.S./Canada Except Alaska/HI Economy 12.5K 12.5K
  Business 25K 25K
  Lie-Flat Biz 25K 35K
  First 35K 35K
Hawaii Economy 22.5K 22.5K
  Business 40K 40K
  Lie-Flat Biz 40K 50K
  First 50K 50K
  Long Haul First 50K 55K
Alaska Economy 17.5K 17.5K
  Business 30K 30K
  Lie-Flat Biz 30K 40K
  First 40K 40K
Caribbean/Mexico/C. America Economy 17.5K 17.5K
  Business 30K 30K
  First 40K 40K
Northern South America Economy 20K 20K
  Business 35K 35K
  First 45K 45K
Southern South America Economy 30K 30K
  Business 55K 60K
  First 70K 80K
Europe Economy 30K 30K
  UA Business 57.5K 60K
  Partner Biz 70K 70K
  UA First 80K 80K
  Partner First 110K 110K
Northern Africa Economy 40K 40K
  UA Business 70K 70K
  Partner Biz 80K 80K
  UA First 85K 85K
  Partner First 130K 130K
Central/Southern Africa Economy 40K 40K
  UA Business 70K 70K
  Partner Biz 80K 80K
  UA First 85K 90K
  Partner First 130K 130K
Middle East Economy 42.5K 42.5K
  UA Business 70K 75K
  Partner Biz 80K 85K
  UA First 90K 90K
  Partner First 140K 140K
Central Asia Economy 42.5K 42.5K
  UA Business 70K 75K
  Partner Biz 80K 85K
  UA First 90K 90K
  Partner First 140K 140K
South Asia Economy 40K 40K
  UA Business 70K 75K
  Partner Biz 80K 90K
  UA First 80K 95K
  Partner First 130K 140K
North Asia Economy 35K 35K
  UA Business 70K 70K
  Partner Biz 80K 80K
  UA First 80K 90K
  Partner First 120K 120K
Japan Economy 35K 35K
  UA Business 65K 70K
  Partner Biz 75K 80K
  UA First 80K 90K
  Partner First 110K 110K
Oceania Economy 35K 35K
  UA Business 65K 70K
  Partner Biz 75K 80K
  UA First 80K 90K
  Partner First 110K 110K
Australia / New Zealand Economy 40K 40K
  UA Business 70K 80K
  Partner Biz 80K 90K
  UA First 80K 100K
  Partner First 130K 130K

 

Here are the key changes for first class and business class awards by region for the key places most North America based flyers would be redeeming United miles for. The worst increases are in bold font.

United Premium Transcontinental Service

United's premium transcontinental service hasn't been attractive to me ever since United exited JFK and consolidated its operations at Newark, but those who do like to redeem their miles on the EWR to LAX, EWR to SFO or Boston to San Francisco routes won't like this devaluation. The one way cost for this award will increase 40%.

  • United Premium Transcon Business Class: 25,000 to 35,000 miles each way (+40%)


United Flat Bed Service Between the Mainland U.S. and Hawaii

Business class saver award space is abysmal on United's routes with flat bed service for NYC EWR to HNL and its other flat bed flights to Hawaii from Chicago ORD, Denver, Houston, and Washington Dulles IAD, but nonetheless these award rates are increasing 25%.

  • United Flat Bed Business Class: 40,000 to 50,000 miles each way (+25%)


South Asia to Australia/New Zealand

For those based in Australia and traveling to South Asia or the reverse, these Thai First Class and Thai Business Class awards are hard hit, increasing over 60%:

  • Partner First Class: 40,000 to 65,000 miles each way (+63%)
  • Partner Business Class: 30,000 to 50,000 miles each way (+67%)
 
Japan to Australia/New Zealand
 
Many of my clients who visit Australia and New Zealand, using miles, route through Asia, due to the lack of business class award space on nonstop flights from the U.S. And for clients in Australia, Japan is a popular destination, so it's a shame that this award, which particularly affects ANA Business Class between Sydney and Tokyo, is increasing.
  • Partner Business Class: 40,000 to 50,000 miles each way (+25%)

 

U.S. to Australia/New Zealand

Awards between Australia and New Zealand are often scarce in any case, at least during the winter and spring months when the weather is nicer down under, but these awards are increasing:

  • United First Class: 80,000 to 100,000 miles each way (+25%)
  • United Business Class: 70,000 to 80,000 miles each way (+14%)
  • Partner First Class: 130,000 miles each way (no increase)
  • Partner Business Class: 80,000 to 90,000 miles each way (+13%)

 

U.S. to South Asia

While in general many clients prefer to fly to South Asia in Cathay Pacific First Class or Cathay Pacific Business Class, using AAdvantage miles, Alaska miles or Asia miles, or in Singapore Suites or Singapore Business Class with KrisFlyer miles, there are Star Alliance options, for example Asiana via Seoul or ANA via Tokyo or EVA Air via Taipei, in addition to United Airlines itself. And these are increasing 7-19%:

  • United First Class: 80,000 to 95,000 miles each way (+19%)
  • United Business Class: 70,000 to 75,000 miles each way (+7%)
  • Partner First Class: 130,000 to 140,000 miles each way (+8%)
  • Partner Business Class: 80,000 to 90,000 miles each way (+13%)


U.S. to Japan

These are only small increases, but are worth mentioning given the popularity I'm seeing among clients for travel to Japan.

  • United First Class: 80,000 to 90,000 miles each way (+13%)
  • United Business Class: 65,000 to 70,000 miles each way (+8%)
  • Partner First Class: 110,000 miles each way (no increase)
  • Partner Business Class: 75,000 to 80,000 miles each way (+7%)


United Everyday Awards Will Replace Standard Awards

Effective November 1, 2017, United Everyday awards with variable pricing will replace the current Standard awards. While the number of miles will vary, it won't be higher than the amount published in the new United Saver/Everyday Award Chart (Everyday mileage amounts are in bold font). That's better than what Delta did, which was to remove its award charts altogether.

Business Class Everyday award rates are usually 2-3 times the amount of the Saver Awards.

What do you think of the upcoming United Award Chart Devaluation for 2017 and Everyday Awards?

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