United Pre-Devaluation Awards: Last Chance to Book

United Pre-Devaluation Awards: Last Chance to Book


United's 2017 Award Chart Devaluation Takes Effect November 1 so these are the last 3 days to book awards at the pre-devaluation rates. As I highlighted in the above post, a number of business and first class awards are increasing in terms of the MileagePlus miles required, often in the range of an additional 5000-10,000 miles each way for awards to or from the U.S., including transcon business class, which will go from 25,000 to 35,000 miles each way, and United flat bed business class from the continental U.S. to Hawaii, which will increase from 40,000 to 50,000 miles each way.

But I also highlighted a couple awards that are increasing 63-67%:

Partner First Class Between South Asia and Australia / New Zealand: 63% increase from 40K to 65K Miles

The current United award pricing is a great deal for 9 hours of first class, even though it is Thai Airways First Class on the 747, so not as good as, say, JAL First Class or Singapore Suites. Keep in mind that even after the increase, it will still be better to book using United MileagePlus miles than Aeroplan miles, since the same award costs 95,000 Aeroplan miles.

Best of all, when departing from Bangkok in Thai First Class, you can enjoy a 1 hour oil massage; see my Thai Airways First Class Lounge and Spa Bangkok Review.

Thai Airways First Class Lounge 1 Hour Massage


Partner Business Class Between South Asia and Australia / New Zealand: 67% increase from 30K to 50K Miles

Keep in mind that Thai Airways operates a number of different business class products. I would definitely aim to avoid Thai Business Class on the 747, since it's angled flat; instead, book Thai Business Class on the A350-900 between Bangkok and Melbourne, which is a flat bed seat, where each seat has direct aisle access.

Thai Business Class, A350-900


Or even better, if you can find award availability, Thai Business Class on the new 787-9 Dreamliner between Bangkok and Auckland, New Zealand, an over 11 hour flight, which features even newer Zodiac Cirrus reverse herringbone seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, similar to Qatar Airways which is pictured below.

Zodiac Cirrus Reverse Herringbone Business Class Seat


Where to Stay in Sydney

Sydney is a little lacking when it comes to luxury hotels. My top recommendations in Sydney are The Park Hyatt Sydney, in a Opera Deluxe Room, or The Langham Sydney, for a more boutique option. Both are Virtuoso properties; Virtuoso benefits at The Park Hyatt Sydney are mentioned in my review, linked above, and for The Langham Sydney they include:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Buffet breakfast, for up to two in room guests
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi for duration of stay
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

View of Opera House from Park Hyatt Sydney Opera Deluxe Room


Where to Stay in New Zealand

New Zealand's best luxury hotels are actually luxury lodges. My favorites are Otahuna, near Christchurch; Kauri Cliffs; The Farm at Cape Kidnapper's; Matakauri Lodge; and Wharekauhau. All are Virtuoso members and include an upgrade if available on arrival (except for Wharekauhau) and a $100 spa services credit (or resort credit for Wharekauhau, or complimentary lunch or picnic basket, with a bottle of New Zealand wine, in the case of Otahuna.

View from Matakauri Lodge, Queenstown, New Zealand


Are you making any United MileagePlus award bookings before the 2017 award chart devaluation?

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