Book those United award tickets NOW!

As much as I like seeing the New Year right around the corner, I’m depressed to think about the United Mileage Plus changes that go into effect on January 1. With these changes you’ll be paying as much as 35,000 miles MORE per seat, which is complete robbery as far as I’m concerned, especially with Starnet blocking still in place.

Anyway, the only thing we can do about this at the moment is to lock-in awards at the current levels. As long as you book your award by tomorrow night that rate will be honored, even if you make changes in routing, dates, or destinations. As long as you don’t change the cabin or regions you’re flying in, you can use that ticket anytime in the next year. Of course change fees apply, but if you’re a 1K you’re lucking out here, since you can make changes for free.

At the moment I only have about 110,000 miles in my account, since I’ve been burning like crazy lately. I still haven’t decided what to book yet. I’m leaning towards a South America business class award ticket, since I haven’t been to South America yet. Business class awards to Asia or Europe are also options.

I better decide soon….

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Go to Buenos Aires! The dollar goes a long way, great steak, and you can shop for all your friends and family cheap! Plus, it’s summer right now!

  2. Thanks Eric, I have always wanted to visit BA. I just found out that apparently there’s a new visa/tourist fee starting in 2009 of $130+. That sucks big time!

  3. After reading this I went to .bomb and tried to book 2 F tickets to Hawaii for November 2009 and it shows the new redemption rate of 90,000 per ticket! Unbelievable! I guess I’m going to have to call.

  4. Try that AC YYZ-SCL route, then hop over to EZE and back to YYZ. That’s what I’m doing in May (except I’m doing GRU instead of EZE, and getting to GRU on LX).

  5. My ultimate goal is to go to IKA in F, and that’s only going up by 5K, so I think I’ll hold off on pre-booking just in case the visa paperwork doesn’t go through in ’09.

  6. Thanks for the heads up Lucky!. I just used up 600K miles for 2 F & 1 C tickets on SQ/NH/OZ to DPS and 3 C tickets on OZ/AC to HKG for next year. Hopefully, I can make the trips, if not I’ll just redeposit for free as 1K.

  7. I pulled the trigger as well. I ended up deciding on a US to South Asia business class award, since it’s just such a bargain. While South America is a higher priority destination for me, I feel like I can get a better deal there on a revenue ticket.

    I called UA and was off the phone in under seven minutes. That’s a personal record for me, and the agent was shocked that all the flights I was requesting were actually available. She was surprised to hear by how much the award tickets were going up, as she thought it was 5,000 miles per award, and not up to 35,000 miles.

  8. Ben,

    My brother has been saving miles for a couple years now and is itching to take a trip. He’s not a large point collector and is an actor in LA, so most of his points come come credit card purchases and trips home.

    He was bummed because he wouldn’t have enough miles to make the trip tomorrow with the increase and decided to book a trip today. I told him good luck given the last minute. He did pretty well calling on NYE for tavel next September.

    LAX-MUC (LH)
    MUC-FCO(LH) – Stop Over
    FCO-(ZRH)-CDG (LX) – Stop Over
    CDG-FRA (LH)
    FRA-LAX(LH)

    All in C. I thought he did fairly well given *net blocking and the last day to book

  9. Wow, fantastic job! That’s an incredible award, especially the LH transatlantic segments. They’re almost always blocked.

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