While the new award chart is not active yet, this Mileage Plus page suggests we’ll see some changes to the award chart as of June 15, 2011, as follows:
• We will lower the mileage requirement for domestic award trips that are less than 700 miles one way. OnePass members have enjoyed this benefit, and now Mileage Plus members can, too.
• Some destinations will be included in different regions. Most notably, Mexico will become its own region instead of being considered part of Central America, and Guam will be considered part of Oceania.
• Some United and Star Alliance™ Award amounts will change; however many popular award routes, including North America to the Caribbean, will remain the same.
• Some Mileage Plus Upgrade Award and Star Alliance™ Upgrade Award amounts will change.
And I’ve gotta admit, that’s some of the finest marketing speak I’ve read in a very long time. Notice how they suggest they will lower mileage requirements for some awards, will change regions for certain destinations, and then mention how “some amounts will change.” While they use the word “lower,” they don’t use the terms like “raise,” “increase,” etc.
Pssh, I’m sure they wouldn’t mislead us. Obviously they’re just lowering prices across the board. 😉
As soon as the new award chart goes live I’ll have another post on the topic. In all honesty, I expect we’ll see increases of 5,000-10,000 miles across the board, except for a basic domestic award (no airline would dare mess with the theoretical 25,000 mile award… the credit card companies would throw a fit).