Tomorrow is January 31…

Tomorrow is January 31, so I figured I’d post a quick reminder of the things to potentially take action on by tomorrow:

Huge United MileagePlus award chart devaluation

Back in November United announced a huge award chart devaluation, which kicks in for bookings made on or after February 1, 2014.

Premium cabin Star Alliance awards are being hit the hardest, and in some cases the cost of premium cabin redemptions will increase ~100%. You can compare the old and new charts here:

If you haven’t yet redeemed your United MileagePlus miles, here are some posts that are hopefully helpful:

February 1 is going to be a sad, sad day for MileagePlus. I think this Nelly Furtado song just about sums up how we should all be feeling (especially in regards to Star Alliance premium cabin awards):

US Airways 100% bonus on purchased miles ends

US Airways has targeted those that purchased miles in 2013, to offer them a 100% bonus, which is their standard “buy miles” promotion. That brings down the cost of purchased miles to 1.88 cents each. While that’s not a rate at which I’d speculatively purchase US Airways miles, it can be a great value, especially for business class travel between the US and North Asia, which costs just 90,000 miles roundtrip.

Of course there’s a chance they’ll launch another promotion on February 1, though there’s no way to know for sure.

Delta’s new award chart officially kicks in

This isn’t really something to take action on, though it’s worth mentioning nonetheless.

Last August Delta announced they’d be devaluing their award chart for travel on/after June 1, 2014. However, after United announced their award chart devaluation, Delta decided to announce yet another interim award chart devaluation, which would apply for travel between February 1 and May 31, 2014. Like I said this isn’t anything to take action on since the pricing is based on travel date and not booking date, so it’s too late now (well, unless you manage to book a trip for tomorrow).

Uber promotional $20 referral credit ends

On a promotional basis Uber has been offering a $20 referral credit for the month of January, which is double the normal referral credit. Through this promotion, both the person referring and person being referred get a $20 credit. Uber is awesome and I use it just about everywhere I travel where public transportation isn’t convenient.

You can sign up using my referral link (I’m of course very appreciative of your support), or feel free to post your referral link in the comments section below and someone can use that.

So, anyone still have a United MileagePlus redemption they have to make by tomorrow? If anyone has any questions on the above, feel free to post them in the comments below!


  1. Can’t wait to lock in my SE Asia – Australia redemption tomorrow! When J one way drops to 30k as compared to 45k at current prices 😀

  2. I think this is the year I finally kiss DL goodbye. Between the MQD requirement and now the devaluation of my already worthless miles, there just isn’t a reason to stay with them.

    AA really is looking more attractive to me. Newer aircraft, better service and miles I can actually use to go to place I might actually want to visit.

  3. Hi Lucky,

    would you figure UA will start to load new TATL F availability for the summer by February 1st – there used to be tons of – now there is nothing, nicht, rien 🙁

  4. And I’m gonna try SIN-MNL-HND/NRT-PVG-MEL for that 😀 it should work, I hope! The tricky bit is the SIN-MNL because it’s SQ…

  5. If you’re looking to book TATLs for end of 2014, start of 2015, Air Canada is wide open, YYZ to LHR, FRA, CDG, etc, as well as Turkish. Not as good as LH/LX F but hey, better than nothing.

  6. @ Stefan — For travel on United? I think a lot of the space has been booked up so it’s not that they aren’t releasing space, but rather just that others have booked it.

  7. Lucky,
    Thanks for all your posts on the United devaluation. Huge help in booking my ticket.

    SFO-LAX-MUC(stopover)-BKK-PHK out
    SIN-PEK-LAX home

    Can’t wait for my trip!

  8. @ lucky – yes that may be true. But there is absolutely nothing in August / September in UA F so my guess was that United will wait until February 1st to release more seats and charge more miles for them…

  9. @ anon – thank you for the advice, I wonder if AC business is really good however. Well, I keep hoping that something will open up or book BA once DM joins Oneworld – with massive fuel surcharges and going through non smoking LHR 🙁

  10. Managed to snag SFO-TPE-BKK, BKK-LHR, AMS-MUC-YYZ-SFO in J for 120k in late August. Getting the TATL was the hardest part but there are pockets of availability here and there. Best of luck everyone

  11. @ Stefan — Air Canada’s business class product is in a herringbone configuration and really solid, in my opinion. Wouldn’t hesitate recommending it.

  12. @ lucky – yes I have read your trip report (of course!). But is it nice to have the window in your back staring at a wall in the middle?

    I want the good old days back, when everything was available and the toughest decision to make was which airport is nicer to change planes…

  13. I was happy to find space FC space for our trip to BCN, however, PHX-ORD (on US)- ORD-FRA (UA in GF) FRA-BCN (On LH) this is for travel in Nov 2014. Don’t think it was too bad for 67,500 for each pax, yes, I wish it was on LH… Also booked a trip PHX-HNL-PHX via YVR on AC.

  14. @lucky – You should mention that AC isn’t only herringbone anymore. They have introduced a new staggered business class on its recently delivered 777-300ERs. I’m sure the business product is still good, though haven’t tried it.

    On the other hand, on these planes in economy they have gone to 10 across rather than 9 across. The older 777-300ERs are 42J/307Y. The new ones are 36J/24 Premium Y/398Y, so 109 more passengers on the same plane…and 1 *fewer* lav!

  15. Hey Lucky. My wife and I have 184k United, 110k AA, 170k British, and 250k US Airways. We would like to go to London and HKK in Sept or Oct for anniversary trip. Since we don’t have enough miles to do the whole trip with United do you suggest a speculative one way booking with united miles and then worry about finding the return with AA later? Neither of us have ever flown first class. Or should we burn the US miles on a HKK trip with stopover in Europe before the 90K gem goes the way of the dodo?

  16. @ baxterboy12 — Given your current mileage balances, in your shoes I’d probably book an award from the US to North Asia via Europe using United miles. That’s a value that’s tough to beat, especially given where your miles are right now.

  17. Thanks for the indispensable tips!

    I did LAX-FRA-PVG last month (LH F); BKK-NRT-FRA-YVR x2 this month (TG F, LH F). Two more Asia-Europe-America tickets via LH F next month, and the MP balance should be wiped.

    I hope UA feels the burn as they cut reimbursement checks to LH. AA has my business, effective immediately. #1KOUT

  18. Forgot to mention: cabin crew on all LH 744 flights confirmed that the airline plans to remove the beds sometime soon(ish?). Upper deck 744 to become business; first relocated to nose, to mirror 74H.

    Nothing quite like lying in those beds with a perfect view of the world passing below. Private jet-esque.

  19. @ Sean — Sounds like an amazing trip. That’s the first I’ve heard about Lufthansa’s 747s. Would be a real shame if true!

  20. “February 1 is going to be a sad, sad day for MileagePlus.”

    Oh, woe is you… You and Mr. Fancy Pants are going to have to cry in your Dom Perignon together and have a group hug… 🙂

    Meanwhile, I will continue my usual pattern of booking saver Y and F, and sometimes standard Y, for domestic UA award travel.

    I am still surprised that UA has not made a public / general announcement about the impending changes. Thank goodness for FT!

  21. so I just tried calling UAL to book an SQ ticket for November and was told that they can’t book any SQ tickets because they are having problems. They said they didn’t have an estimate for a fix since they have been having problems since the 28th. Any advice?

  22. @ Ladytravelbug — Sadly that does indeed seem to be the case right now. There’s nothing we can do other than hold off and wait.

  23. Can’t find a definitive answer to the following question.

    What if you book an F award with one or more segments in J and you find F space on those same segments later on? Would that cause the ticket to be reissued according to the new award chart? No change to routing or dates, and the ticket is already priced as an F award. It would seem to me that such a change would not trigger an add/collect, but I’m just not sure. Anyone know?

  24. @Jonathan I emailed united customer service with a carefully worded email to that effect (I am in J and one segment is in Y) and was told by two seperate customer service agents in writing that I wouldn’t be charged additional miles. I have saved those emails and we will see what happens.

  25. hey Lucky – I am currently Waitlisted on an I ticket for my domestic segment with United… currently I have an X and already paid up for an ANA F…

    if my waitlist had gone thru after 1/31… do you think it will trigger a reprice?


  26. Does the following make any value sense? IAD-PEK Global First PEK-BKK Thai First Class stopover then BKK-SYD Thai First Class SYD-AKL Air New Zealand Business then AKL-NRT Air New Zealand Business NRT-HNL Global First then add HNL-BWI in US Airways First Class for 160k each person? Thanks

  27. @ Steve — If you’re waitlisted then I’d say it shouldn’t trigger a reprice. If you switch without a waitlist I’d be less confident.

  28. @ Lucky – thank you for helping everyone!

    Transferred just enough UR points to UA MP and got IAH-PEK-HKG in CA F for May. Have a HKG-SFO in CX F on hold with AA as a return; will probably spend a couple of days in SFO before coming back to IAH since you get a free stopover on AA. Not a super-complicated multi-segment booking but hopefully you approve 🙂

    Quick question – if I wanted to visit another destination in Asia out of HKG, Avios would be a good way to go, correct?

    P.S. Used your Uber link to finally sign-up. Will come handy in SF.

  29. Hey there, I’ve been searching on the ANA tool for an already booked flight (HKG-PEK-ORD UA GF on the tpac).

    I’m looking at flights via frankfurt to try and snag some LH space and bumping into an odd situation. On 4/6, i see AMS-FRA-ORD with J available on both legs, but just searching the FRA-ORD leg, it shows no avail. Got any idea what’s happening?

  30. Booked JFK-FRA-BKK-HKG for March mostly in F and the agent that priced and booked it for me seemed quite confident that if LH F opens up on JFK-FRA changing that segment from C to F won’t trigger a reprice and I’ll only have to pay the change fees. I guess we’ll see soon enough..

  31. Looking at the new chart, it looks like for *A partners, there is no saver vs. standard differentiation. Does that mean that all partner flights will cost the same? Will availability be according to standard avail or saver avail? If it’s standard avail, then this could be a massive discount vs. United standard award cost.

  32. @ bundy — Hmmm, that is odd. On one hand it could be “married segments,” though I don’t usually see that being the case with Lufthansa availability. My guess is that it’s actually phantom availability when it shows the Amsterdam to Chicago via Frankfurt space.

  33. @ Antonio — There’s no standard award availability for partner airlines. Partner airlines only release space at the saver level, so nothing is changing there.

  34. I was trying to book something on Friday and gave up. Web was impossible to use, I was on the phone 3 hours straight without success even when I spoon fed all flights to the agent from india. he was coming up with different explanation why ticket would not price, all of them not valid. I do not understand how some people able to fly to asia from west cost and come back from the east with stopover in Europe? I was told it will be round the world ticket. if you buy 2 one way, it will be no point because you could not have a stopover in Europe? please, explain. Thank you

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