Don’t Forget to Book United Awards Before its Devaluation on February 1, 2014
United is set to devalue its award chart on February 1st with huge award price increases on partner awards. Awards flights on United are only going up slightly, but United is also creating a second partner award chart that will increase the prices of partner awards substantially–some as much as 60%!
Still, both charts are much worse than the current chart, so if you’re planning on booking an award using United miles, you should consider booking this week before the devaluation goes into effect. Especially so if you want to use your miles on a partner airline’s premium cabin award.
My tip would be to book sooner than later to lock in the award you want before all the award availability gets picked-off by everyone scrambling to book last minute awards.
How big is the devaluation? How much are awards increasing?
A while back, I created a chart that shows exactly how much each award will increase by with a comparison of both awards on United and partner airlines. You can view a larger version of the chart here.
The chart shows round trip award prices in thousands of miles for both awards on United and partner airlines. After February 2, 2014 United will split their current award chart into two; one for awards on United and one for awards on partner airlines.
Awards on United are mostly unchanged, with the biggest award price increases hitting premium cabin United awards to Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Economy awards on United are largely untouched, with increases only on awards to Alaska, Hawaii, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia.
The real hit is on partner premium cabin awards and you can expect to see prices increase by as much as 60%! Expect to also use much more miles (or say goodbye) to premium cabin awards on partner airlines to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and South Pacific. For instance, a round trip award to Europe on Lufthansa First Class will cost 85,000 miles more after February 1 and a First Class award to the Middle East is set to increase by 130,000 miles!
With that in mind here are 6 amazing premium awards to book before the devaluation:
Lufthansa First Class
EVA Royal Laurel Class
Asiana First Class Suites
ANA First Class Square Suites
Turkish Airlines Business Class
Thai Airways First Class
The Bottom Line
If you’re planning to book any United awards for travel in 2014, be sure you do so before the devaluation hits this Saturday, February 1, 2014. In my opinion this is a great time to burn whatever United miles you have on a premium partner award.
After United’s devaluation, partner awards will cost considerably more than partner airline redemptions using American Airlines and Alaska miles. In my opinion United miles will still hold their place for certain awards and be valuable, but I wouldn’t consider them the MOST valuable miles after the devaluation. It may be time to start rethinking your mile earning strategy for future travels and focus on earning American Airlines, Alaska, Lufthansa, and British Airways miles.
Best of luck to everyone burning through United miles this week!
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