rows of seats in an airplane

United Premium Plus Award Costs Make No Sense, For Now

Last week United Airlines started selling Premium Plus, their version of premium economy. Untied announced that they would be starting service on 20+ routes as of March 30,2019. They additionally made sure to say that Premium Plus would be redeemable using your miles, a step that American Airlines has been dragging its feet on. The one thing that wasn’t known is what the cost would be to fly in the new Premium Plus cabin.

Over the past week I have been tracking award pricing on one of the first routes to get the new service from Newark (EWR) to Hong Kong (HKG) and so far the pricing doesn’t make much sense.

a screenshot of a flight schedule

When I first started look at the route it only showed Premium Plus available for 140,000 United miles, an absolutely terrible deal when you consider that lie-flat Business class was available for 75,000 miles. The 140,000 seems to indicate the top of their award chart as I couldn’t imagine paying anywhere near that amount.

North America – South Asia Miles Cost
Economy Premium Plus Polaris Business
Minimum/ Saver 40k ?? 75k
Maximum 90k 140k 180k

Conventional wisdom says that United Saver level Premium Plus award should fall between 40k-75k points but so far United has only release space as low at 85k points through the end of the schedule.a screenshot of a calendarA representative from United Airlines said:

“Award pricing is based on routes, availability, time of booking and other factors. Over the past few days we have rolled out premium economy award options and lower awards should now appear on all routes if they are available.”

While that sounds great, were still sitting here scratching our heads at the current pricing. Hopefully United Airlines will clean this up soon. The most logical thing would be for Saver level Premium Plus awards to start at 55,000 miles. Should the product be priced any higher, it would make more sense to find a saver level Business Class award starting at 75,000 points. United Airlines does publish a formal award chart with their Minimum and Maximum Award cost although their pricing is variable in between the two limits. Premium Plus hasn’t been updated into that chart yet. This could also indicate a devaluation is coming, I would hold back from screaming bloody murder for now, as I don’t think it’s that.

Are you planning on booking a United Premium Plus award?

Feature Image Via United Airlines