A surprise to all United MileagePlus members today as the airline increased the award redemption rates between the US and Europe in one of the worst devaluations of all time.
Saver Awards Increased By 33% Between US & Europe
Up until now, you could book one-way award flights between the US and Europe for 30,000 miles in Economy Class and 60,000 miles in Polaris Business Class. However, that is not the case anymore as there is a significant increase in award rates now.
40,000 Miles Required for Economy Class
With the new devaluation:
- A one-way Economy Class awards Saver awards between the US and Europe will now cost 40,000 miles.
Here are some of the sample awards in Economy Class:
As you can see in some of the routes above, the Economy Class awards start at 40,000 miles however there are some instances, it cost lower than 30,000 miles as the MileagePlus program is based on dynamic award pricing.
- A one-way Economy Class from Washington DC(IAD) to London(LHR) cost 34,400 miles instead of 40,000 miles.
- A one-way Economy Class from Frankfurt(FRA) to New York(EWR)) cost just 20,100 miles instead of 40,000 miles.
80,000 Miles Required In United’s Business Class
The 33% award devaluation also significantly increase Polaris Business award:
- A one-way Business Class Saver award between the US and Europe now starts from 80,000 miles.
Here are some of the sample awards on United’s Polaris Business Class:
United MileagePlus Also Devaluates Partner Awards
While many airlines devaluate their own mileage program, it is quite rare for them to touch partner awards. The most upsetting move United did this time was to increase partner awards as well. As a result, not only did partner awards rates increase between 39% to 47%, but now it also costs at least 100,000 miles to redeem on Business Class.
- Star Alliance partner Economy Class awards between the US and Europe now increased from around 30,000 miles up to 43,900 miles.
- Star Alliance partner Business Class awards between the US and Europe now cost from 70,000 miles up to 100,000 miles.
Awards to Asia Might Devaluate Soon?
While it is still not happening, United’s guerilla-style award devaluation like today could cause awards rates between the US and Asia to change anytime. Therefore, it is highly recommended to spend your MileagePlus miles to book routes to Asia before it devaluates.
For example, you can still book a one-way flight from most US cities to Asia operated by United for:
- 35,000 miles in Economy Class
- 70,000 miles in Polaris Business Class
United Airlines MileagePlus program just pulled off one of the worst devaluations of all time on awards between the US and Europe. Not only the program increased the miles required to 33% on its own metal, but it also increase partner awards to up to 47%.
This significant change leaves MileagePlus members to look for an alternative to redeem miles as it is getting really expensive to redeem miles with United. Instead, programs like Aeroplan and LifeMiles are getting more attention as it offers the best redemption rates.