The new greatly “enhanced” award chart was supposed to take place on February 1, 2014, but this implementation has now been delayed by two days. The new chart will take effect on February 3, 2014.
The bottom line is that, if you use your United award miles for partner awards in business and first class, your miles will be worth a lot less come February 3.
Edit: Here’s the announcement that United made on FlyerTalk (access here):
With the updated MileagePlus award chart about to take effect, I have a couple updates and clarifications to share (which a few of you have already noticed):
The new Saver and Standard Award mileage requirements will become effective on Feb 3. We have moved implementation to a weekday, to better ensure we are able to serve our customers, particularly those who call our contact centers for assistance.
Booking an award where the mileage amount should have been reduced on February 1? If you book one of these awards on February 1 or 2, we will honor the reduced mileage amount. Although initial ticketing will be at the current, higher level, we will retroactively re-price your award to the lower mileage amount within 10 business days.
I’ll provide another update confirming the new mileage requirements have become effective, on February 3.
Also, United made another move later making Singapore Airlines awards totally unbookable online (read more here). You must always request the agent to check the Singapore Airlines availability. They will not do this unprompted. This is not a customer friendly move.
I have been on the phone with United several hours today (and still I am while writing this). All itineraries that have Singapore Airlines need to be calculated manually, as United’s system won’t load taxes automatically. Every call is at least 30+ minutes. Well we just got two more days to have all the final itineraries perfected.