How Award Chartless United MileagePlus Is Working For You?

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United Airlines made an announcement (read more here) earlier this year that they would stop publishing award charts effective November 15 (last Friday).

United Airlines

Now, the award chartless MileagePlus has been around for thee days; we are starting to see the differences.

You can access United’s website here.

MileagePlus now appears to penalize members that book their awards within 30 days of departure when greater availability usually exists by increasing the number of miles required by 3,500.

Previously there was up to $75 close-in booking fee that was discounted/waived for elite members.

Here are two comparison searches I made:

Bangkok – Bali

United MileagePlus

Avianca LifeMiles

Lufthansa Miles&More

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Aegean Miles+Bonus

Barcelona – Helsinki

United MileagePlus

Avianca LifeMiles

Lufthansa Miles&More

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Aegean Miles+Bonus

Conclusion

The airlines, especially US ones, are devaluing their award charts left and right, hoping that loyalty programs members would stick around (they shouldn’t).

The business has been good for too long – eventually, there will be a downturn that usually is very ugly in cyclical companies such as air transportation (how many times have the US 3 gone through bankruptcy protection/reorganization).

There is no longer ZERO loyalty left from my side to any of these programs. I use them when it benefits me and redeem with several airlines and alliances.

It is just unfortunate that you need to work with many programs within each alliance to get some value out of them. Previously, you could count the US-based programs to offer the best value and redemption experience (IT and low fees) that is often not the case anymore.

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