Reminder: exciting update coming in the next couple weeks from United Airlines! It's mostly good, though some of the new fees should be noted. It would also be helpful to understand how you can use the best travel credit cards or airline cards to maximize your rewards.
Book Multiple Cities using your United points
Starting October 6, you'll be able to book multi-city award travel on United.com using your United MileagePlus points, which you can earn through travel and spending with the right credit cards.
This will hopefully allow Mileage Plus members to better optimize their point redemptions -- or even be able to book them in the first place -- when booking reward travel on United.
United Change and Cancellation Fees for Award Flights
As of October 6, United will also update their fees for changing and canceling flights booked with United points.
In general it's more a simple structure (and the 90s table UI has been updated for the 21st century). Nothing drastically changed in terms of monetary value though the timeframes to cancel will become stricter.
New fees as of Oct 6, 2016:
The main changes:
Change/cancellation tiers changed from 20 days to 60 days: Depending on your MileagePlus status, if you decide to change or cancel your trip within 60 days of flight, you may be paying higher fees after Oct 6 than you are right now. The current fee schedule defines the "close to flight date" as 20 days or less.
Premier Platinum members now pay fee within 60 days of departure: Premier Platinum members now have their own tier vs. previously being grouped with Global Services and and 1K status members. Platinum members will now have to pay $50 when making a change within 60 days of departure. Beforehand, there were no fees no matter when you changed/cancelled.
Silver and Gold members paying more fees: will be paying more in most cases as well, though Silver elites will pay $100 to redeposit an award within 60 days of departure, vs. the $125 redeposit fee they’ll pay now
General members paying more to make changes: will be paying more to make changes, but paying less to get miles re-credited
Simpler stopover policy: United is introducing the Excursionist Perk, a free one-way award within select multi-city itineraries.
It's still a bit confusing but basically offers the ability to book stopovers (must be 4 hours+ domestic, 24 hours+ international).
No More "Round the World" Awards: these rewards will be eliminated but it's not necessarily a bad thing. With most trips, the total price to create a customized itinerary will now be less and won’t have the routing restrictions that come with current Round the World awards
MileagePlus Points Reminder
Rack up and optimize those United MileagePlus Points!
Remember you can transfer from Chase Ultimate Rewards to United MileagePlus at a 1:1 ratio, and United award bookings have some of the lowest booking fees/taxes of any airline loyalty program.
And United is part of Star Alliance® so you can book most award itineraries with travel partners on United.com. But, if you're a frequent United traveler, you may wish to check out one of the best airline credit cards that is co-branded by United.
Some of my favorite United travel partners include:
- Air Canada
- Air China
- Singapore Airlines
- TAP Portugal
- Turkish Airlines
We'll be updating the site with examples of United multi-city bookings and point redemption values once the changes go live October 6th!