United Mileage Plus has modified its award chart and the changes will go into effect June 15, 2011. While this normally means increases across the board, in some cases, the number of miles required for an award flight will decrease.
Mileage Plus members who redeem miles for domestic short hops can now redeem 10,000 miles for a one-way flight of 700 miles or less. Other routes requiring 5,000 fewer miles include first and business awards from North America to North Asia or South Asia and Central or Southern Africa. Business awards to Europe or Japan are decreasing 5,000 miles and coach awards to Central and South Africa are also decreasing 5,000 miles.
But there are increases as well. Awards from North America to the Middle East in business will increase from 115,000 miles to 120,000 miles, coach awards from North America to Europe and Southern South America will be 60,000 miles, up from 55,000 miles.
To view all of the changes, visit http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?4265
United also made changes to the upgrade award chart. The upgrade co-pay for domestic flights is increasing to $75 from $50 plus 20,000 miles from 15,000 miles. The co-pay is increasing to $550 from $500 for flights to Europe from the lowest fares and the mileage required start at 15,000 miles instead of 10,000 miles. Mileage amounts have also increased on flights from North America to Asia and are now 20,000 miles for Y and 30,000 miles for B, from 12,500 miles.
The full upgrade award chart can be found at http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?4266
Bottom line: You can book an award trip or upgrade award at the current levels until June 15, 2011. If you have an upcoming trip, check the charts before booking to see if your route will require additional or fewer miles and wait until June 15, 2011 to book if you can save some miles. If you’re planning to fly to Europe in coach, book now. Many premium cabin awards from North America have gone down, which is good news for those members saving up their miles for international business and first class tickets.
Overall, members who redeem their miles for upgrades will now be faced with higher co-pays and more expensive mileage requirements.