Miles & Money Award Value (UA)

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by WaterSki, Mar 29, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. WaterSki
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    WaterSki Silver Member

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    The price of Miles & Money awards on United seems to have increased since the last time checked. Originally the pricing appeared to be distance-based, and now the pricing seems to be related to the price of a revenue ticket. The new pricing makes it rare to find a Miles & Money award that's a good value.

    From their introduction through late 2010 at least, domestic Miles & Money awards were priced at 10-15k miles plus $80-$120. The pricing seemed to be looseley based on the distance of the award. For exaple, MSP-ORD-BWI would be 10k miles + $80, and IAD-SFO would be 15k miles + $120. Short-haul, last-minute awards were a good value when revenue prices were high. 10kmiles + $80 for DCA-ORD at the last minute could easily be a $400-$600+ revenue ticket.

    The new pricing appears to be half the miles of an award and half the cash of a revenue ticket. So, for example, DCA-ORD would be 12.5k miles + $200 (if the revenue ticket cost $400).

    When Miles & Money awards were intrudoced, they were a legitimate enhancement to the program allowing miles to be redeemed at a better value than a straight-up award (especially for 1Ks with changes on awards).

    Now that the cash component of the award scales with the ticket price, does anyone see any times when a Miles & Money award would be a good value?

    I should add they they do seem to offer Miles & Money Standard awards (no capcity controls) for 25k miles + half the ticket price. Perhaps that could be a good value for an extremely high-priced ticket.
     
  2. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I see Miles & Money only being useful if you'e an infrequent traveler trying to spend down your account. My dad has 20k miles on AA that are not very useful because he has so few. Yet he rarely travels AA, so he recently had to buy a magazine subscription in order to avoid losing them. A Miles & Money option would work for someone like him, even with the new const structure, since he can use some of them up without needing the full amount of miles or worrying about forgoing the opportunity to earn more miles on a revenue fare.
     
  3. bungalow1225

    bungalow1225 Active Member

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    They could be a "good value" if you 1) have a lot of miles and 2) not a lot of money. I used the Miles & Money option last year and this year to upgrade LAX-NRT-SIN r/t because I had enough money for the combo upgrade, but not for a ticket in C. This kind of situation is not uncommon among self-employed consultants who travel a lot on the client's dime (thereby earning the miles for "free").
     
  4. santafefran
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    santafefran Silver Member

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    I am one of those infrequent flyers with not very many miles who is using Miles + Cash to upgrade (hopefully) from E to Business on a UA TATL trip in Sept. Flying ABQ_IAD-MUC-VCE and rt FCO-IAD-ABQ. Currently waitlisted and doubt that chances are good, but worth a try and still costs less than booking Business. My concern is that I don't want to spend the miles and $$ only for the domestic upgrade legs if the TATL upgrades don't clear. How does this usually work?
     
  5. WaterSki
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    WaterSki Silver Member

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    United Miles & Money award tickets are completely distinct from Miles + Copay upgrade awards. A Miles & Money award allows you to redeem an award ticket (not an upgrade) using fewer miles and less money than a regular award ticket. Mileage awards, which require a copay when upgrading from lower fare classes, are a completely different beast -- as the customer is not ever given the choice of whether to redeem straight miles or miles + copay, as the customer's original ticketed fare class determines what copay is required.
     
  6. santafefran
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    santafefran Silver Member

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    My bad.
     
  7. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    I think it all comes down to fare price and availability. If you are in a pinch at the last minute this could work out favorable.
     
  8. gobluetwo
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    gobluetwo Silver Member

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    I've used Delta's equivalent because 1) I no longer have DL status and didn't care that they didn't accrue miles and 2) it was much more economical to fly my family of 4 to DEN compared to a revenue ticket. I had just enough miles to do the skymiles copay thing, but not enough for 4 full award tix.

    DL does it a little differently, also. Their scheme is basically 10k miles = $100 off. So if a ticket costs $300, you can "pay" 10k miles and $200, or 20k miles and $100.

    The one thing to be aware of, whichever airline you do this on, is that they're considered award tickets, ie, no miles accrual!
     
  9. PanAm
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    PanAm Silver Member

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    One thing that would be nice, if UA would allow you to use a VDB voucher to pay some or all of the "Money" part of the M&M award ticket.
     

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