United Award Tickets...Question about increases in amounts needed...

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by sargenet, May 3, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sargenet
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    sargenet Silver Member

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    Hello. We are pretty new to using airline miles for flights. Just started this year and have taken advantage of most sign up offers through Chase, Citibank, Cap One, Am Ex....

    We are planning a big family trip to Hawaii in a year and I am focusing on collecting United miles. I know as of now that we can get there each way for 20K milesaver and 40K anytime awards. My question is how often do airlines change their "awards" by increasing miles needed? I have pretty much focused on earning hotel miles for stays the last few years and I always expect increases on the hotel side...but I have no idea how often airlines change their award tables...

    Has it been at this level for awhile? Should I expect increases to 25K or 50K? Just trying to get an idea. I have 5 tickets to purchase next year! I am very much hoping they DO NOT do away with miles and money....I'll need that to pull together this trip!!!
     
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  2. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    I'm by no means a United expert, but from what I remember they actually just updated their mileage amounts a few weeks ago. Another change shouldn't be coming for awhile, but you never know. My money's on "safe".

    That being said, the likelihood of getting 5 award tickets all on the same flights is not that great. You might want to consider splitting up your group. Of course try for the 5 seats, but you should really have a back up plan.

    Welcome to MP! :)
     
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  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Since UA and CO are in the process of merging, I would assume (based partly on the NW/DL merger) that if CO currently charges more miles for award tickets to Hawaii, this level--the higher of UA's and CO's requirements--will prevail. Have you been following the announcements and speculation about the merger and especially how they plan to coordinate their FF programs? If you plan to travel there at a popular time, such as the holidays, you should probably assume for planning purposes that you will need to use anytime awards. Similarly, if you have no date flexibility and must have all five tickets on the same flights, assume that the cost will be the anytime awards.

    Remember that you can ticket awards on most carriers 330 days in advance. Some airlines release a bunch of award inventory then while others release award seats based on a sophisticated yield management algorithm.

    Before committing to the miles and money scheme, be sure to compare this to using miles for some tickets and purchasing others in terms of upgrade potential and the earning of miles. It can make sense to purchase tickets for those attempting to obtain/maintain elite status while using miles for other tickets.
     
  4. sargenet
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    sargenet Silver Member

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    I have been following the updates so keeping an eye on that..but I have not looked at the latest developments past June! We are actually using United miles to go to Hawaii this June (3 tickets..milesavers) and we were able to grab them about 3 months ago. I am also burning up the last of our American Airlines miles for our upcoming June flights...grabbed FC milesavers on those!

    I tried to follow award seats since last fall for this trip we are taking in June. I am lucky that next year we have 3 tickets from San Antonio and 2 tickets needed from PA... and we are totally flexible with dates. Usually we fly Tuesday since there seems to be a better chance of grabbing award seats. I also have the flexibility to head to LAX for an overnight before our trip, but I have found that if they are offering milesaver flights from LAX they are usually offering the same thing from SAT! And I can always drive to Austin so I check both!
     
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  5. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Welcome to MP, sargenet! :)

    I mentioned in my post above that I thought I saw information on an updated award chart from a few weeks back. Tracked it down and it turns out I was 1/2 right: the changes haven't happened, they'll happen on June 15. Here's a link to a post from BoardingArea that outlines that changes to the award chart due to the UA/CO merger. Of note: Hawaii award rates are listed as staying the same.
     
  6. sargenet
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    sargenet Silver Member

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    Thanks.. I was just trying to find that chart. I am not that familiar with the current chart...but when I was planning this trip to Hawaii the economy tickets were 20/40k.

    All the flights I looked at only had economy and first class. The first class tickets were 40/80.

    I noticed on this new chart that they had 40/80 for business class and 50/100 for first class. So that makes me wonder if it will be 50K for a saver in first class...especially since there is no business class on these flights...
     

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