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United Devalues Their Miles

So much for United’s massive “Flyer Friendly” ad campaign. This is definitely a case of #UnitedUnfriendly
Tweet that out and let your voices be heard.

United has just announced that they will be raising the rates of most awards effective 02/01/14.  Their industry leading award chart was simply too good to be true.  The only good news to be found here is that it will still remain completely free of fuel surcharges and booking fees, something no other network carrier in the world can say.

Current Award Chart PDF

New Award Chart PDF

You can book at the current rates until 01/31/14 for travel as far out as January 2015. But once February comes around you’ll have to book using the new award chart.

With the current award chart the rates are the same no matter what airline you’re flying on.
With the new award chart you will pay a significant premium to fly on a partner airline.  In some cases the rate to fly on a partner airline will be nearly double what the current rate is.

These changes will raise the value on other Star Alliance currencies like Aeroplan, ANA, Avianca, Singapore, USAirways, etc.

The USAirways and American award charts are now extreme bargains and are very likely to be devalued as soon as their merger is either approved or rejected.

Below is a chart I put together comparing the new rates.
The first rate is the current rate.
In the parenthesis is the additional miles you’ll need over the current rate and the new rate when flying on United.
In the brackets is the additional miles you’ll need over the current rate and the new rate when flying on a Star Alliance or other partner airline
The rates listed are for one-way travel at the saver level.

For example:
-A one-way ticket between the US and Israel now costs 40K in coach, 60K in business, and 75K in first on any airline.
-Starting in February a one-way ticket on United from the US to Israel will cost 42.5K in coach, 70K in business, and 90K in first. Mind you United doesn’t even fly First Class to Israel so I have no idea how you would ever wind up paying 90K.
-Starting in February a one-way ticket on a partner airline from the US to Israel will cost 42.5K in coach, 80K in business, and a whopping 140K in first. That’s an 86.7% increase if you want to fly Lufthansa First Class to Israel over the current rates. Like I said, #UnitedUnfriendly

Between the US49 or Canada and:Coach:

Current
(New United)
[New Partner]
Business:

Current
(New United)
[New Partner]
First:

Current
(New United)
[New Partner]
US49, Canada10K Short Haul, 12.5K Long Haul.
(No change)
[No change]
25K
(No change)
[No change]
35K
(No change)
[No change]
Alaska12.5K
(+5K=17.5K)
[+5K=17.5K]
25K
(+5K=30K)
[+5K=30K]
35K
(+5K=40K)
[+5K=40K]
Hawaii20K
(+2.5K=22.5K)
[+2.5K=22.5K]
40K
(No change)
[No change]
50K
(No change)
[No change]
Mexico, Caribbean, Central America17.5K
(No change)
[No change]
30K
(No change)
[No change]
40K
(No change)
[No change]
Northern South America20K
(No change)
[No change]
35K
(No change)
[No change]
45K
(No change)
[No change]
Southern South America30K
(No change)
[No change]
50K
(+5K=55K)
[+5K=55K]
67.5K
(+2.5K=70K)
[+2.5K=70K]
Europe30K
(No change)
[No change]
50K
(+7.5K=57.5K)
[+20K=70K]
67.5K
(+12.5K=80K)
[+42.5K=110K]
Middle East40K
(+2.5K=42.5K)
[+2.5K=42.5K]
60K
(+10K=70K)
[+20K=80K]
75K
(+15K=90K)
[+65K=140K]
Africa40K
(No change)
[No change]
60K
(+10K=70K)
[+20K=80K]
75K
(+10K=85K)
[+55K=130K]
North Asia32.5K
(+2.5K=35K)
[+2.5K=35K]
60K
(+10K=70K)
[+20K=80K]
70K
(+10K=80K)
[+50K=120K]
Central Asia40K
(+2.5K=42.5K)
[+2.5K=42.5K]
60K
(+10K=70K)
[+20K=80K]
80K
(+10K=90K)
[+60K=140K]
South Asia32.5K
(+7.5K=40K)
[+7.5K=40K]
60K
(+10K=70K)
[+20K=80K]
70K
(+10K=80K)
[+60K=130K]
Japan32.5K
(+2.5K=35K)
[+2.5K=35K]
60K
(+5K=65K)
[+15K=75K]
67.5K
(+12.5K=80K)
[+42.5K=110K]
Oceania35K
(No change)
[No change]
60K
(+5K=65K)
[+15K=75K]
75K
(+5K=80K)
[+35K=110K]
Australia, New Zealand40K
(No change)
[No change]
67.5K
(+2.5K=70K)
[+12.5K=80K]
80K
(No change)
[+50K=130K]
Round-The-World180K
(+20K=200K)
[+20K=200K]
260K
(+90K=350K)
[+90K=350K]
350K
(+100K=450K)
[+100K=450K]
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44 Responses to “United Devalues Their Miles”

  1. Mileswhore Says:
    1

    Absolutely disgusting!

    jeff.smisek@united.com needs to hear from everyone

    twitter/united

    Two tier award charts? What’s the purpose of being in an alliance, then??

    ReplyReply
  2. PotAteAHead Says:
    2

    Eicha yoshvo b’first class…

    ReplyReply
  3. Steve Says:
    3

    Wow. Crazy.
    Feel bad for all those people saving up their United points. Time to start burning!

    And I agree with #1, we should not let happen without even making any noise.

    Am emailing to Jeff smisek will get read – and replied to – by his $12 am hour secretary. But I guess it can’t hurt.

    ReplyReply
  4. dovid Says:
    4

    this is bad news!

    what do i do now with my 400,000 Chase UR points?

    some increases aren’t rediculous but some are! biz to aus going up 2.5k i can live with, but *A flights to israel going up so much?

    ReplyReply
  5. UA Mileage Plus: Massive Aenderungen bei Awards & Upgrades Says:
    5

    […] hier eine gute vergleichstabelle DansDeals.com […]

  6. not the whole story Says:
    6

    Not the whole story as you need to look at what the underlying cash fare growth has been since the last devaluation to get to the true cash devaluation value of the miles.

    ReplyReply
  7. Dans the man Says:
    7

    Wow! At least I did my first class trip around the world…. The experience was unbelievable! I was saving up for another trip… This is really sad news

    ReplyReply
  8. JohnnieD Says:
    8

    YIKES!!! Talk about devaluations………….UnitedPesos….

    ReplyReply
  9. R Says:
    9

    how much per point is united selling for?

    ReplyReply
  10. Nic Says:
    10

    This makes me so angry – I have been planning for months a first class anniversary trip to the Maldives in Feb 2015 – any thoughts on if I book early and change the dates?

    ReplyReply
  11. Myb821 Says:
    11

    I think we need to start a Twitter campaign. Include United and chase in every tweet with the hashtag #unitedunfriendly. Spread it everywhere and overwhelm their Twitter accounts

    ReplyReply
  12. bitzy Says:
    12

    The worst part about all these changes means that if you fly across the atlantic to Europe on United metal you won’t be able to make any connections without paying a serious premium of miles!

    ReplyReply
  13. shmuel Says:
    13

    Does this affect the going rate for those of us that sell our points?

    ReplyReply
  14. no words Says:
    14

    Completely disappointing for loyal customers who have earned their miles and now it list it’s value. .. sad 🙁

    ReplyReply
  15. Yaks Says:
    15

    I’m assuming this lowers their value for selling as well

    ReplyReply
  16. OberBoberGrober Says:
    16

    This means that it’s over with F. No way will I spend that amount. Hopefully LH gets their act together and installs the new Biz seats in all their planes.

    Now UA to Israel will really be a premium for us to find a seat.

    ReplyReply
  17. Joe Says:
    17

    Simple math. United has pension liabilities and award liabilities. Pension liabilities go up, either write out a big check or cut the value of another outstanding liability.

    Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

    ReplyReply
  18. Levi Says:
    18

    So this affects super saver awards?

    ReplyReply
  19. jim Says:
    19

    start a Twitter campaign. Include United and chase in every tweet with the hashtag #unitedunfriendly. Spread it everywhere and overwhelm their Twitter accounts

    jeff.smisek@united.com needs to hear from everyone

    twitter/united facebook united airlines

    ReplyReply
  20. jason Says:
    20

    Dan – I have around 450K miles from my Chase cards waiting to take a trip to Israel with my family.
    Do you think it’s worth selling and just purchase the tickets?

    ReplyReply
  21. Jason Says:
    21

    I want to fly jfk fra nrt on lh f may 2014, what would be the best way, since lh releases f awards only days before departure?

    ReplyReply
  22. Jonathan Says:
    22

    agree with dan, need to really protest this, here’s what i sent to smisek

    Jeff,

    As a CEO of a hi-tech start up here in Israel, and a 1K mileage plus member and ~1M lifetime miles, we made a decision to move all of our corporate travel from Elal to United.

    A big reason behind the change was the mileage program you offer. Given the upcoming changes to your awards travel (5%-90% increase in award travel to/from Israel on United and partner airlines) this have caused us to seriously reconsider our decision. This will impact not only our travel, but also related decisions like corporate cards on Chase United cards, etc.

    If you are truly “Flyer Friendly” I’d seriously ask you to reconsider these changes that affect your most loyal customers.

    Thanks,
    -Jonathan

    ReplyReply
  23. Big Boy Says:
    23

    Hey guys,
    We must follow Jim’s advice (comment #19), and all of you guys that don’t have united miles don’t think that you’re safe, because it won’t take much time for all the airlines to follow them so we must take action now, and I think the best man for the job is the one and only Dan.That being said, would mean that it is our job to make sure that Dan starts the E. Rally against this new development, I’m pretty convinced that Dan will be more than happy to lead.
    LET’S GET TO WORK!!!

    ReplyReply
  24. mike Says:
    24

    And all the talk of delta sky pesos. If one would actually consider that some people fly to earn their miles they’d realize that earning 2.25 miles per mile as a diamond versus 2 miles as a 1k is a built in 16.66 percent bonus. ON top of that united will now be more miles to israel than delta in economy (and sooner !). Sure no one ways on delta but you can get a free one way on a domestic ticket on delta so you can get 3 legs for 25k miles. Yes often hard to find but the notion that one should only have united miles bec of 28 partners just took a massive beating. Its all about how you choose to spend the miles. Their absolutely are PLENTY of places where delta miles are now significantly more valuable than United.

    ReplyReply
  25. mike Says:
    25

    cant wait for the next trip report on the great value of using united on those emirates or singapore routes… Funny how Korean air just became an incredible bargain with delta miles.

    ReplyReply
  26. Non-Sequitur Says:
    26

    Dan: Can you make a post about the best ways to use United Miles, similar to your posts about Avios?

    ReplyReply
  27. Aaron Says:
    27

    So that means that a regular domestic flight in the US is going up from 12,500 one way to 17,500?

    ReplyReply
  28. Dan Says:
    28

    @mike:
    -Except that DL Diamond requires 25% more flying than AA EXP/UA 1K.
    -Except that Delta/Skyteam availability is much tougher than United/Star Alliance.
    -Except that this devaluation main affected First Class, something not even part of the DL program. Good luck redeeming for Korean First with your DL miles.
    You need Chase UR/Korean for that.

    @Aaron:
    No. Not sure why you think that.

    ReplyReply
  29. Mileswhore Says:
    29

    I think the bloggers, including Dan, need to reach out to the major publications (CNN, NY Times, etc.) and get this out there. This is not a fair devaluation, it’s a slaughter!

    ReplyReply
  30. mike Says:
    30

    Dan- Agreed but good luck redeeming first class united points for asian partners. Even you wont splurge to fly first with united points anymore on those carriers. Not to mention that veryyyyy few of your readers have THAT volume of points.
    Delta sky team availability isn’t nearly as tough for the number of miles youll have to pay on united to fly first or even business. You are comparing finding delta saver ability for biz class with united ??? united is now double the price on its partners than delta is on its partners.

    ReplyReply
  31. Eli Says:
    31

    This is simply a cause and effect of the excessive exploitation of the system and the rampant “grey market” mileage selling that takes place. I foresee many more extensive changes taken place to curb the airlines significant loss of revenue due to the sale of miles . I would not be surprised if programs start restricting the ability to book award travel for any passengers other then the named mileage account holder.

    ReplyReply
  32. mike Says:
    32

    Dan- to go to europe for 140k round trip on partners of united in biz or 160 to israel I can gladly find you that opportunity on deltas partners. bec with delta youd only need a low fare one way and medium on the return to do that… changes the game. I have never suggested not having united miles. However you have always championed the worthlessness of delta. As if somehow in the cc game they were at the “expense” of united miles. My point is simply that that approach was shortsighted for SPECIFIC AWARDS. like Tahiti for example…

    ReplyReply
  33. mike Says:
    33

    @Aaron- You are confusing alaska with rest of usa and canada. Only travel to alaska and Hawaii has changed in terms of “domestic” awards

    ReplyReply
  34. mike Says:
    34

    I am including the email I sent as a resident of Israel…

    Attention Jeff Smisek,
    As a CEO of a company here in Israel, and a 1K mileage plus member, I made a decision to move all of our corporate travel from Delta to United. In fact for 2013 I was still a diamond on Delta (you can verify as my ff number there is……..)
    A big reason behind the change was the mileage program you offer. Given the upcoming changes to your awards travel (5%-90% increase in award travel to/from Israel on United and partner airlines) this have caused us to seriously reconsider our decision.
    I have earned my 100k miles (currently 98 this year) almost entirely on united metal (you can check) flying primarily the EWR-TLV route. United has exactly one flight on its own metal from Tel Aviv. The above mentioned flight. Which means that I and my employees are being asked to earn our miles entirely on united metal (our business contacts are in ny) but ANY and EVERY REDEMPTION other than the flight we earn our miles on will cost us as much as a 90 percent premium. That is entirely absurd to fly premium cabins since we will have to do it on your partners.
    Back when I was with continental you also offered free lounge access for those living outside of the usa who were 1k members. You gutted that. You also offered us 200% base miles (not just 150%) on business tickets on united metal. You gutted that. We are flying more times to earn our status on united metal and in turn you are gutting our perks left, right and center.
    This will impact not only our travel, but also related decisions like corporate cards on Chase United cards, etc.
    If you are truly “Flyer Friendly” I’d seriously ask you to reconsider these changes that affect your most loyal customers.
    Thanks,
    Mike

    ReplyReply
  35. Wanna Sell United Miles Says:
    35

    Dan,
    Do you think I should sell my United Miles now? Will I get paid less per point from the brokers after Feb 1st?

    ReplyReply
  36. Justin Says:
    36

    I sympathize with everyone on this board… but for those of us who primarily fly coach (and adopt a more destinations, less luxury approach) this isn’t nearly as bad as I had worried. Plus coach rewards are the same on partner airlines… when flying coach to Asia, Singapore or Asiana metal makes a *world* of difference

    Any clarification on whether the multi-city option will still be as generous as it has been for some time?

    ReplyReply
  37. Dan Says:
    37

    @Justin:
    If you fly round-trip coach booked in advance you will do better spending on a 2.2% cash back rewards card rather than earning airline miles to redeem on coach tickets.
    Plus you’ll earn miles on your tickets that way and you won’t be limited by award availability.

    ReplyReply
  38. Dan, but not that one Says:
    38

    This reinforces my airline miles philosophy. Use them when you’ve got them and don’t try to save them for a rainy day. When the rain comes, the miles will have been severely devalued.

    ReplyReply
  39. Daniel Says:
    39

    @Dan:

    That depends on what time of year you are flying (especially to TLV)

    ReplyReply
  40. Anonymous Says:
    40

    @Dan:
    How far in advance do I need to book an int’l coach ticket, in order for a cash back card to be a better option?

    ReplyReply
  41. esther12 Says:
    41

    if someone has United miles to sell, is it better to do it now or too late already?
    thanks

    ReplyReply
  42. Miles to sell Says:
    42

    I have 907,000 Chase points. Any idea on what I can expect to get per mile?
    What other valuable way is there to dreamed them?

    ReplyReply
  43. avrum Says:
    43

    if you book the ticket with points prior to the4 devaluation, and then have to change it , besides that there will be a fee, I am guessing there is no way to guarantee a date for you to use those tickets. in that case you might not be able to use the ticket except for days that you cant go. Is there something I am missing?

    ReplyReply
  44. Dan Says:
    44

    @Dan, but not that one:
    True.
    Though of course your dollars are also devalued, it’s just done on a daily basis so you don’t feel the sting like a major airline devaluation every 5 years.

    @Anonymous:
    Depends on lots of factors such as the exact route.

    @esther12:
    @Miles to sell:
    Everyone has been dumping their miles since these announcements so the market price already went way down.

    I don’t anticipate them falling any further, the pain has already been priced in.
    If anything it may rise slightly as there’s just a glut of people dumping them now.

    @avrum:
    Of course, this all only works if you are somewhat flexible.

    ReplyReply

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