Update: Today is the last day to make bookings under the current award chart for Continental and United! You can book tickets now and then change them later on for free without paying more miles. There is also no change fee as long as the new travel is scheduled 21+ days in advance. When you use Continental miles you can also make free routing changes although on United there continues to be a fee for routing changes on award tickets, so be sure to transfer those United miles to Continental before booking!
Update: Continental/United has partially relented. Originally the plan was to go with the more expensive United rates. However the new chart now states that a round-the-world ticket will cost 180,000 in coach, 260,000 in business, and 350,000 in first. This is cheaper than the old United rates but more expensive than the old Continental rates.
Originally posted on 03/16:
United Airlines Award Chart Changes.
–United Visa Signature: Get 30,000 Miles For Signing Up, $50 Cash Back, And First Year Free!
-Continental: Take Advantage While You Can…
-Click here to read about and apply for all of the benefits of the Continental OnePass Plus Card
As expected Continental has updated their award chart as part of their merger process with United.
One of the great features of the Continental program was their round-the-world award option.
The Continental round-the-world world allows to take up to 16 flights and is an incredible value.
As of 06/15 the rates will go up significantly.
Currently it is 160,000 miles in coach, 220,000 miles in business, and 280,000 miles in first.
On 06/15 it will be 200,000 miles in coach, 300,000 miles in business, and 400,000 miles in first.
The new rates bring Continental in line with what United has been charging for a round-the-world.
If you book travel prior to 06/15 you will be charged the current rate, even if you are traveling after 06/15.
As of 06/15 you can make redemptions for one-way travel using Continental miles. You can make one-way bookings now by just transferring miles to United. The only difference would be for booking the expanded award availability that Continental Elites have access to.
Other changes for Continental folks are similar to the United changes from earlier today. The short haul US/Canada award for 20,000 miles will now only be for flights up to 700 miles in length instead of 750. Travel to Oceania also goes up using Onepass miles (as opposed to going down with Mileage Plus miles)
You can still travel on non-Alliance partners with Continental on the same ticket (including round-the-world tickets) for the same award rate. United still does not allow that and generally charges much higher rates for non-alliance award rates.