Last Day To Book Awards With United’s Published Award Chart; Are We At The End Of The Road For The Amazing United Plan B Business Class Saver Award?

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Update: Today is the last day to book United awards with their published award chart before the chart is eliminated tomorrow. It’s unknown if or how saver award pricing will change.


Originally posted on 11/10:

I’ve blogged about using United Plan B for business class saver awards many times over the years.

In short, it allows you to redeem for a business class saver award ticket when there is only saver award space available in coach. In other words, if you see a saver coach award from the US to Tel Aviv for 42.5K miles you can call United and redeem 75K miles for the business class saver award ticket and be seated in coach. You’ll be waitlisted for the business class seat and have priority over regular upgraders as you are considered a displaced business class passenger as you paid the rate for the business class seat.

You can read this post and this DDF thread for more information and tricks about using United Plan B.

You can tell when a saver award is available on United.com from the search results:

 

With only a coach saver award available, you can use the miles required for a business saver award and be waitlisted as a displaced business class passenger. You’ll get a refund of the difference between coach and business if you wind up sitting in coach on the longhaul flight:

On this coming Friday, November 15th United will eliminate their award charts. The price for any given flight will be whatever the search engine tells you it is, based on dynamic pricing.

You can view United’s current award chart here, saved on DansDeals servers for when United deletes their charts.

There are 2 possibilities here.

  1. United may eliminate the concept of a saver award. If this happens it’s hard to see how a Plan B award would be bookable. How would you book a saver coach award or saver business award if there are no saver awards?
  2. United may keep the concept of a saver award, but just not publish what the award will cost.

Taking a look at current dynamic pricing, United uses the saver award label whenever an award prices out at the saver level or below the saver level.

For example a Newark to Fort Lauderdale saver award is 12.5K miles:

 

But dynamically priced awards under 12.5K miles are also called saver awards:

 

Theoretically this can stay going forward, except the level at which an award is a saver award will no longer be published and may vary from route to route.

I booked a Global Services expanded award ticket today, which is when a Global Services member can book a saver award in coach based on T class availability and in business class based on PZ class availability (Read more about that alphabet soup here). My domestic coach award was 12.5K miles and I asked the agent how that will work starting on Friday. The agent said that they will still be able to open up saver award space, but the rate will be dynamic, though she seemed unsure of how exactly that would work. And she had a few choice words for the United executive who decided to eliminate the award chart.

Now I have no idea how they will figure out how to price a saver award when there’s no award chart to reference, but I’m hopeful that there will still be an internal award chart that isn’t published.

If that’s true, saver award benefits like expanded United cardholder saver award space, expanded Platinum/1K saver award space, and expanded Global Services saver award space will stick around.

And it should mean that Plan B awards would stick around as well.

Then again United can just as easily eliminate the concept of saver awards and all of those benefits will vanish. That would be the low road, but United has done that time and time again this year.

Which will it be?

If I had to make a bet, I think saver awards, expanded saver awards, and Plan B awards will survive the award chart elimination.

But we won’t know for sure until Friday.

What’s your guess for the future of saver awards, expanded saver awards, and Plan B awards?

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37 Comments On "Last Day To Book Awards With United’s Published Award Chart; Are We At The End Of The Road For The Amazing United Plan B Business Class Saver Award?"

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united

Waiting for you to share Plan C. Come on…

united

Does this eliminate the availability of booking United flights through partner mileage programs? (what Elal just did….)

Danfan5773

why if you had to bet do you think expanded saver awards, and Plan B awards will survive?

scmcodes

I thought united wanted more people carrying its CC in peoples wallets….. on a side note @Dan all my HT disappeared

Chezky

Dan so sorry for posting it here. But tried to look thru the forums and couldn’t find the answer.

Since citi doesn’t allow to get a signup bonus again on my premier if you have closed it in the last 24 months, would converting from premier to citi rewards+ be considered as the account closed and start a 24 months clock ?

Also does each thank you product have it’s own 24 months, or if I got the premier sign up
That would mean I cant get the prestige or rewards + signup before an additional 12 months?

Thanks so much!

Dirah

Is it best to book long-haul awards at saver level before Friday to lock in under the assumption that redemptions will go up, or is it just a complete unknown?

mf

Dan
I don’t see any “PZ” class

Ben

I guess I assumed that as long as there was X or XN availability at the time of booking you could be confirmed in that, and waitlist for I/IN availability. But you’re right, I have no idea what they’d charge for either award.

Freddy

If we book now for end November, should it still work?

Esti A

Can do this if booking on united using Turkish miles? How?

oscar

I have an expired closed united cc, but i can still log in with my mileage account number, do i need an active united explorer card to be able to do plan b? or will work with an expired one?

Josh

Oy

ckmk47

You need a United mileage account with miles in it, to do plan B.
A current United credit card gives you expanded award availability – until now. It also keeps your miles current even without activity

moshe

hi Dan i’m planing trip from EWR-TLV DEC 08 should i buy now the saver 42.5 will work plan B ?

XN

Yes.

Moshe

Hi Dan; I need to book a ticket for Tuesday in Business, am prepared to pay 200K, will it be cheaper or possibly more expensive and I should buy today already

rediplus

you mean we wont know for sure until Saturday night

Corridor

If I have an award in coach, can I still do the plan B without paying a fee?

Yitz

Seems that UA has already removed the $75 close in fee now!

Chaim

I need to book a flight to Israel in
February with very specific dates. I would prefer to fly non stop. Currently there are no non stop flights with the saver rate. Should I book today with the saver rate and a stopover or wait to see if a non stop flight with saver rate will open?

Aaron

After a lot of back and forth on the phone, I’m currently showing a reservation which has 2 boxes. 1st is a regular reservation which shows the coach seats and the 2nd box shows Waitlisted in business class. Is that the same as Plan B? It doesn’t say anywhere “IN class requested” on the 1st reservation.
They did take the full 75k points for the ticket, but reservation was done by agent fiest booking the economy ticket for 42.5k and then calling a supervisor to change it, re-depositing 42.5k and then taking 75k.

Sam Spitz

@Dan
How will they price partner awards?

rediplus

well business saver awards really took a hit . EWR TLV went from 85 to 118 to 130

wpDiscuz