1. If you booked before yesterday’s devaluation then you will have much more flexibility then United previously announced.
It’s on the confusing side though, so you’ll probably have to play HUCA (Hang Up and Call Again!) and talk to several agents to get exactly what you want.
-You won’t have to use more miles if you change the operating airline as long as you stay in the same class of service and the same region.
-You won’t have to use more miles if you change the origin, connecting, or destination cities as long as the origin and destination cities are in the same region (US, Europe, Middle East, etc) as you originally booked. However you can’t change the class of service or operating airline in this case.
-You won’t have to use more miles if you change the date as long as you stay in the same class of service and the same region.
2. At least one commenter notes that an agent was willing to change the date without charging extra miles on a ticket that he cancelled without redepositing the miles.
It took him one HUCA to find that agent.
3. If you’re flying on United or Copa in business or first class you can use the cheaper United award chart when connecting to business or first class on a partner airline as long as the partner airline’s flight is within the same region as the United flight lands in.
For example If you fly from Newark to Frankfurt in United Business and connect to Paris in Lufthansa Business you can use the cheaper United award chart.