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United's Award Chart: Premium Award Cost Goes UP

United Airlines has released a new award chart that bumps up the miles required for nearly all business and first-class awards, and (for the first time) makes flights on its Star Alliance partner airlines cost more miles than on United. Details HERE

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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I've seen a lot of "award creep" in my days, and I think there's more to come.  A "mile" is worth less and less all the time.


It's clear that airline miles aren't worth banking for any period of time.  Use them when it's logical to do so.  They likely will be worth less in the near future.


Thanks for the link, PHeymont.  

Not sure I agree with the "burn 'em" philosophy. At the premium class end, there's certainly been a lot of creep, but not so much in coach, which is more price-sensitive, even for awards.


True, summer awards to Europe have generally gone from 50K to 60K, but on the other hand, off-season at American went DOWN to 40K--and with the flexibility of taking one-way awards and combining them in interesting's actually a better situation.


Also, there are some card-linked sales on flight awards: American and others offer reduced-miles awards to cardholders on some routes and times. I try not to burn; I want to keep myself in my habit of 2 Europe awards a year!

I think for premium travel,it makes sense. It has always surprised me that premium travel is so much cheaper from a frequent flier perspective (2:1) vs economy than when you actually buy the ticket.


Just as a side note, aeroplan has recently reduced miles required on some of their reward charts as well.

John's point about the ratio between the two tiers is interesting (we looked at that a little in a forum post this week on value of miles). My guess--and it's just that--is that the same kind of yield-management used to set prices has taken a look at this and is carefully balancing loyalty vs. burn...


I can't really compare East vs West availability personally; my school schedules have defined when I can travel well enough that I'm able to start hunting tickets 330 days out, when the airlines make them available, so I'm usually first in line...

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