Talk about being flyer unfriendly. United has announced some major award chart devaluations for all award flights booked starting 2/1/14. It’s not pretty, so prepare yourself to be disappointed.
There will now be two award charts – one for travel on United Airlines and one for travel on Star Alliance partners. The one we got totally screwed on is the Star Alliance Partner chart.
New United Economy Award Chart
Note that the changes are the same for both flying on United or Star Alliance partnerss.
New United Premium Cabin Award Chart for Flights on United Only
Note that United doesn’t even have flights to some of these regions…
New United Premium Cabin Award Chart for Flights on Star Alliance Partners
You can view the actual award charts here.
I don’t have to tell you how much this sucks. Many of the numbers on the new award chart look like they should be round trip prices, but they’re all one-way. So First Class to Central Asia just went from 160K round trip to 280K round trip – a 75% increase. Pretty brutal.
If you were planning on signing up for credit cards for international travel using United miles, I recommend thinking hard to figure out whether that’s actually a wise choice now. On the other hand, if you happen to have a ton of United miles, make sure to use them for international travel before 2/1/14.
On the bright side, economy travelers won’t be impacted tremendously. But for the luxury travelers among us, this is as bad as it gets. I’ve warned against devaluations before. You can bet American/US Airways is going to be next. This is yet another reason to burn your miles sooner rather than later, and why the value of having points in a program like Ultimate Rewards is better than in an account like United’s.
Good luck to everyone!