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Unless your Halloween candy hangover lasted even longer than mine, I’m sure you have heard about today’s devaluation from United. If you haven’t, here is my post on that topic. Basically, if you use your United miles in the lower 48, Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, or travel internationally in coach, or in a premium cabin internationally on United operated flights, the devaluation either won’t hit you at all, or it is just a more modest change of around 15% increase in miles required. However, if you use your miles to fly across the ocean in a premium cabin on a Star Alliance partner this is pretty bad… and really, really bad in first class.
At this point, one of your best weapons against the devaluation is simply knowledge. Knowledge both of options via other award programs, as well as full knowledge as to how the details of this devaluation will play out. I have seen a few common questions emerge today, and UA Insider on Flyertalk has weighed in with some answers that I think are helpful….even if you don’t like all the answers.
This info can be found on this Flyertalk thread, but I have also pasted the questions and info here (albeit in a slightly different format):
You raise a fundamental question. Frankly, the levels at which we currently offer these awards, particularly in the premium cabins, have not kept up with the increased cost from our partners to United. It’s been several years since we’ve adjusted our award pricing, and in many cases what we’ve been charging for awards has gotten highly out of sync with what it costs United to supply partner award seats to our customers. Being able to book premium-cabin award travel across 30+ MileagePlus partners is of course a strong benefit of the program, and we wanted to maintain access to these itineraries instead of restricting them altogether—an approach other programs have taken.
If I book an award in Jan 2014 and then make changes in Feb or beyond (in routing, airline, origin, destination, etc), will it be repriced according to new mileage reqs. or will I keep the old pricing on that ticket?
Our existing change process will apply. Changes to awards that require a change in date do not result in a change to the award price. Any other change will require an add/collect in miles and fees for changes or cancellations will still apply as per our existing policies.
Do these rates apply for tickets purchased after Feb 1 or for travel after Feb 1? That is, if you purchase a ticket now, to fly Mar 15, will that be new or old pricing?