The most severe devaluation of miles ever implemented by United’s MileagePlus frequent flyer program may have just taken place. It is not simply the amount by which award prices have gone up; it is also the consistency in which these price increases have been implemented for travel on both United and its partner airlines.
United has reduced mileage values without prior notification. Given that MileagePlus no longer provides award charts, which significantly reduces transparency, it is not unexpected that the program didn’t provide the notification.
For instance, one-way transatlantic saver rewards for travel on United used to start at 30,000 miles in economy and 60,000 miles in business class. As these rewards now start at 40,000 miles in economy class and 80,000 miles in business class, their fees have jumped by 33%.
In a similar manner, partner rewards have devalued. For instance, 30,000 miles in economy and 70,000 miles in business class used to be the starting points for one-way Saver intercontinental rewards for travel on partner airlines. These fees have increased by 39–47%, as the starting points for these rewards are now 43,900 miles for economy and 97,100 miles for business.
Recent devaluations of awards between the US and Europe by United Airlines‘ MileagePlus program were among the worst ever. Along with raising partner prizes to up to 47%, the program also raised the number of miles needed for travel by 33%.
Due to this huge shift, it is now much more expensive for MileagePlus members to redeem miles with United.