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Up until a year ago, United was on track to establish itself as the industry leader in discounting award flights, having rolled out a dozen limited-time award-price discounts over the previous two years.
And then … nothing, for the past year.
Perhaps that’s been due to United’s recent focus on integrating MileagePlus with OnePass in the wake of the merger with Continental.
In any case, United is back to its discounting ways, this time together with merger partner Continental.
The list of discounted routes includes United, United Express, Continental, and Continental Express flights to and from United and Continental hubs (Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Houston, Newark, Cleveland), plus a few non-hub flights.
Members of both programs have access to both airlines’ discounted flights, but to book flights on the other airline, they must first transfer their miles to the other program.
Per United: &quot;To book flights operated by Continental or Continental Express please transfer your MileagePlus miles to a OnePass account and redeem through Continental.com.&quot;
Deal or No Deal
It’s not clear why MileagePlus members are required to move their miles to OnePass to receive the discount for Continental flights, and OnePass members must do the same to redeem for discounted United flights. Given the two programs’ extensive integration, that seems like an unnecessary complication.
The Saturday-night stay requirement is a negative as well.
Still, a 20 percent discount on a wide range of award flights, with a 10-week travel window, is a solid deal.
Let’s hope that this signals United’s return to regular award discounting.
Reader Reality Check
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