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United Discounts Awards to Europe, Africa

United Discounts Awards to Europe, Africa

It’s been awhile, but it looks like United is back in the business of regularly discounting award flights.

In 2009 and 2010, United offered limited-time discounts on award flights no fewer than 12 times, establishing itself as the industry leader in award discounting.

But, perhaps distracted by the exigencies of merging the United and Continental frequent flyer programs, the discounting was suspended until the very end of 2011, when United and Continental jointly offered a 20 percent discount for award flights in "select markets."

With this new promotion, United will have offered two award discounts in two consecutive quarters, a good start on reestablishing its previous pattern.

Offer Details

MileagePlus and OnePass members can save up to 25 percent on restricted coach award tickets between the U.S. and Europe or Central/South Africa booked by January 16 and completed between January 27 and March 22, as follows:

  • A 20 percent discount on peak travel days (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
  • A 25 percent discount on off-peak travel days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)

Only MileagePlus miles may be redeemed for discounted United flights; and only OnePass miles may be redeemed for Continental flights. But you can easily transfer miles back and forth between the two programs, so the restriction is moot.

The fine print:

  • Peak and off-peak flights may be combined.
  • Bookings must be made at least 21 days in advance.
  • No stopovers permitted.
  • A Saturday-night stay is required.

Deal or No Deal

A significant discount on a significant number of routes during a significant time period. Nice, nice, and nice.

Meaningful award discounts like this add real value to MileagePlus miles, and to the program itself.

Reader Reality Check

Award trips to Europe, anyone?

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  • Peggy

    United sent an email on this, and I didn’t waste much time in taking advantage. Got 25% off to London next month. I’m happy!

  • Kate

    Central/South AFRICA (not America)

  • Tim Winship

    Kate – Thx, corrected.

  • Ketil Reimers

    The sapphire card is great, a live person that answer, 50 000 point after $3000
    of purchasing an no problem transferring miles to my regular UA account.

    In booking a trip to Norway in Aug.I got some agent in the Philippines
    Very difficult to find the right flights, so I gave up, and a few days later I called again, and got an agent i Chicago, and in no time I had the reservation taken care of. Friendly american agent, you can”t beet it, and 100 000 miles in business,
    This time taxes were $125, last Oct. I had to pay over $600 in taxes and fees, on the same routing, it does not make sense