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United Discounts Short-Haul Award Tickets by 30%

By my count, United has offered discounted award travel 11 times during the past 18 months, making such discounts a regular if unofficial feature of the Mileage Plus program.

The latest award sale makes it an even dozen.

Offer Details

Mileage Plus members can save 30 percent on coach-class award tickets for short-haul flights (less than 700 miles) within the U.S., or between the U.S. and Canada. With the discount, the price of a round-trip Saver award is reduced from 25,000 to 17,500 miles, and a one-way Saver award drops from 12,500 to 8,750 miles. A round-trip Miles & Money award is reduced from 10,000 to 7,000 miles, plus cash, but United warns that "this award type may not be offered on every flight."

Bookings must be made by August 31, but travel at the reduced prices can be completed any time before January 7, 2010.

Deal or No Deal

It goes practically without saying that paying less is better than paying more. So if there’s a short flight already in your plans, taking advantage of the discount is a no-brainer. You might even want to squeeze in an unplanned short trip, just to get some extra value from your miles.

This might also be an opportunity for Mileage Plus members with modest account balances to use their miles for an award that would otherwise exceed their mileage budget.

Reader Reality Check

Have you taken advantage of United’s previous award sales?

Will you take advantage of this one?

  • Carleton

    We use a United Mileage Plus Visa for most purchases, paying the bill in full every month, so by early 2009 we had 83,000 points. Just then United announced a spring 2009 sale to Europe – 40,000 rather than 55,000. We have friends in the UK and I’m a bellringer so we decided a cheap vacation was in order. It was easy to get space and select seats, and since United flies 777s to Heathrow we were able to get two seats on one side with no one else in the row. We upgraded to Economy Plus for $55 each and it was a very pleasant trip. Both planes were half-empty (going in late April and returning in mid-May). Last month we took advantage of United’s half-points for one-way travel and went to San Francisco, returning by train. The choice of dates and flights was very limited but we were able to go on a date acceptable to us.