Devaluation of United miles

United miles are facing some new tough restrictions. Transatlantic award flights on Lufthansa can only be booked 90 days in advance, effective September 28th.

My understanding, not yet confirmed, is that award flights on ANA can only be booked 60 days in advance. I’ll keep folks posted as I learn more, but since I’ve seen conflicting information on this to date I’ll still characterize it as a rumor (and I haven’t had time to try to dummy-book an award yet).

This comes on the heels of reducing award hold times from 14 days to 3 days — meaning that you can no longer place an itinerary on hold for two weeks before booking the ticket. Just a couple years ago holds were permitted for 30 days and were routinely extended.

While I’ve always liked United miles for the access to awards throughout the Star Alliance and for no “last minute booking” expedite fees, my half-million United miles and I are starting to become dissatisfied.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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