There’s currently speculation that one-way awards will be introduced by United starting on Monday.
It’s really just rumors at this point, with little confirmation. But it’s also been long-expected, ever since American introduced one-way awards, because well United follows most of American’s announcements and offerings pretty closely.
One-way awards are fairly popular, they have some real uses, such as they’re great for positioning flighs for great fares, to start a series of trips in a destination city in order to get Saturday stays on all your round trips, to buy the cheaper of two domestic segments only on a roundtrip, to mix service classes on an award, etc.
Personally, though, I don’t like the tradeoff introduced by American when they brought in one-way awards: the elimination of stopovers. International carriers like British Airways and bmi allow stopovers on their one-way awards, Ameircan does not. If you want to book a stopover you have to book three one-way awards for additional miles.
So there’s clearly concern that if United follows American’s lead that they, too, could eliminate stopovers.
On the other hand, United and Continnetal have very much been aligning their programs. Continental currently allows one stopover and one open jaw, not just a stopover or open jaw. United, if they eliminated stopovers, would be moving away from the current Continental offering (and would generate some speculation that Continental might make a similar move in the future).
All speculation at this point, we’ll see next week whehter anything changes. It’s all sideshow, to me, as long as United maintains their practice of Starnet blocking.