United Airlines may not be renowned for its customer service, but its frequent flyer program “Mileage Plus” is worth taking notice of. United sells Mileage Plus miles, and regularly offers generous discounts and bonuses.
United’s current promotion offers up to 100% bonus miles on purchases made by 12 September.
So, why should you purchase United miles? Well, those miles can be redeemed for Business and First class travel on Star Alliance airlines such as Thai Airways. By buying and redeeming United miles, you could fly in the pointy-end for up to 60% less than the normal ticket price!
Thai Airways flies to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth (and Auckland in New Zealand) from its hub in Bangkok. From any of these destinations, you can fly to Bangkok or beyond to other destinations across Asia and Europe.
For Thai Airways redemptions to destinations in “South Asia”, United charges just 30,000 miles for Business class or 40,000 miles for First class, one-way. Destinations in South Asia include:
- Hong Kong
As an example, a return Business class redemption from Melbourne to Bangkok would cost 60,000 United miles + $136.78 in taxes. Bought at a 100% bonus, those 60,000 miles would cost just $1,574. So, all up you would pay only $1,711 for the trip. By comparison, a Business class ticket normally costs $3,920 – that’s a 60% saving!
You can also get good deals on Thai Business and First class to destinations like Japan, China and Korea, as well as to Europe.
United miles offer some great value. However, we don’t suggest buying miles speculatively. On 1 November 2017, United will increase the cost of many redemptions. So if you decide to buy miles, do so with a particular award in mind and make sure you spend the miles before November!
United’s offers are generally targeted, and they’re only sent out to existing Mileage Plus members. If you haven’t already signed up, why not do it now to ensure you’re eligible for future promotions? The program is free to join.
- Currency: United Airlines Mileage Plus miles
- Airlines: Thai Airways
- Routes: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Auckland to Bangkok (& beyond)
- Class of travel: Business & First class
- Cost: 60,000 United miles + $136.78 taxes (e.g. for Melbourne-Bangkok return in Business class). In a "100% bonus miles" promotion, 60,000 miles would cost $1,574.
- Availability: Generally good outside of peak travel periods.
- How to book: You can search for award availability and book using the United Airlines website.
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