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More Miles Required for Some United Awards

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clifford

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Yesterday I called UA’s Sydney reservations centre about redeeming a Mileage Plus “Star Alliance” award and was told that UA has just changed the rules to require significantly more miles for awards on certain routings. What they have done (very quietly) within the last week or so is to superimpose on top of the Star Alliance award chart the requirement that each award be within the maximum permitted mileage for any given city pair. In effect, this brings UA’s Star Alliance awards more in line with QF’s awards where the actual mileage to be flown determines the number of miles required to redeem an award.

For example, I wanted to go Sydney-Tokyo-Sydney, which according to the Star Alliance Award chart, should be 50,000 miles in economy. When I enquired a couple of weeks ago, I was told by UA that as there were no direct Star Alliance flights between SYD-TYO, I could be routed via Singapore or Bangkok at a cost of 50,000 miles. Fair enough I thought. However when I tried to book the flights yesterday, I was told that because of the new maximum mileage rule, I would have to book two awards, one to SIN/BKK and then another one to TYO (a total cost of 90,000 miles).

Thus, applying this new maximum mileage rule, it will now cost a minimum of 90,000 miles for a Mileage Plus redemption to fly from Australasia to Japan, Indonesia or the Philippines, as well as numerous other places I haven't even thought about. This seems to be a stealthy way of increasing award redemption mileage requirements and will make a whole range of trips unattractive for Mileage Plus redemptions (it's worth noting that you can fly from Australasia to the Caribbean business class for 90,000 miles).
 

Tiki

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What about Asiana via Seoul? That should be within the mileage required.
 

clifford

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Thanks for the suggestion, Tiki.

I did ask UA about this, but I was told even this routing was too many miles for 1 award. They have got very tight with awards recently.
 

ozstamps

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FYI .. this is NOT new, and in line with the years old published Apollo rule for Star partner International awards using UA miles - any bolding below is mine:

GENERAL POLICY:

- THE INTENT OF THE STAR AWARDS STRUCTURE IS TO
ENABLE MULITIPLE STAR CARRIERS ON THE SAME AWARD
TICKET TO GET THE CUSTOMER FROM THEIR ORIGIN TO
THEIR FINAL AWARD DESTINATION IN AN EFFICIENT MANNER.

THE INTENT IS NOT TO ALLOW OVERLY-COMPLICATED
ROUTING SCENARIOS.


- FOR ROUTING GUIDELINES - SEE S*R.S

Then it says ...

ROUTING:

- DETERMINE THE **MOST DIRECT** ROUTING FROM THE ORIGIN CITY TO THE FINAL
DESTINATION
USING:

* STARNET
* GENERAL GEOGRAPHIC PRINCIPLES
* COMMON SENSE

IF THERE IS A DIRECT ROUTING OFFERED AND THE CUSTOMER
INSISTS ON ROUTING THAT IS NOT THE MOST DIRECT FOR THAT
CARRIER ...THE ITINERARY WILL REQUIRE MULTIPLE AWARDS.


NOTE - SOME ITINERARIES:

* MAY REQUIRE MULTIPLE AWARDS

* MAY NOT BE POSSIBLE UNDER THE PROGRAM EVEN IF ALL CITIES ARE SERVED BY
STAR


UA is enforcing these rules tighter and tighter. There is some wiggle room
as always though. Easy answer - try and book and it and see if fares desk
allows it to be ticketed, and you'll then know. :D

----------------------
 

docmong

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More Miles for Star Alliance Awards

The implementation of this rule is very new.

I was able to get tickets for my daugher to fly to/from japan via Sth Asia at the 50K rate about 6 weeks ago. However when I tried to get Syd/Beijing or Syd/Shanghai I hit the new MPM rule also. Interestingly they did offer me Syd/tokyo on one award and then tokyo/beijing as a separate award which was better than Syd/Sing and the Sing/beijing both awards at 75K (J Class) each instead of what the Star Alliance chart clearly shows as one award of 75K.

Tried emailing to Customer Relations in the USA who just weren't interested in escalating my query regarding the deceptive and misleading practise of changing award requirements without publicising it.

No one would criticise a change in the amount of miles required for ANZ-> Nth Asia or ANZ->Japan as it is not realistic for it to be the same as for ANZ->Sth Asia but the sly (and I would suspect illegal ) manner in which UA have gone about this will push more passengers to One-World which is not as generous as Star Alliance (and less award seats seem available) but it is consistent and open with it's rules so far in my experince.
 

ozstamps

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The MPM is all that matters. Do not breach it and the award is good.
 
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clifford

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ozstamps said:
The MPM is all that matters. Do not breach it and the award is good.
Seems to me, Oz (sitting here in the Silver Kris lounge in SIN, quaffing Italian red) that it also depends on which agent you get in the SYD res center.

:)
 

BlacKnox

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clifford said:
ozstamps said:
The MPM is all that matters. Do not breach it and the award is good.
Seems to me, Oz (sitting here in the Silver Kris lounge in SIN, quaffing Italian red) that it also depends on which agent you get in the SYD res center.

:)
Meaning, you got the SYD-SIN-NRT/ KIX award for 50,000miles :? ?
 

ozstamps

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Awards from OZ to USA on UA metal in all 3 classes go up a LOT in a couple months. Book now is my advice.
 

MIKEs

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Syd- LA etc goes from 60k to 80k, still 80k isn't to bad. Was told by UA MP staff here in Sydney the current redemption miles can claimed (booked) up until October 15. Oct 16 is when the new awards will apply.
 

StevePER

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I have checked the United website, but just want to confirm that a trip from Australia to Oceania remains at 20k return. I don't normally pay much attention to the United program, but this is for friends of mine.

Cheers,
Steve
 

Nobby

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ozstamps said:
The MPM is all that matters. Do not breach it and the award is good.
So what exactly are the rules? What are the numbers that we can't exceed?

Thanks!
 

ozstamps

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Nobby said:
ozstamps said:
The MPM is all that matters. Do not breach it and the award is good.
So what exactly are the rules? What are the numbers that we can't exceed?

Thanks!
MPM varies for each award. You need to ask agent. Not published anywhere AFAIk.
 

aspro2

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ozstamps said:
MPM varies for each award. You need to ask agent. Not published anywhere AFAIk.
Following calculations by folks on another site, I think it works out at approx the great circle distance plus 20%.
 
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