United Mileage Plus redemptions will become more expensive from 1 November 2017. So now is the perfect time to redeem your miles to fly to Asia on Singapore Airlines or Thai Airways.


The Opportunity

You may already be aware that United will increase the number of miles required to redeem for an award flight next month. But there’s also some good news for United members. Last week, United made it possible to redeem Mileage Plus miles for Singapore Airlines flights online.

With redemption rates from Australia to Asia currently very low, and decent award availability on both Thai Airways and Singapore Airlines, now is the perfect time to redeem your United miles for travel to Asia!

At present, Business class redemptions on Singapore Airlines or Thai Airways from Australia to “South Asia” cost just 30,000 United miles, one-way (plus minimal taxes). First class awards on Thai Airways from Sydney to Bangkok (and beyond to other Asian destinations) cost just 40,000 United miles.

Thai Airways flights to Bangkok are available in Business class from Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Singapore Airlines flies from Singapore to most major Australian cities. But Business awards are most readily available from Perth, Adelaide and Canberra. Business class availability out of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane is limited, but there are plenty of Economy awards available.

Destinations that you can fly to for 30,000 miles in Business class include Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Philippines and Vietnam.

United also offers what it calls an “Excursionist Perk” on round-trip awards. This allows you to book a free one-way flight within your destination zone. So, for example, if you flew from Australia to Singpaore and returned from Hong Kong to Australia, you could also add a free one-way flight from Singapore to Hong Kong in the middle of the trip. The total cost for this booking in Business class would be 60,000 United miles.

Don’t forget that United sells miles! Regular promotions, such as discounts or bonus miles, are also offered on mileage purchases. However, such offers are generally targeted. So you will need to be a member of the Mileage Plus program to be eligible for these promotions.

Make sure you book before the end of October. Award flights booked after 1 November will be 67% more expensive!


The Facts

  • Currency: United Mileage Plus miles
  • Airlines: Singapore Airlines & Thai Airways
  • Routes: Many routes from Australia to southern Asia
  • Class of travel: Economy, Business and First
  • Cost: 30,000 United miles + $87.23 taxes (e.g. Adelaide-Singapore one-way on Singapore Airlines)
  • Availability: Good availability on many routes
  • How to book: United website.


Would you like help using your frequent flyer points?

Frequent Flyer Solutions offers a personalised service that’s designed to take the hard work out of redeeming your frequent flyer points!

Award Flight Assist can help you to find the perfect flights using your points. Just let the team know how many points you have and where you would like to go, and they’ll prepare an itinerary for you.

Find out more about the Award Flight Assist service.

Not sure yet where you’d like to go with your points? Stay tuned for more Points Inspiration articles!


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]