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United Airlines is offering an award sale today, February 23, 2023 only: pay just 23,000 miles and $5.60 one-way for economy class awards to London. While the email advertises the 23 United nonstop flights (for 2/23/23), the terms state that the sale is valid between London and all mainland US airports (subject to award availability of course). The terms also state that these awards are nonrefundable.
- United MileagePlus is offering one-way economy class awards between mainland US airports to/from London for just 23,000 miles for today (2/23/23) only.
- Direct link to this deal
- Only available 2/23/23
- No limit to the number of award tickets booked. This promotion applies to new award bookings only.
- Promotion valid for travel to London Heathrow (LHR) from all mainland US airports or from London Heathrow (LHR) to all mainland US airports.
- Tickets must be purchased on February 23, 2023. Roundtrip purchase is not required.
- Travel Period: Travel beginning on or after February 23, 2023 and travel complete by May 18, 2023.
- No Blackout dates
- Awards shown are valid for one-way travel Sunday through Saturday. Taxes and fees starting at $5.60 one-way or $194.85 roundtrip.
- Awards are valid in the Economy (Coach) cabin on United/United Express carriers. Some flights may be operated by the following airlines, doing business as United Express: Air Wisconsin, CommuteAir, GoJetAirlines, Mesa Airlines, Republic Airways, or SkyWest Airlines; or may be operated pursuant to a codeshare agreement, such as Silver Airways.
- Fares, fees, rules and offers are subject to change without notice. Seats are capacity-controlled and may not be available on all flights or days.
- Fares are nonrefundable except during the first 24 hours after purchase.
- Other restrictions may apply.
- Award pricing is subject to change without notice.
- Passenger is responsible for all taxes, fees, baggage fees and surcharges applicable to award travel, including, with respect to government imposed taxes and fees, September 11th Security Fee of $5.60 per one-way trip that does not include a government defined stopover, U.S. Customs, Immigration and APHIS User Fees of $17.48 for each international arrival in the U.S.; and non-U.S. government ticket taxes, fees and airport charges may add up to $355 per ticket as of January 1, 2023. Such taxes, fees and surcharges must be paid at the time of ticketing and are subject to change.
- Any valid unused award ticket may be returned to the MileagePlus Service Center, for a service charge, up to one year from the date of issue.
- Award seats are subject to availability and capacity-control restrictions apply. For more information on MileagePlus award travel visit united.com/awards.
This could be a great deal if you’re located in a small market where you would ordinarily need a separate positioning flight (assuming you are able to find availability via United). At the same time, economy class tickets to/from London can sometimes be very reasonable from East Coast cities, so be sure to compare against paid fares if you’re based in the Northeast.
I find it kind of strange that the terms state that these are nonrefundable and then later say that a valid unused award ticket may be returned to the MileagePlus Service Center. I would expect that awards could be cancelled free of charge if cancelled at least 30 days in advance, but perhaps these awards will be treated differently. It’s worth being aware that the terms indicate that they are nonrefundable, anyway.
Also note that this sale is valid for travel today through 5/18/23, so this will not be valid for peak summertime travel.
Also keep in mind that while this is a deal over what United ordinarily charges, it isn’t necessarily a slam dunk. Avianca charges just 20K miles from the Eastern US to London on the same flights when United is charging 23K miles, though they charge a $25 redemption fee and high change/cancellation fees.
If you don’t mind connecting and depending on how you value miles, another option to consider is Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, which charges 12K miles and $165 for Air France flights on the same example date. With the current 30% transfer bonus from Citi, you’d only need to transfer 10K Citi points to have more than enough miles.
Those options aren’t clearly better than this United sale, but I provide the examples to show that the United sale isn’t such a runaway value as to make it a must-book. Rather, if it fits your needs, it can be a nice deal. If you’re flush with United miles and a desire to travel to London soon, this could be a good choice.
Thanks for listing the VA pricing for comparison as well. This made me double check my extended VA rewards booking, and I ended up canceling-rebooking and getting a 30K credit (for 4tix)!
On a round trip the taxes are $195, but the RT prices is $564 (EWR-LON) so booked the cash ticket and will save my miles.
As often is the case with economy redemptions. Good call @ paying cash!
“…cancelled at least 30 days in advance”
I think you are referring to the old policy that United had where fees were waived only if you cancelled at least 30 days before the flight (which was put in place in 2020). I’m not sure if it was covered here, but United actually changed that policy in November 2022. You now can cancel free of charge up to the time of departure.