United is having a 20% off sale on coach award tickets to Europe.
You need to book by November 19 for travel between January 13 and March 11. Basically book now for flights during United’s low season to Europe — after the New Year’s travel bump and before transatlantic travel picks up again.
This offer applies from the U.S. or Canada but excludes Hawaii and includes travel to all of Europe. Partner flights aren’t eligible for the discount.
Roundtrip travel is required, stopovers are not permitted, but open jaws (e.g. fly into one city and back from another) are.
United sees planes flying with empty seats, so getting some revenue from MileagePlus even at a discount is win-win.
This is becoming a common time period for United to offer a discount. They offered 25% off for travel in 2012 and then 20% off for first quarter 2013 travel. (Premium cabin travel dries up a bit in the summertime, and in 2012 they offered a 20% discount on upgrades which was still expensive.)
Of course if even their current award prices aren’t low enough to fill their planes throughout the year, they might want to reconsider drastically increasing those prices. Although a higher base mileage price may make it even easier and more common for them to discount.
Last weekend I said that increasing award prices as much as 80% made United’s MileagePlus the banana republic of award programs. Perhaps the metaphor should have been a bazaar…