20% Off United January-March Coach Award Travel Between the U.S. and Europe

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…

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. So, they are offering a RT coach tickets to Europe for 48k miles. Yawn. AA offers coach Europe for 40k with a wider range of dates.

  2. The round trip requirement makes it more difficult to use this promotion to clean out smaller M+ accounts before the devaluation hits. I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.

    The terms of the offer seem to leave the door open for a round trip to the US originating in Europe. Has anyone tried booking that?

  3. AA allows 20k one-way, and Flying Blue currently 12.5k one way through through promo lasting until March 31st (though with 100 EUR in taxes). So not a very impressive offering.

  4. While the offer may not be better than AA or AF’s, the availability is certainly better than AA’s through March. Most of the options using AA miles were on BA metal requiring mindnumbingly high YQ.

    I needed three Y saver awards for March and AA had availability on AUS-LHR-AUS, but YQ was $700+ per ticket and $2200 total. Revenue flights on same itinerary was $2800.

    So I booked on UA AUS-LHR/CDG-AUS for 60k but was able to have that reissued at 54k since the outbound was inside the promo period while the inbound was outside the promo period.

    In other words…this is like gifted miles if one already has awards booked during the promo period.

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