At the beginning of January 2019 I told you that the writing was on the wall and to expect United MileagePlus to eliminate award charts.
In April of last year that’s just what they announced effective November 15, 2019. And when this went live they introduced a new milage fee for close-in award bookings undercutting the claim that they had eliminated close-in booking fees.
United said that partner awards would continue to price as they always had. The only thing that would change the price would be adding a United Airlines segment and not flying solely on partners. This wasn’t true – since they were charging extra for booking partner flights close to departure.
Nevertheless they kept a copy of the Star Alliance award chart on their website. (I archived a copy.)
Today however Zach Griff noticed that United had pulled the Star Alliance award chart off of their website, and he quotes a United spokesperson saying we told you so, why didn’t you believe us?
We announced in April of last year that all award pricing will be dynamic beginning November 2019. This change is consistent with other major carriers and allows us to align information regarding all MileagePlus award flights, whether it is for travel on United or one of our partner airlines.
So far United does not appear to have changed the actual prices they are charging for partner awards, they have just removed the price list.
And I have to admit, I’m having a hard time caring, because I’m having a hard time caring about United. United’s claim to being consistent with Delta (‘other major carriers’) in hiding its award pricing tells you what you need to know. And at least Delta’s top tier elite status is both more valuable and easier to earn than United’s. (Airlines blindly copy Delta for all the wrong things.) What did you think you were going to get with Scott Kirby running the show and Andrew Nocella as Chief Commercial Officer?
Just this morning United announced they were making elite status harder to earn this year, imposing new conditions on a program mid-year, when United’s new elite program rules only began this year and they’re requiring customers to jump through hoops to get the credit they’re entitled to based on purchase date.
This is the same airline that demanded to hold onto customer money even while refusing to transport those passengers the same day, claiming a right to an interest-free loan for a year. And we just forked over billions of dollars to them. Are you really sure you wanted to do that?