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United Discounts Frequent Flyer Awards by 20% or More

Back in May, reporting on its discounted award flights to Canada, I called United "the year's premier award discounter," on the strength of that promotion and previous discounts on award travel to South America, Europe, and within the U.S.

If there were any doubts about United's claim to that title, its latest award discount will put them to rest.

With United's latest promotion, Mileage Plus members can save at least 20 percent on coach-class award flights booked between July 15 and July 24 for travel between August 18 and November 18.

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Unlike the previous discounts, each of which was limited to flights to a specific region, these apply to multiple regions—for travel within North America; and between North America and Hawaii, Central America, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, or Asia.

Sample discounts:

  • Award travel within the continental U.S., normally 25,000 miles, is discounted to 20,000 miles.
  • Travel from the mainland U.S. to Hawaii is reduced from 40,000 to 30,000 miles.
  • Flights to Europe are discounted from 55,000 to 44,000 miles.
  • Award flights to Asia are reduced from 65,000 to 50,000 miles.

These are meaningful discounts, applicable for travel to many parts of the world, during a three-month period. There is a "but," however. As United did with previous award discounts, it has detracted from the offer's usability by forcing Mileage Plus members to make award reservations within a narrow nine-day window for flights as far as four months in the future.

For those who can finalize their travel plans pronto, this is a terrific opportunity to fly for fewer miles.

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