Talk about a day of United devaluations! It’s still June 18th on the west coast, but I noticed that United has changed its award fees for non-Premier members on tickets issued on or after June 19, 2013.
Details in the screenshot below. Premier members are not affected by this change. This does not affect tickets issued on or before June 18, 2013!
As you can see, before today, a non-Premier member could make free changes 21 days of more before departure, as long as the origin and departure stayed the same. This was a great benefit for all members of MileagePlus. It is now a $75 fee for non-Premier members to change an award ticket outside of 21 days before date of travel.
If a non-Premier member wanted to make a change within 21 days of departure, that used to cost $75. It now costs $100 for a non-Premier to make a change within 21 days of departure.
The worst change, though? If a non-Premier member wanted to cancel a trip and redeposit their miles, it used to cost $150. It is now an eye-watering $200 for a non-Premier to cancel an award and redeposit miles.
So while United will make it tougher to earn elite status with their new PQD requirement for 2015 status, they’ve now dropped the hammer on non-elites who want to redeem their miles. As a former non-Premier member, I’ve taken advantage of making small changes to my award tickets outside of 21 days to departure, like making a connection shorter and inserting an extra city for 24 hours. Now you’d have to pay $75 for “any change to cabin, award type, carrier, date or time” within 21 days.
This is a huge devaluation, because this also affects non-Premier members with hoards of Chase Ultimate Rewards who want to transfer the points to United. (By the way, did you hear? There seems to be an increased bonus on the Chase Ink this week).
H/T to nobody, I even beat UA Insider on FlyerTalk to this news