Updated 1/27/16 because the offer ends tomorrow.

United has announced a 20% to 25% discount on economy class awards from the United States to Sydney, Australia:

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.09.57 PM

  • Roundtrip awards booked between now and January 28, 2016
  • for flights flown between February 2 and June 22, 2016
  • on itineraries wholly operated by United and United Express flights
  • will cost only 60k to 64k miles roundtrip, depending on the days of travel

United has run nearly identical promotions for travel to Europe and South America for the last several years.

United’s Current Promotion

I did a few dummy bookings to test out what’s possible. I learned:

  • Discounts apply to roundtrips and open jaws.
  • Discounts do not apply to one way awards or awards with a stopover.
  • If one direction flies Sun-Thurs and the other flies Fri-Sat, the total price is 62,000 miles.
Examples

Roundtrip Los Angeles to Sydney both travel days Sunday through Thursday: 60k miles

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.17.38 PM Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.17.42 PM

Roundtrip Los Angeles to Sydney with one travel day Sun-Thurs and one Fri-Sat: 62k milesScreen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.19.30 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.19.38 PM

Open jaw (Los Angeles to Sydney, returning to Newark): 60k milesScreen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.24.32 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.24.38 PM

Double open jaw (Los Angeles to Melbourne, returning Sydney to San Francisco): 70k miles because the discount only applies to Sydney, not to Melbourne
Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.22.40 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.22.46 PM

Bottom Line

United has introduced a sale on its economy award inventory to Sydney for travel booked by January 28 and flown February 2 to June 22.

The discount does not apply to one ways or to United’s partners’ award inventory.

Discounted awards cost 60,000 to 64,000 United miles roundtrip instead of the normal 80k.

If you can handle economy for 15 hours, the number of miles you need for a trip to Europe can take you to Australia instead during the heart of the summer down under.

Hat Tip Mommy Points