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#1 Ralph writes in to ask whether he should cancel his previously booked United award to take advantage of a 2,500 mile oneway to Hawaii:

Just wanted to say what an awesome post on United Award flights and the ability to add flights from the East Coast to HNL for only 2,500 miles! I personally think that is one of the best examples you’ve highlighted.

I wish I saw this about two weeks ago when I booked a JFK-LIS, stopover, LIS-MAD, openjaw, BCN-JFK award flight. I would have not burned my stopover from LIS-MAD and instead added on a JFK or EWR to HNL segment. Looking it up, the LIS-MAD segment is going for $48.

Do you think it’s worth it to cancel the ticket and rebook assuming availability is there?

Thanks again for posting about this and bringing it to my attention.

Ralph has this trip booked:



He wants to know whether he should change it to:




Do you see the difference? He’d be deleting Lisbon to Madrid from his itinerary and adding JFK to Honolulu.

First, is this a good deal? Second, can it be done?

Cancelling and rebooking is a great deal in this case. Cancelling the award and redepositing the miles will cost $150. The taxes and fees on his new award will be about the same as his old, so that’s a wash. He still wants to fly LIS-MAD, and his new award doesn’t have that flight, but he found one for $48. And adding the flights to Hawaii will add 2,500 miles to the award price. I value 2,500 miles at $45.25 (2,500 times 1.81 cents per United mile.)

Cancelling and rebooking nets a oneway from JFK-HNL for $243.25 ($150 + $48 + $45.25 worth of miles). This is a fantastic deal. The question becomes, can the rebooking be done?

Cancelling your flights does not mean that the award space you just released is now available. In some cases the award space may disappear. So it is imperative to know that you can book a better itinerary before you cancel your old one. If you have the miles, you can go online and book your new award, then call up to cancel your old one.

If you don’t have extra miles to do that, call up and explain that you want to cancel your old award to book a slightly different one, but you want to make sure that your old one is not cancelled unless your new one is reserved.

I suggest everyone look at any roundtrip itineraries you’ve booked but not flown to see if they are worth cancelling and rebooking with a free oneway.

#2 Several people noted that I didn’t put up any examples of trips to Asia with a free oneway tacked on. Some people also noted I hadn’t shown an itinerary in first class. Here is an example of a first class itinerary to Asia from Los Angeles with a free oneway added at the end:

Transpacific flights are in United Global First in this example, which is United’s name for first class on three cabin planes. Global First from the continental US to Japan is 67,500 miles each way. From the continental US to China, Global First is 70,000 miles each way. Adding those up, the itinerary is pricing at 137,500 miles plus $57.

I’ve added a free oneway in first class from LAX to JFK on United’s three cabin p.s. service, and the miles price is unchanged at 137,500 miles.

This is just a further example that free oneways are possible on all roundtrip international United awards and in all classes of service.

I want to thank my readers for the great questions; keep them coming. Where will you take your free oneway?

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