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United has announced a 15% to 25% discount on economy class awards from the US to Europe:

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 12.22.31 AM

  • Roundtrip awards booked between now and December 8, 2015
  • for flights flown between January 11 and March 10, 2016
  • on itineraries wholly operated by United and United Express flights
  • will cost only 45k to 51k miles roundtrip, depending on the days of travel

United has run a nearly identical promotion for the last several years, so maybe this is becoming a yearly occurrence.

United’s Current Promotion

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

  • Discounts apply to roundtrips, open jaws, and double open jaws.
  • Discounts do not apply to one way awards or awards with a stopover.
  • If one direction flies Mon-Thurs and the other flies Fri-Sun, the total price is 48,000 miles.

Roundtrip Newark to Paris both travel days Monday through Thursday: 45k miles

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 11.28.00 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-19 at 11.28.08 PMRoundtrip Chicago to Amsterdam with one travel day Mon-Thurs and one Fri-Sun: 48k miles

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 11.31.51 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-19 at 11.32.03 PMDouble open jaw (LAX-LHR, AMS-EWR): 45k miles

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 11.43.03 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-19 at 11.43.07 PM

Bottom Line

United has introduced a sale on its economy award inventory to Europe for travel booked by December 8 and flown January 11 to March 10.

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

Discounted awards cost 45,000 to 51,000 United miles roundtrip.

Of course, American Airlines offers better off peak awards to Europe. American’s annual discounts cover travel from mid-October to mid-May. Plus its discounts are available on one ways and partner award space. And the discount is even bigger than United’s. American charges only 20k miles each way.

If you can handle economy class and a little bit of cold weather, a few miles can take you very far this winter.

Hat Tip Wandering Aramean