Triangle Trip

Tag: depreciating airline miles

WOW, United eliminates award booking fees

by on Jul.27, 2009, under Airlines

United is trying to win back more and more customers like us… I just got an email from United telling me that they will be removing the last minute (“close-in”) award processing fees effective July 30, 2009.  The award travel processing fees were $100 if you booked an award ticket within seven days of departure, and $75 for 7 to 21 days prior to departure.

Here’s the link to the official press release:  United Puts the Easy Back Into Using Frequent Flyer Miles, Eliminates Fee

This is United’s attempt to get its customers to use up their miles and so United can clear its balance sheet of people holding onto airline miles.  We should take advantage of this opportunity and burn up some miles.  This new policy does not eliminate the co-pay for upgrade (see previous post).  Delta need to follow suit as they are notorious with award booking fees.

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Depreciation of airline miles – everyone is selling them

by on Mar.05, 2009, under Airlines

I have been getting tons of emails from all airlines about mileage promotions. Most recently I received an email from American telling me a 33% discount if I bought 1,000+ miles. Here’s the link in case some are interested.

Buying AA Miles

Buying AA Miles

If you look at the offer, it’s really not worth it. The asking price for 1,000 is $27.50 — that is $0.275 per mile when the airline industry standard is $0.01 per mile. Furthermore, airlines are applying more fees when you use your miles to redeem for flights.

If you are serious about purchasing miles, ghetto Delta has a better deal. Here’s the link if you’re interested. To create confusion and masking the actual cost, Delta is asking for $59.13 for 2,000 + 2,000 free bonus miles. If you do the math, it’s $0.147 per mile – as 50% savings compared to AA.

Buy Skymiles

Buy Skymiles

United is the most expensive out of the big three airlines. UAL wants $67.25 for 1,000 miles. In addition, UAL also wants to charge you a $35 service fee. I could understand that Delta & American may be higher because is processing the mileage purchase for you but UAL seem to be doing the mileage fulfillment themselves.

Buy UAL miles

Buy UAL miles

Are these airlines serious? Do they think people would actually pay for airline miles when they are depreciating them? I will have a follow up post on what you should do with your miles in a few days.

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