United Airlines & Continental award chart changes effective June 15, 2011

Yesterday, United Airlines and Continental announced award chart changes to become effective June 15, 2011. The current & new award structure can be found here. Since the majority of travelers focus on pure round-trip travel at the Saver award level (lowest mileage amount required), I’ve reproduced the not so easy to read charts into a before and after summary below. New United upgrade awards were also released, but this post will focus just on pure free travel redemptions.

a table with different colored numbers

It’s pretty self explanatory in this format, but to clarify, the mileage amounts are shown as round-trip, sorted by destination when flying from the mainland United States, Alaska or Canada. I’ve highlighted the beneficial reductions under the new awards in light green, and those mileage amounts that will increase in pink.

As with previous award chart changes, economy passengers are getting the least benefit from the changes, with the exception of Central & Southern Africa and Oceana dropping by 10,000 miles. The lower business class redemption levels for Europe and most of Asia are nice to see, as well as first class to Central & Southern Africa and North & South Asia.

I would have expected to see larger increases, actually, so I’m thankful to see some mileage reductions, and very happy they didn’t mess with my sacred Australia redemption levels. I still wish I could redeem 80,000 miles for business class to Sydney like I did in 1992!



  1. why does United keep changing everything on their website and put in laymans language..very confusing…all I would like to know when my frequent flyer miles expires look forward to hearing from you soon
    thank you

    • @Wendy: So long as you earn or redeem miles at least once every 18-months, your MileagePlus miles won’t expire. The easiest way to keep your miles from expiring if you don’t have plans to fly anytime soon is to buy something from the MileagePlus mall. Just be sure to do it with at least a 4-6 week lead time from your mileage expiration to allow for the them to credit and advance the date another 18-months. If you look at your MileagePlus summary, it will show you the date your current balance is set to expire.

  2. I would like to know how many frequent flyer miles are
    required for a round trip flight to Germany.
    Thanks in advance for your information.

    • @Elisabeth: If you’re traveling from the mainland USA, Alaska or Canada, it’s 60,000 for roundtrip economy, 100,000 for business or 135,000 for first class at the “saver” award level. The “easy pass” level which gets you any available seat is 110,000 for roundtrip economy, 250,000 for business and 295,000 for first class.

  3. I have a concern that I haven’t used my frequent flyer miles since a long time back, and now my wife would like to travel to Texas. Can you confirm my eligibility based on my record of ********?

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