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United Airlines introduced a variety of changes to MileagePlus which went into effect on 01 November. One of the changes was actually positive – the ability to book an award on short-haul, nonstop flights under 800 miles for just 8k United MileagePlus miles. This is a fantastic change as some last minute short-haul flights can be expensive.

While this new change is generally positive, it doesn’t work in all regions. United explains this new award option works “outside of the U.S., such as flights within Europe“. This is perfectly reasonable and short-haul flights in the United States continue to cost 10k miles. However, United considers the U.S. and Canada to be in the same region – which means that you cannot book flights within Canada for 8k miles even if the flight is nonstop and under 800 miles.

United MileagePlus award changes aren't all positive

United MileagePlus award changes aren’t all positive

The failure here is with the way United describes this new award. When they mention “outside of the U.S.”, they actually mean outside of the U.S. and Canada because these two countries are actually in the same region (which is the “U.S.” region).

A short-haul, nonstop flight on Air Canada within Canada continues to cost 12.5k miles and not 8k miles – even if the flight is under 800 miles. I believe this is very unfair of United Airlines – if they are making a change and are clearly stating it applies outside of the United States, then it should apply to Canada.

Be sure to check out some of the awesome Travel Rewards Credit Cards, Hotel Rewards Credit Cards, and Point Rewards Credit Cards that are available and will earn you lots of miles and great travel benefits!


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