As promised (along with the major negative of losing award charts), United has gotten rid of the $75 close-in booking fees on awards. This is a significant savings for everyone who tries to book last minute awards that pop up and the only ways to avoid it in the past had been to have elite status or to have the premium United Club credit card.
No More United Close-In Booking Fees
The good news – no more $75 payments for booking an award in less than 21 days from travel. The bad news is that United will likely (eventually) follow in the steps of Delta with this move. What Delta did was to eliminate those fees but instead cause the actual mileage cost of the awards to go up as the date of departure got closer.
However, for now, that is not going on with several routes I checked. I imagine it will change over time but if you were wanting to book any award travel for Thanksgiving, now is a good time to do that!
Book Partner Awards at Same Price with No Close-In Fee
I know there is a lot of bad news with the departure of award charts but, again for now, United has said that partner awards themselves will not change. If you have a United flight with partner awards, that United flight can cause the price to go up but the straight partner flights should stay the same as before. So, this is particularly helpful for anyone that likes to book premium Lufthansa awards, specifically first class. Since Lufthansa only releases those awards to partners within 14 days of departure, it has cost to book that before. No more!