Travel Deals

Save 20% On United Award Flights To Hawaii, Mexico, and Select US Cities

Written by Charlie

On the heels of what appears to be an unannounced sale of sorts (the decrease in business class awards to Europe on partner flights – post here) comes an announced sale for awards of the domestic variety. The only thing is that the decrease in prices are not reflected in the award calendar just yet. They should be shortly as the sale was just announced by United. United is actually targeting winter hot spots with this sale, which is a little surprising. Normally, there is not a problem attracting passengers to those destinations. But, United may be hoping they get some award miles through this as a majority of us probably do not redeem United miles for domestic travel on a regular basis.

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Save 20% On United Award Flights To Hawaii, Mexico, and Select US Cities

Select US Cities

This sale is bookable now through December 31 and is for travel from January 12 – February 12. Here are the select US cities that are eligible as destinations for the 20% off sale:

  • Aspen (ASE)
  • Bozeman (BZN)
  • Durango (DRO)
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
  • Fort Myers (RSW)
  • Jackson Hole (JAC)
  • Mammoth Lakes (MMH)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • Montrose/Telluride (MTJ)
  • Salt Lake City (SLC)
  • San Diego (SAN)
  • Santa Barbara (SBA)
  • Sarasota (SRQ)
  • Sun Valley (SUN)
  • Vail (EGE)
  • West Palm Beach (PBI)
  • Yampa Valley (HDN)

That is quite a few vacation destinations that will be bookable for only 20,000 miles roundtrip. That is a savings of 5,000 miles over the regular price which could put it in good range for many. There are a lot of places this opens up that may make family travel in January and February more appealing.

US to Canada, Mexico, and Hawaii

There is also a 20% sale for travel from the US to Canada, Mexico, and Hawaii. Here is how the sale will affect award pricing for these destinations:

  • Hawaii will be 36,000 miles roundtrip (normally 45,000 miles)
  • Canada will be 20,000 miles roundtrip (normally 25,000 miles)
  • Mexico will be 28,000 miles roundtrip (normally 35,000 miles)

Again, some decent reductions that could allow family travel to become more realistic during this booking period. This sale brings Mexico almost within the regular range of domestic travel and brings Canada below domestic travel to most locations.


Bolding mine

  • Saver Award discount valid only for air travel. Promotion period ends 11:59 p.m. (CT) on December 30, 2014.
  • Offer is valid for travel beginning on or after January 12, 2015, and completed on or before February 12, 2015.
  • Discount is valid only for travel on United- and United Express®-operated flights and is not valid on United-marketed codeshare flights operated by other carriers.
  • Discounted Saver Award is valid only for travel:
    • From the U.S. to select destinations in the U.S.: Aspen (ASE), Bozeman (BZN), Durango (DRO), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Fort Myers (RSW), Jackson Hole (JAC), Mammoth Lakes (MMH), Miami (MIA), Montrose/Telluride (MTJ), Salt Lake City (SLC), San Diego (SAN), Santa Barbara (SBA), Sarasota (SRQ), Sun Valley (SUN), Vail (EGE), West Palm Beach (PBI) and Yampa Valley (HDN)
    • Between the U.S. (excluding Hawaii) or Canada and Hawaii or Mexico
  • Discount is valid only for roundtrip travel in United Economy.
  • For this offer, a roundtrip is defined as travel from an origin city to a destination city with return travel ending at the first origin city with all segments on flights operated by United or United Express. A segment is defined as one takeoff and one landing. Open jaw itineraries within the same region do qualify for the discount (e.g., fly into Chicago O’Hare and out of New York/Newark). Stopovers do not qualify for this offer.
  • A booking service charge may apply for travel booked less than 21 days before departure.
  • Award pricing is subject to change without notice. This offer cannot be applied to previously issued tickets.
  • To see more, click here.

Is This A Good Deal?

If you have travel upcoming to any of these destinations, then it is a great way to save some miles. But, if you are planning on transferring Ultimate Reward points to your United account to book these trips, make sure you check your other options. Since Ultimate Reward points transfer to Southwest as well, it would be good to check pricing on Southwest to those destinations as well. If the pricing on Southwest is around the $320 mark or below, you would be better off transferring those points to Southwest and booking with them. Booking with Southwest gives you free changes, free cancellations, free bags, and (if you have the companion pass) a free companion.

Also, check if you are within 650 miles of these destinations or in a US Airways or American Airlines hub. If you are, search for availability with British Airways (see here for info on that) as you could also transfer your Ultimate Reward points to British Airways and fly that trip for only 9,000 points roundtrip. That will not likely be the case for many at all, but do keep it in mind.

But, if you already have United miles in your account, by all means, this sale will offer the best pricing for award travel to these destinations. If that is you, I would book now rather than later. Once you are within 21 days of departure, you will need to pay a fee ($75 if you are not a United elite). Also, availability will likely shrink as time goes on. If you currently have a reservation booked to one of those destinations during that timeframe, it is definitely not worth the rebooking fee to save these miles.

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.