There is a time and a place for purchasing miles – I think we can all agree on that. However, as airlines jump the requirements for premium cabins over and over, the value in purchasing miles is slowly going down (even when purchased at great deals). Of course, it doesn’t hurt that there are some very good prices for international business class at times!
But in this specific instance, United made even their regular purchase price for miles seem cheap when they wanted to charge me over $200 to purchase 1,000 miles!
United Wanted to Charge Me $241 To Purchase 1,000 Miles
Whenever I am doing something that I haven’t done in a while, I like to experiment a bit for the blog to see what happens for when people ask me questions.
The other day, I needed to redeem for an award ticket that was 10,000 miles. I only had 4,800 miles in that account so I transferred over 5,000 from Ultimate Rewards.
Yes, I was still short 200 miles but I wanted to see if United was going to offer to let me only purchase 1,000 miles (or maybe just the 200 miles!) since the normal minimum is 2,000 miles. I was not going to purchase them but just wanted to check.
Now The Part About United Charging $241 For 1,000 Miles
I went through the selection process for the flight and went to checkout. Since the flight was just a couple of days away, I knew there would be the $75 close-in booking fee but I was surprised to also see a total of $322 at checkout.
I looked and saw that the huge bulk of the price was nicely wrapped in the words Special Travel Fees. When I moused over those special fees, I was given the breakdown to include $75 for the close-in fee and $241 for purchasing additional miles.
I checked to see if there was some huge error and United thought I actually needed all 10,000 miles – nope! They knew I was less than 1,000 miles away. In fact, the math for buying the miles didn’t even come out right.
Of course, I did not buy miles! 🙂 Also, I tried this from various browsers and still came out with the same amount. Obviously, this is an error on their side and I seriously hope the newbie customers never went for that!
Have you ever had a price mistake like this with United?
Featured image courtesy ofJorg Hackemann | Shutterstock.com