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Why it’s good news United is advertising #1 award seat availability

by on Thu October 18, 2012 • No Comment

United award availabilityWe’ve long known United is one of the better frequent flyer programs for redeeming miles to the places and at the times you want to travel. Independent studies like the IdeaWorks annual Switchfly Reward Seat Availability Survey have shown United is near the top of the pack when it comes to generous availability of free award seats at the lowest advertised number of miles.

Well, over the last month United has become louder about this.

They’re now explicitly advertising that United MileagePlus is #1 in award seat availability among U.S. global carriers. It’s right on the front of their website.

Whatever qualms you might have about United availability, the consequence is this. Now that United is advertising this ‘win’ it’s going to try hard to make sure it wins the top ranking in the future. That means they’re more likely to keep award availability relatively generous and unlikely to throw big wrenches in their program  that devalue the miles (like Delta did over the last few years).

So if you’re looking for a new place to build miles – United is a good choice:

  1. Their website is the easiest to use for award travel bookings, and displays more partner flight availability than any other (good for finding more seats)
  2. Their overall availability of ‘saver’ level mile awards is generous
  3. Their partners are broad enough to get you just about anywhere in the world – no other network is comparable

And you don’t have to fly them to take advantage. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns points you can transfer directly and instantly 1:1 into United miles. They are so useful we think they are worth nearly 2 cents a piece.

There’s a 40,000 point bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card when you use it for $3,000 in spending with in 3 months. That’s in our view nearly $800 in travel value (more if you book free flights that are otherwise expensive, less if you use them for flights that would have been cheap).

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
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Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived


Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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