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

by on Tue September 18, 2012 • No Comment
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The merger of United and Continental has caused its fair share of headaches for all involved. But one thing that hasn’t been tainted is the relatively generous availability of mile award seats on United flights at the low ‘Saver’ level.

Sure, business class upgrades may be a bit harder, but the bread and butter coach awards and even full business class international awards are still more readily available on its own flights than United’s US based competitors.

It also doesn’t hurt that United has the most extensive access to partner flights via its website’s search engine, though some of that has diminished a bit (Lufthansa awards are tougher, and Qatar is no longer a partner).

But what makes us feel good is that United is now using the relative generosity of its Saver award seats in advertising. Newspaper and online ads, as well as United.com now make the claim that United is #1 when it comes to award seat availability. That’s because of an independent study that showed availability of award seats 87% of the time on United versus just 46% on American and 27% on Delta.

So, United now has a public incentive to maintain that #1 position and keep award availability relatively generous. Of course, a cynic can say they can be #1 by having just 50% instead of 87% availability, but we’d still rather be earning our miles with the airline that’s putting a stake into being #1 in availability.

Don’t forget the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is in many cases the most lucrative way to earn United miles with a credit card.

 

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