Published on April 5th, 2019 | by William Charles57
United To Eliminate Award Charts
United has announced that they are removing award charts/rates today for travel on or after November 15th. This follows a move by Delta to eliminate award charts. Predictably United is claiming that this is good for consumers and that this will simplify the rewards program and make awards more affordable. The issue I’ve always had with eliminating award charts is that transparency is lost and it’s harder to keep loyalty programs accountable for devaluations as no set pricing is listed. An example of a good dynamic award program would be Southwest, points are worth a fixed amount (although this varies based on taxes & fees) and it’s clear when points are devalued.
One positive change is that close in booking fees are being removed for travel on or after November 15th as well. Partner awards will also continue to follow the current award chart. Overall it’s difficult to tell how bad this change really is. I always think it takes a couple of years for the real effects of an award chart being removed to be felt. That’s largely because award programs are careful enough to ensure that the big devaluations don’t happen immediately to minimize the outrage of changes like this. You can view the old award chart by clicking here.
Hat tip to VFTW