I wanted to us this “Travel Minute” to remind you that if you’re thinking about a flight this year and you have United Airlines miles to burn, you should book before February first. That’s the day United ups the number of miles you’ll need for some award tickets.
There’s no change in the 30,000 miles you need to get a coach ticket in the 48 states—that excludes Hawaii and Alaska. But if you want a round-trip, business class ticket for travel in the US, it’ll take you 50,000 miles today, 57,500 next month.
The big jump is the cost of a first class ticket. That’s 67,500 miles now, 80,000 after February first. And if you’re shopping for first class space on one of United’s alliance partners, what costs you 80,000 miles through the end of January will cost you 42% more—110,000 miles after that. United, by the way, blames the big increase in miles you’ll need for a first class ticket on its Star Alliance partners on the demands of those airlines.
It’s simple: If you know you’ll want a United ticket or a first class ticket on one of its partners sometime in 2014, book now.