United is announcing some big changes this fall regarding the way it runs its popular MileagePlus® program. The company has taken steps to enhance the way customers book multi-city MileagePlus® award travel plans online. The new features are designed to help travelers have an easier time building awards packages based on their unique needs.
One of the other big changes involves the way the company handles fees when award flights are changed or canceled. If you routinely fly with United, the new changes will definitely affect the way you plan and pay for travel.
Here, we at GET.com break down the things you need to know before the changes to United's MileagePlus® program become official on 6 October 2016.
1. Flight Bookings
United has brought some exciting new updates to the way its website looks and functions. Booking multi-city travel plans has really never been easier. All you have to do to get your trip off the ground is visit United.com and select the multi-city option under the award travel section.
The new layout gives you the ability to search for flights simply by plugging in your travel dates and desired destinations. You can also search using filters for specific connecting cities and cabin types. You can then select your preferred award options for each destination. The final step simply requires you to review your itinerary and pay.
2. A New Perk
One of the most exciting things about United's changes to its rewards program is the introduction of something called the Excursionist Perk.
This is a perk you are going to get to know quite well if you travel ever so frequently. Basically, this translates into a free one-way award within select multi-city itineraries if certain conditions are met.
3. Goodbye To The Stopover Policy
One big change that frequent users of the United MileagePlus® program will surely notice is the termination of the program's stopover policy.
United found that the policy was confusing for users. The Excursionist Perk has been introduced to offer an alternative that is easier for people to use and comprehend. The Excursionist Perk is likely to be a welcome replacement among members because it is not defined by time the way the stopover policy was.
The new perk also does away with confusing policies regarding fare rules based on region and routing restrictions.
The stopover policy isn't the only thing that will disappear once changes to the program go into effect. The Round the World award will also be discontinued when the program changes become official in October.
However, Untied is assuring its customers that it will still honor all itineraries booked on or before October 5 of this year. The only time this might not hold true is if you need to make multiple changes to a flight that you've already booked. New pricing may apply in that situation, though.
The removal of the Round the World perk is good news because the new setup of creating a customized itinerary will likely cost less and allow you to plan a trip without restrictive routine rules.