What’s up, my Noobs?
We have been going over some award booking basics to help those who have earned a s-load of point/miles and are now ready to redeem them. If you missed my “beauty of the open jaw” and “getting to know the stopover” posts, then check them out so you can be up to speed. Today’s award booking post is on how to get a FREE additional one way ticket on United by utilizing open jaws and stopovers. I’ll also show you how to combine the two to get the most value out of your booking.
TIP: Earn and burn your points and miles. Don’t be a miles hoarder. You never know when an award program can change and raise its prices, rules, etc. Plus, there are always going to be opportunities to earn more miles and points. Ok, I’m off my soap box.
United’s booking rules will allow you to combine 1 stopover and 2 open jaws for international awards from the US. Awesome. This really gives us some options when booking an award ticket to streeeeetch out our miles and visit more destinations.
Here’s how we can get a free one way ticket on a United award booking.
Lets say we are flying out of Washington D.C. to London and then flying back to Washington D.C. Nice trip, right? Yep, but you can get even more for your miles. Check it. Since I’m allowed 1 stopover on an international flight with United, I went ahead and added a one-way ticket from D.C. to New York.
And look when I scheduled the one way ticket to New York… 3 months later! You can actually add another one way flight up to 330 days out. That’s just redic. Ok, this is great, wonderful, splendid and all… but how much MORE does it cost? Well a normal United saver award economy ticket is 60,000 United MileagePlus miles. And adding this extra free leg will make the ticket….
Yep, that’s the same amount. 60,000 miles and $176 in taxes. Nice. But let’s say we want to incorporate an open jaw in Europe? Check it.
In this scenario, we went from Washington D.C. to London with an open jaw to Geneva, Switzerland. From there, we come back to the origin city, Washington D.C. Then we added an additional flight from D.C. to New York. Pretty sweet. But how much will adding an open jaw and the additional one way flight cost us?
What? It’s still 60,000 United MileagePlus miles and it’s actually LESS in taxes ($44.70). Go figure. Adding the open jaw made it cheaper.
Lets look at one more option. Visiting Europe is great, but I want to go to Hawaii too. How can I maximize my miles? Take a peek.
In this example, the flights are from Houston to Paris -> Paris to Houston, and then an additional one way flight from Houston to Honolulu over 3 months later. I love that, but again what’s the price? It’s all about the $$.
The additional one way flight to Honolulu is only an additional 2,500 miles. I’ll take that.
By utilizing your stopover in the States after an international award flight on United, you are getting some insane value. Free one way flights are redic. The best part is you can book these one way tickets months after you get back from your initial departure date. Now, if you add an international stopover, you will not be able to add on an extra leg at the end of your ticket. That’s because you are only allowed 1 stopover on United international award flights.
Man, I love getting over to Hawaii for only 2,500 additional miles. Then I only have to come up with a one way home from Hawaii. I think I can do that. Remember, when you are booking an award ticket, click “multiple destinations” when searching. Play around with dates and destinations and let me know if you come up with anything crazy.
I hope this helps you maximize your miles, and gives you yet another reason to do some more traveling.
— Geoff Whitmore