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United MileagePlus seemingly devalues first-class partner redemptions

Sorry, United Airlines MileagePlus members — the airline is apparently rolling out another major mileage devaluation. As first reported on FlyerTalk, United is raising redemption prices on first-class travel with partners such as All Nippon Airways and Lufthansa.

The news of another United devaluation comes less than a year after United increased award prices to Europe by 33% without notice. Just a few weeks later, United increased rates by up to 122% on other international redemptions.

Here’s the information on the latest devaluation.

Related: United mileage rates jump by up to 122%

United MileagePlus devalues first-class redemptions

Maybe you’ve dreamed of flying in Lufthansa’s first-class cabin or have secured tickets on a flight from the U.S. to Europe. While there’s no longer an award chart, in recent times, United has typically charged 121,000 miles one-way to book a seat in Lufthansa’s first-class cabin from the U.S. to Europe.

That’s already a lot of miles, and that number is apparently going way up. When running a search on the award tool Seats.aero, seats on dates after Tuesday now cost 154,000 miles. This is a 28% increase for Lufthansa first-class flights from the U.S. and Europe.


Sadly, Lufthansa is not the only partner carrier that has seemingly undergone a devaluation. Flights between the U.S. and Japan on ANA-operated flights will see an increase of about 100% on first-class seats.

For example, in recent times, you could typically fly from the U.S. to Japan on ANA in first class, when available, for 121,000 MileagePlus miles. However, this is now priced at 242,000 miles one-way.

Related: The best ways to travel to Japan with points and miles

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Flights from Honolulu to Japan also increased by more than 60,000 miles — from 121,000 miles to 181,500 miles.


At first glance, this devaluation does not seem to apply to all ANA flights.

As you can see in the chart below, it looks like some first-class redemptions are still available for the old 110,000-mile price. However, when clicking on the cheaper flights that are currently priced at 110,000 miles in first class in order to actually book, the price jumps from 110,000 to 242,000 miles.


For example, on Jan. 2, 2025, Seats.aero reports a flight from Haneda Airport (HND) to O’Hare International Airport (ORD) would cost just 110,000 points in ANA first class; however, when I click on the specific date, it states that it will actually cost me 242,000 MileagePlus miles. This is confirmed when searching pricing directly on United’s site.


The only silver lining, if you can call it that, is that the best way to book first-class Star Alliance partner awards — like on Lufthansa and ANA — hasn’t been via United MileagePlus even before this change. A better way to redeem for some of these flights is often by using Air Canada Aeroplan or Avianca LifeMiles. You can book those awards when there is availability for as few as 87,000 miles one-way.

Even so, this is a disappointing development.

While United operates using dynamic pricing instead of award charts, it’s a bit surprising to see these partner award prices jump this much this quickly. A big downside of dynamic pricing is it is hard to anticipate what it will cost when you go to book your award flight — and changes this dramatic do make me wonder about which other award flights at United might also spike in price.

We’ve reached out to United for a comment.

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