United Adds a New Close-In Booking Fee
Back in April of this year, United Airlines announced that it would remove award charts and close-in booking fees. Moving away from award charts was surely bad news, but no fees seemed like a positive change.
Those changes kicked in on November 15th. But the good news regarding close-in booking fees doesn’t seem to be as good as expected. Yes, there’s no longer a $75 fee for booking within 21 days of departure, but we see a similar charge now being added in miles instead.
New Close-in Booking Fee
If you try to book United awards within 30 days of your departure date, you will now see a price increase of up to 3,500 miles each way. This includes partner awards as well, which have the higher fees.
What’s worse, this new fee that is paid in miles, is affecting everyone, even those with top-tier United status or United cards.
This is very sneaky from United. They proudly announced the removal of the $75 close-in booking fees, but then went ahead and added a different fee. Yes, 3,500 miles is better that $75 for most people. But elites were paying no fees at all and now they have to shell out more miles when booking close to their departure date.