United MileagePlus does away with partner award chart for airlines like Air Canada – most awards have now increased in price

Back in November of 2019 United MileagePlus got rid of their published award charts for travel on their own metal and with that moved to dynamic award pricing. They did however retain the charts and award redemption requirements for their partner airlines like Air Canada, Lufthansa and so on. That all changed yesterday when United pulled their partner award chart and immediately seemed to start pricing award on partner airlines dynamically. According to One Mile at a Time many award flights jumped by 10% citing examples of Detroit to Frankfurt on Lufthansa and New York to Seoul on Asiana.

We conducted our own quick search and sure enough Toronto-Frankfurt on Air Canada is pricing 10% higher now:

Here’s Toronto to Calgary, showing a 10% increase for business class and a 12% jump for economy class:

The timing of this move doesn’t make sense with the pandemic on hand and such little travel taking place now and for the immediate future. It works contrary to logical thinking when airlines will want to try to fill seats once travel resumes. Who knows maybe we can remain optimistic as we could all be jumping the gun right now (I’m not, but trying to stay as positive as possible here…) that there is the possibility that United has loaded new base mileage amounts at 10% to 12% higher as that seems to be the common denominator and will in due time implement dynamic pricing as has already been stated by United to several bloggers. That means we could see lower and higher mileage requirements and it wouldn’t surprise me if the lower requirement typically ends up being 30K and 70K for the first example above. That is, the amount prior to the increase we are seeing as of today. It’s kind of like those shady retailers who illegally raise prices right before a sale and then advertise a big sale….. although in the world of loyalty programs this move isn’t illegal.