United Adds a New Close-In Booking Fee

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United Close-In Booking Fee

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.

Based in NYC. Points/miles enthusiast for years and actively writing about it for the last two years at Danny the Deal Guru. I'm always looking out for deals. Making a few bucks is always nice, but the traveling is by far the best part of this business.

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  1. Wether cash, miles, or points added, they are all considered fees! Swapping one for another in not eliminating close-in booking fees. United said they were eliminating close-in booking fees. Just another company not keeping their word. Is anybody surprised.

  2. This is why I’m on SWA right now and SWA will be my primary carrier going forward. So done with the BS, constant changes.

    The loyalty program dumpster fire is getting pretty crowded now that United has joined Delta and AA with this latest devaluation. I really liked the old Mileageplus, too. What a shame.

    I guess my $30K/year doesn’t matter in the greater scheme of things.


  3. … and UA said there wouldn’t be an increase in miles for partners. Liar Liar Pants on Fire. If I was a UA Elite, I’d be pretty ticked off.


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