If your New Year’s resolution involved traveling abroad and being more spontaneous, a new mystery sale from United Airlines could help make it a reality. The carrier has announced a one-week promotion for its MileagePlus members called Adventure Week. Each day, at midnight Central Time, from January 8 to 12, United will put one new international destination on sale—in miles—for 24 hours. On January 8, the surprise destination is London.
Here’s how to score the discounted awards tickets.
The sale is for members of MileagePlus, the frequent flier awards program for the airline; they will have the chance to nab round-trip tickets from the United States to surprise international destinations for only 50,000 miles (plus taxes and fees, which start at $194.60).
To take advantage of the discounted fare, travelers need to log into their United MileagePlus account, input their preferred departure city and the announced surprise destination (London’s Heathrow Airport, in Monday’s case), add their dates, and hit submit—the fares are already reduced in the system.
Unlike other fare promotions United has run in the past, there are no blackout dates, but travelers do need to start and end their trip between January 10 and March 20, 2024.
That’s not the only fine print. Travelers have until 11:59 p.m. CT to book each day, the fares are only available for United Economy, and flights must originate in the continental U.S. (sorry, Alaska and Hawai’i). However, there’s no limit to the number of award tickets that somebody can book.
United no longer has an award chart, making it harder to predict how many miles you’ll need to book an award flight with the airline at other times of the year. However, searches for a round-trip ticket to London in April 2024 yielded rates that ranged from 30,000 to 40,000 miles each way, depending on the exact date and departure airport, so it is fair to say you’d save a minimum of 10,000 miles on this promotion.
If you don’t have enough miles in your United account to purchase a ticket but do have a Chase Ultimate Rewards account (the rewards program for Chase branded cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred) with enough miles, you can transfer them at a 1:1 ratio (meaning the 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points are equivalent to 50,000 United miles).
Those interested in the sale can keep an eye on the announcement page on United’s website or check the United app to find out which global locale is unlocked each day.