United Eliminates Close-In Award Booking Fee

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I got an email from United Monday stating they are removing their Close-In Award booking fees which were previously $75 and $100 per ticket. This is good news for those of you who like to use your United Miles for last minute trips. Be sure to book your award on United.com to avoid the $25 award fee for booking through United Reservations.

Email from United

Mr. Weeklyflyer,

We understand you’ve been looking for an easier way to book award travel, and we’re happy to announce we are leading the way.

Becoming the first airline to remove the close-in award processing fee is our way of providing you with even more value for your continued loyalty.

Beginning July 30, 2009, you can book a Mileage Plus® Award ticket less than 21 days in advance, and pay no close-in award processing fees.


Last August Delta announced an award ticketing fee for all Domestic or International flights. I predict Delta will soon match United in removing this fee.

Bottom Line

This was a way for airlines to charge a premium on award redemptions to match the high prices of last minute tickets. With the addition of in additional pay-services such as pay for seats, food, and fuel surcharges, the airlines can make more money if the seats are filled rather than going empty.
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About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. Yep, the United Air Lines “Close-in Fee” is back. Airline consolidation and resulting monopoly allows for easier price / fee gouging of the flying public as it gets increasingly difficult to find alternative carriers for desired destinations. Were is the exercise of the “Commerce Clause” for the people?

  2. Worst airline with worst service ever. And they want to pick your pocket for anything you want to do during travel…like boarding early or have a more preferred seat, or a drink . The mileage program with silver status has very minimal to zero extra benefits. For gold status you need to fly at least 50,000 miles (with their higher fares and sucking service. I will never fly united internationally where we have so many better choices. Domestically though with are screwed with all the mergers leaving a little choice.

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