Skip navigation

MileagePlus air awards

Traveling on an award ticket is not one-size-fits-all. You have the flexibility to choose the award type and class of service that suit your needs. All United awards are one-way, which means you can fly a Saver Award for one direction of travel and return using a Standard Award. You can also choose a different class of service for each direction.

If your dates are flexible, you could benefit from a Saver Award and use fewer miles. If a specific date or time is important, a Standard Award may be a better option. It's up to you. And, because all the awards are one-way, you can mix award types to build the itinerary that fits your needs.

Pick the class of service you want, when you want. Maybe you need personal workspace on your outbound trip, or want to start your vacation in style. You can travel outbound in one class and return in a different class. You choose.

Saver Awards

Saver Awards can be used for travel almost anywhere United, United Express® and our MileagePlus airline partners fly. Saver Awards are capacity-controlled and may not be available on certain flights where demand is high. Select partner airlines may have flight date restrictions along with capacity controls.

Standard Awards

Standard Awards offer expanded availability on flights operated by United, United Express and Copa Airlines and are subject to capacity controls. While seats for award travel may not be available on certain flights, there are more seats available for Standard Awards than for Saver Awards.

MileagePlus Premier® members and eligible United MileagePlus Chase cardmembers have the benefit of booking Standard Awards without capacity controls on flights operated by United and United Express. If there is a seat available, these members have unrestricted access to book a Standard Award, even if it's the last seat on the plane. Eligible MileagePlus Chase cardmembers can learn more about their benefits by reading their membership guide or by calling the Chase phone number on the back of their credit card.

United air travel award rules

  • Saver Awards have limited availability and are subject to capacity controls.
  • Standard Awards offer expanded availability on flights operated by United, United Express and Copa Airlines. MileagePlus Premier members and eligible United MileagePlus cardmembers have access to last-seat availability on Standard Awards on United- and United Express-operated flights when redeeming miles to book award travel. Eligible cardmembers can learn more about their benefits by reading their membership guide or by calling the Chase phone number on the back of their credit card.
  • Most travel award itineraries may be booked at Certain travel awards may only be booked over the phone with your local United Customer Contact Center, such as flights operated by certain carriers. An award booking service fee will apply to all bookings made over the phone, regardless of whether it is possible to be booked at Please see the award fee chart for more details.
  • Awards ticketed less than 21 days before travel will be subject to a close-in award booking fee. Please see the award fee chart for more details.
  • Different award types (Saver and Standard) and cabins may be combined to create a single roundtrip award. Awards may not be combined or used with any other air travel certificate, discount coupon, premium offer or specific promotional fares.
  • You can also book a One-Way Award if you wish to travel one way. If you redeem a roundtrip award and only travel one-way, the unused portion of the award will be forfeited.
  • The Excursionist Perk is a free one-way award within select multi-city itineraries. Members who book an itinerary with three or more one-way awards will be eligible to receive one of those one-way awards for free, if it meets all of these conditions:
    • The Excursionist Perk cannot be in the MileagePlus defined region where your travel originates. (For example, if your journey begins in North America, you will only receive the Excursionist Perk if travel is within a region outside of North America.)
    • Travel must end in the same MileagePlus defined region where travel originates.
    • The origin and destination of the Excursionist Perk is within a single MileagePlus defined region.
    • The cabin of service and award type of the free one-way award is the same or lower than the one-way award preceding it.
    • If two or more one-way awards qualify for this benefit, only the first occurrence will be free.
  • Economy awards may be exchanged for a higher cabin, if available, for the difference in mileage and applicable award change fee. Travel awards may not be used in conjunction with promotional upgrades or MileagePlus Upgrade Awards.
  • Travel awards are not eligible for mileage accrual with MileagePlus or any other loyalty program.
  • Waitlisting for travel awards is permitted in premium cabins on flights operated by United, and will be automatically confirmed, if the waitlisted cabin is available, based on the status of the account holder.
  • Waitlisting may be requested for travel in a premium cabin up to 24 hours before flight departure. If the waitlist does not clear, you will automatically be added to the airport standby list upon check-in.
  • Confirming a Standard Award and waitlisting for a Saver Award is not permitted.
  • Ticketed customers may waitlist for travel in a premium cabin for an alternate flight. Reservations where all segments are waitlisted without any confirmed segments are not permitted.
    • Connecting flights: Customers may waitlist on only one leg of the connecting flights and the flight must meet the required minimum connecting time.
    • Nonstop flights: Customers can waitlist on only one flight per direction. Alternate dates and times are allowed.
  • You may redeem miles for travel in United PolarisSM first class, United First, United Business or United Polaris business class, even if the space is not available. In these cases, United Economy in the same award type must be confirmed, and the front cabin will be waitlisted. If the courtesy waitlist does not clear, it will expire 24 hours before itinerary departure, and you will automatically be added to the airport upgrade standby list upon check-in. In these cases, you will be confirmed on a space-available basis by a United airport representative at the gate once the flight has closed for check-in. For United Polaris business class and United Business travel awards, the difference in miles will be refunded when the United Polaris business class or United Business class segment of the trip could not be confirmed. Waitlist requests may only be made over the phone with your local United Customer Contact Center.
  • Flight changes, including standby, may be made on the day of departure in accordance with the Same-Day Change Policy. All other itinerary changes will be subject to the applicable change fees, and may require additional mileage. Please see the award fee chart for more details.
  • Wholly unused or canceled MileagePlus awards may be re-deposited back to the account from which the miles were withdrawn prior to the expiration date. Award re-deposits are subject to applicable fees. Please see the award fee chart for more details.
  • MileagePlus travel awards have no cash value except for applicable taxes, fees and surcharges. Requests for refund of taxes should be sent to refund accounting.
  • Award tickets are valid one year from original date of issue. All travel must be completed within one year from date of issue.
  • United, United Express and Copa Airlines do not have any restricted travel dates for MileagePlus awards; however, some partners may have restricted travel dates.
  • Pricing for award travel is determined by the city pair between which you wish to travel. Each city pair is part of an award region per one-way basis. Please see our interactive award chart for award regions.
  • MileagePlus members are responsible for all applicable federal inspection fees, terminal facility fees, customs and immigration fees, infant tickets (when required for children under two years of age) and any other fees or surcharges applicable to award travel. Fees and surcharges must be paid by credit card only at the time the MileagePlus award is ticketed. Also, some international departure fees are due at the airport, payable in cash only.
  • Once an airline ticket is issued, the passenger name on the ticket may not be changed, and the ticket may not be used by anyone else. A name change requires that you re-deposit the award for a service fee (payable by credit card only) and request a new award in the appropriate name.
  • MileagePlus awards and mileage in your MileagePlus account may not be sold, bartered, traded, exchanged or purchased, except under programs fully authorized and/or sponsored by United Airlines. Awards and mileage obtained in violation of this rule will be void and confiscated. A violation of this rule may result in the termination of your MileagePlus membership and forfeiture of all mileage in your account. If a person other than the MileagePlus member or the person named on the reward attempts to use the award, it will be void and travel will be denied. Altered awards are also void. Awards deemed void will be confiscated and the mileage forfeited by the member. At the discretion of MileagePlus, actions which result in a void award may lead to membership termination and forfeiture of all mileage.
  • In the event of a flight delay or cancellation, you will be re-routed on the first available flight in accordance with Our United Customer Commitment. Some partners may have different policies for re-accommodation during irregular operations.
  • If you elect to travel in a lower class of service than specified by your award, you will not receive a mileage adjustment.
  • All tax liability associated with the MileagePlus program and with the receipt and use of MileagePlus awards, including income tax, is the responsibility of the customer.
  • If you fail to comply with the MileagePlus award rules, at United Airlines' sole discretion, you may be accommodated on a different flight than originally selected, seated in a lower class of service, denied ticketing or boarding, or be subject to other action as provided under the "Mileage or Award Abuse" provision herein. Travel on United Airlines or MileagePlus airline partners is subject to the filed tariffs and standard contract of carriage of the specific carrier.