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Ratings & Reviews
View From the Wing
(Program Reviews - Side by Side Comparison - Website Reviews)
Rated: October 2012- When United and Continental merged, the combined airline decided to adopt the Continental website, which had one of the best online award booking engines. The site received a makeover with the merger, but the changes were mostly cosmetic and the overall structure hasn't changed much.
The MileagePlus landing page is busy with lots of text and many links to information about the program, from earning miles by taking a cruise or vacation to redeeming miles for newspapers. There are links to elite benefits, the Million Miler program and a link to the Program rules, often buried in small text at the bottom of the page, is highlighted in a blue box near the bottom of the page.
Without images to guide your attention, it takes some time to read through all the categories but there are some shortcuts to finding the information you need. There is a dropdown menu with links to main aspects of the program that appears when you mouseover MileagePlus from the menu bar at the top of the page. You can also Ask Alex, the online avatar originally created for the OnePass program, for help. For example, type in "When do miles expire?" and she'll provide the expiration policy along with links to Reinstating Miles, Earn MileagePlus miles and MileagePlus account sign in. For those not familiar with the MileagePlus website, you might save some time by asking Alex first.
Click Earn Miles and you'll be taken to a page with links and images to all of the different categories of earning partners. Each partner type, such as Staying at hotels, has a link to learn more and a link to offers, if there are current earning promotions. The bonus offer page includes all bonus offers with tabs at the top for the different types of earning opportunities. Or you can click All to view every bonus offer. The pages also include whether registration is required, when the offer was posted and the time remaining on the offer.
From their account page, members can view and make changes to upcoming reservations, change their account profile and view their recent account activity, mileage balance and progress toward elite status. From your profile page, click View All Flight Search Preferences to enable the Expert Mode setting and have access to fare class availability.
United Airlines online award booking tool includes award inventory for many Star Alliance airlines. While not all flights on all airlines are included, it's a good place to start when searching for awards. The tool will display an award availability calendar for two months at a time and taxes and fees are listed in the list of flight results.
There are interactive awards chart that display exactly how many miles are needed for a specific flight or you can open the flight and upgrade award charts to view the mileage requirements for all routes.
The MileagePlus website isn't flashy or the most visually appealing site out there, but it has a very functional award booking engine and an "expert mode" setting for savvy flyers.