The hour is upon us…United is devaluing their chart significantly as of this Saturday 2/1/14. But one of the worst things you can do is wait until the evening of 1/31 to book your flights. Book them as soon as possible, because we don’t exactly know what time the award chart is going to change.
I say this primarily because of the recent Hyatt devaluation. I was in the middle of my vacation in Koh Samui when I decided to take advantage of Hyatt’s old award chart the day before their devaluation. I made sure to check the time, and it was before 8PM Pacific time on 1/6/14. In the middle of my booking, the award price changed to the newer, higher rates. I tweeted about it at the time.
That means that no matter where in the US I might have been, Hyatt’s award chart changed before 1/7 when it was supposed to take affect. There were others on Twitter that expressed the same thing, like with @aegt. Ultimately I received no response and the new points values were a could do (I didn’t try calling since I was traveling).
Anyway, my point is that even if this is unlikely to happen with United, it’s just not worth the risk. Book your travel as soon as you can and use all the points you planned to use. If you’re unsure of your travel plans, it might be worth it to book something anyway and incur a change fee later on rather than book at the new, higher levels. As always, make your own calculations to see what makes more sense.