Consumers saving up their airline miles for a free trip may find that ticket is getting further out of reach. It's time to switch loyalties.
Airlines have been increasing the price of reward fares, and several big jumps are imminent. United's program changes, effective Feb. 1, almost double the cost of some first-class tickets on international partners. A one-way ticket from the United States to Europe, for example, will be 110,000 miles rather than 67,500. Even an economy United ticket from the mainland U.S. to Hawaii will cost 5,000 miles more, at 45,000.
On June 1, Delta will increase many of its award tickets, too, boosting the cost of a one-way first-class domestic ticket by as much as 5,000 miles. Economy "saver" tickets to Hawaii will cost 22,500 miles, up 2,500, while many business tickets to Asia will cost an extra 10,000 miles each way.