United miles are facing some new tough restrictions. Transatlantic award flights on Lufthansa can only be booked 90 days in advance, effective September 28th.

My understanding, not yet confirmed, is that award flights on ANA can only be booked 60 days in advance. I’ll keep folks posted as I learn more, but since I’ve seen conflicting information on this to date I’ll still characterize it as a rumor (and I haven’t had time to try to dummy-book an award yet).

This comes on the heels of reducing award hold times from 14 days to 3 days — meaning that you can no longer place an itinerary on hold for two weeks before booking the ticket. Just a couple years ago holds were permitted for 30 days and were routinely extended.

While I’ve always liked United miles for the access to awards throughout the Star Alliance and for no “last minute booking” expedite fees, my half-million United miles and I are starting to become dissatisfied.

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