Flights can seem very expensive, even when booking award travel. But United Airlines has a clever perk, that if you know how to use it correctly can really take your trip to the next level.
The Excursionist Perk is defined by United as “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”. There are always rules though right? So for this to work you must be traveling in more than one region. For example, if you are just flying around the US this won’t work, but if you fly out of the US to Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, etc. they are considered different regions and you can start to see the benefit. You must also start and end your trip in the same region- so much like a round trip ticket with extra stops picked by you. You will also not be able to fly economy the whole way and then bank on getting business free, sorry guys. Those are all the current stipulations though to getting this free section of award travel, so it is totally worth it!
To book this you need to select the multi-city function on United’s booking options. There you will enter your cities and typically the first middle flight is the one that will show up for 0 miles and only the taxes and fees. An example of this on a trip I recently took was SLC (Salt Lake City)-DUB (Dublin)-GVA (Geneva) train to FCO (Rome)-SLC (Salt Lake City). My flight from Dublin, Ireland to Geneva, Switzerland cost me $21 in taxes and fees and no miles. United doesn’t care where you fly home from either, as long as it is in the same region. This is nice for places like Europe and Asia where the train systems are so great that you can easily hop around without needing to use the Excursionist Perk for short hauls. It would be better used for long distances, across oceans, or to Islands like Greece, Malta, Iceland, etc.
Hope this helps make planning your next trip a little more exciting and don’t forget that if you don’t have any United miles stashed away you can transfer from Chase Ultimate Rewards (1:1), Marriott (3:1- but they have partner deals from time to time). Happy Travels!!!!