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I´ve heard about using United points to get a round trip to another region and then getting a free trip within that other region (ie: North America rountrip to Europe and then a intra-Europe flight included). Any experience with this? How many points does it typically require?
I think you’re referring to the Excursionist Perk, which is quite complicated. Have you seen Tiffany’s article from a couple years ago?
A word of caution: even when the “intra” segment is shown as “0 = zero” miles, please do check the final miles-charge before finalizing the ticket. It happened to me twice that it displayed the zero miles, then when I wanted to finalize it, the website added 25k (the normal mile requirement for that particular segment I selected).
And I agree with [USER=1436]@rickyw[/USER] that it is a complicated thing (the Excursionist perk). I would recommend that to get a feel for it, you play around on the booking page always using the multi-segment option. Sometimes surprisingly great options can be obtained.
Another thing to be mindful of though:
To take advantage of the excursionist perk, you should of course need to wait until you know your final return’s date, and that is available for award ticket booking. That means that by the time the return leg opens up, the outward availability might disappear. Everyone’s risk-tolerance is different of course. For me, securing the outward leg as soon as it opens up, and then do the same with the return leg, whilst buying the intra-European or intra-Asian ticket for cheap on a low cost airline has been the preferred option. Good luck!