Deal: Book a United flight to the South Pacific from 42,000 miles.


Looking for the perfect late summer or fall getaway to French Polynesia or Australia?

United Airlines just launched its 42nd MileagePlus anniversary sale in economy class on many of its South Pacific routes. Currently, it’s only open to targeted MileagePlus cardholders and Premier members, but general members gain access to the sale on Thursday.

Deal basics

Airline: United.

Routes: All mainland U.S. airports to Tahiti’s Faa’a International Airport (PPT), Brisbane Airport (BNE), Sydney Airport (SYD) and Melbourne Airport (MEL).

How to book: Directly with the airline.

Travel dates: Select travel dates between Aug. 15, 2023, and Dec. 10, 2023.

Book by: May 6 by 11:59 p.m. CT.

Here’s the deal: During the promotional dates, you can book a round-trip flight to Tahiti for 42,000 miles plus $117.95 (normally 70,000 miles) and a round-trip flight to Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne for 60,000 miles plus $94.25 (normally 80,000 miles).

Sample flights


United operates these flights from the U.S. to Tahiti, Brisbane, Syndey and Melbourne:

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  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Tahiti: Five flights per week.
  • San Francisco to Syndey: Seven to 14 flights per week.
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Sydney: Seven flights per week.
  • Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) to Sydney: Three flights per week starting Oct. 29, 2023.
  • San Francisco to Melbourne: Seven flights per week.
  • Los Angeles to Melbourne: Seven flights per week.
  • San Francisco to Bisbrane: Seven flights per week.
  • Los Angeles to Brisbane: Three flights per week starting Nov. 29, 2023.

Now, here’s a look at the award space. Again, you’ll have to book a round-trip flight from any of its continental U.S. airports. There are even a few dates with business class availability for as low as 70,000 United miles.

Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to Tahiti


Washington’s Dulles International Airport (IAD) to Melbourne


Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Sydney


Houston to Brisbane


Maximize your purchase

Use a card that earns bonus points on airfare purchases, like The Platinum Card® from American Express (5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Citi Prestige® Card (5 points per dollar on airfare), Citi Premier® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve (3 points per dollar on airfare), American Express® Gold Card (3 points per dollar on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2 points per dollar on travel). See this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

The information for the Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bottom line

If you’re ready to plan a trip to the South Pacific between Aug. 15 and Dec. 10, this award sale can be a great way to maximize United miles.

For reference, many of the East Coast to Australia flights cost around $3,000 round-trip. By using 60,000 United miles, you’ll be getting close to 5 cents per mile, which is roughly quadruple our valuation of United miles.

As always, you can cancel and redeposit your miles if something comes up. Just make sure to make your flight reservations by Saturday.

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