UPDATE: See bottom!
It is not at all uncommon for new routes to have fare sales associated with them to build hype and attract new customers. So it is not much of a surprise that United Airlines is doing exactly that with their new Denver-Tokyo route. What is somewhat surprising, however, is just how available the deal is.
Rather than booking the sale in one of their lower fare buckets, limiting the number of seats available, the current deal of $980 all-in ($298 r/t base fare) is actually booking in to the B fare class. That’s the second highest fare bucket in the coach cabin and it comes with no co-pays for miles-based upgrades (30K points each way) and it also earns 150% PQMs towards elite status. Oh, and it is basically wide open for availability any day you want to fly.
There was some concern yesterday that the fare was going to be updated and pulled from the system. It was updated, but the update actually wasn’t too huge a deal.
So, no, you can not book to join the inaugural flight on this deal any more, but any other trip in the first three weeks should be just fine. The fare has a 3 day minimum stay as well, so there’s an opportunity to explore Tokyo, too. The fare must be purchased by 24 May 2012, so another 36 hours or so before it vanishes. It certainly isn’t the best mileage run ever, but it is a pretty good deal and there is some 787 novelty value, too. Plus, it makes for a huge chunk of points in one trip.
UPDATE: The fare has been “fixed” now so it is an S fare, not a B fare. That cuts the earning value a bit but it is still a pretty darn good fare for a trip to Tokyo in April. Cherry blossoms anyone??