UA Offers Food & Drinks w/ Miles @ EWR…at a crappy rate

Has anyone been to Newark (EWR) lately? They are trying to rob you of those miles!  I tend to stick to JFK and LGA, but on a visit last week to Newark I noticed United working especially hard to get me to spend my miles on food and beverages in the terminal. Terminal C has iPad tablets installed at several food vendors / concession stands, allowing you to spend your miles instead of cash. This was the first option that came up when going to pay. I clicked no and was presented with the miles payment offer a second time. The service is supposedly expanding to newsstands, duty-free, and other retail outlets over the next year. So what were the prices? Currently all pricing is the same regardless of elite status – BAD at around .67-.7 cents per mile:

  • A bottle of Fiji water – $2.99 or 430 miles
  • Martini / Margarita / Glass of Wine – $14 or 2,000 miles
  • Caesar Salad – $18 or 2,600 miles
  • Chicken Parm – $20 or 3,000 miles
  • Salmon entree – $29 or 4,150 miles

I guess if you have a few orphan MileagePlus miles this is a new way to burn them, though I certainly won’t be redeeming at these rates.

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