It seems like the entire travel blogosphere has written about United’s 20% off discount on economy class awards to Europe from January 15 – March 13when flying on United and United Express operated flights booked by November 15th.
One interesting read on the promotion comes from DansDeals, in a post about adding a stopover or open jaw to your discounted award itinerary (even-though the T&Cs explicitly restrict a stopover and state that open jaws are only for airports in the same region). He was able to make a sample booking using the multiple destinations option where he went EWR->ZRH(STOP 1 week)->LHR-> LAX->EWR for 48,000 miles. Another using the same principle – LAX->EWR(STOP 1 week)->CDG->LHR->LAX also for 48,000 miles.
Another great read comes from MileValue, who compares United’s 20% discount to the standard off peak awards at other major carriers. Scott’s valid conclusion is that American and US Airways’ off peak awards to Europe are superior to the UA discount. He notes that AA is very generous with their dates, including early May and late October and have great availability, including the ability to utilize partners and take advantage of some of their awesome routing rules. US Airways has even cheaper off peak awards to Europe at only 35k miles roundtrip as well as business off peak at 60k roundtrip. Check out his full comparison here.