United Mileage at Newark Liberty International Airport | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on August 12, 2016

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A bit of a random post today, but something that made me so happy for a few reasons.

A few weeks ago, we went to Florida for a long weekend. It has actually been a while since we had flown out of Terminal C at Newark Liberty, so we were surprised to see all of the renovations and how you can eat something at almost every area of the terminal. There are raw bars right next to the gates! Anyway, the best addition was something I was not aware of and did not expect to find, but I’m so glad that an evolution with airline miles is happening.

We went to Vesper in Terminal C because it was close to our gate, and we didn’t want oysters. We saw a pretty basic menu, a bit overpriced, but we have come to expect that in the airport. We sat down, and like many other swanky upgraded terminals, there were iPads on the table for us to order food, play games, read the news, etc.

Please note that these are pictures of the screen from my iPhone 6. (The previous link is an affiliate link, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link.)

Home screen – I am immediately captured by the feature banner telling me how much a glass of wine costs, in miles. What is this new development?

I moved on to look at burgers, and there you have it. You can pay with money, or you can pay with miles. I was so excited for this, and I will tell you why.

I have been a loyal customer of United Airlines since it was Continental Airlines. It certainly helps that I live in New Jersey and that Newark Liberty is a United hub, so there are lots of flights for me, but no matter. This is the airline I have used for ages. Will and I have amassed nearly 90,000 miles in our frequent flyer miles accounts, and it is intensely frustrating how I can never find reward travel that works for us. I don’t need to receive 5 magazine subscriptions, which for years seems like the only offer I was receiving in the mail for “how to spend your miles.” If you don’t use them or fly again within a certain time period, you lose them. Without better options to spend them or use them, I’m sure there are a lot of miles that are lost.

Mild frustration here, if you are adding to your order, it doesn’t tell you the mileage cost on the item detail page.


A look at the checkout process. Again, I find it unfortunate that they cannot preview the prices of the add-ons, but I loved that I could add gratuity and pay for the entire meal with my miles.

I clicked “pay with award miles,” and it was done. 6,100 miles paid for a lunch that would have cost something like $40 – $50. I am not against paying for lunch, but the thrill of a way to use miles that didn’t feel like a total waste and something I didn’t actually NEED (hello, magazines) was really satisfying.

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