Finally a fee reduction. Here is the letter I got today from United Airlines.
Dear Mr. Frugal Travel Guy,
Beginning July 30, 2009, all members can book a Mileage Plus® Award ticket less than 21 days in advance, and pay no close-in processing fees.
Of course, as a United Global Services® or 1K® member you are still exempt from all award fees. You will continue to have exclusive inventory of United Economy® Saver Award seats reserved solely for your redemption.
We are the first airline to remove the close-in award processing fee to provide even more value for continued loyalty. This is one of the steps we are taking this year to make Mileage Plus the most rewarding loyalty program for our members. Book an award ticket today.
Thank you for your continued loyalty.
Executive Vice President of Marketing
President of Mileage Plus
And the really great news is that the fee has been removed for all members, not just those with Elite Status. Nice move United!