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United Airlines Quietly Lowers Select Partner Elite Qualification Mile Earnings

United Airlines apparently reduced the number of elite qualification miles earned on certain airfare classes on select partner airlines from as much as 150 percent of miles flown to 100 percent of miles flown — a major devaluation for those who earn elite status in the MileagePlus frequent flier loyalty program through booking premium airfares for travel on airline partners of United Airlines.

The following is a list of the partner airlines in alphabetical order and the airfares affected by the apparent new change in policy:

  • Croatia Airlines A, B, C, D, F, Y, Z
  • EgyptAir A, B, C, D, F, J, Y, Z
  • LOT Polish A, B, C, D, P, Y, Z
  • Singapore Air R, S, Y, Z, A, C, D, F, J, P
  • South African Airways J, C, D, Z, Y, B, M, H K, S, Q
  • TAM A, C, D, F, J , Y, Z
  • TAP Air Portugal B, C, D, J, Y, Z
  • Thai Airways J, P, U, Y, Z, A, B, C, D, F

The earning of elite qualification miles from paid airfares from Air Canada, All Nippon Airways, Austrian, Brussels, COPA, Lufthansa, SAS, Swiss and US Airways still remain unchanged.

To add insult to injury to FlyerTalk members who are already not happy about this apparent new change in policy is that no one from United Airlines has officially announced this new policy change — let alone explain the rationale behind it.

While I highly doubt it, perhaps there was a computer error or a test of the system and not an actual change in policy, which could be the reason why it was not announced and the policy will be reverted back to the way it was before? Why would the earning of elite qualification miles be changed only on some partner airlines and not all of them? This makes no sense to me.

Hopefully we will find out the reasons behind these changes soon

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Comments (Showing 1 of 1)

  • crazyMRer at 4:32pm January 03, 2013

    “Why would the earning of elite qualification miles be changed only on some partner airlines and not all of them? This makes no sense to me.”

    In my opinion, this change does make sense because the partner airlines that remain unchanged are the airlines most important to UA’s business model. Most of them are revenue sharing joint venture partners with UA. It makes sense for UA to incentivize fliers to fly with partners that contribute to UA’s bottom line over those that do not.

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