Old Sep 21, 11, 6:35 am
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UA Insider
Company Representative, United Airlines
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Chicago, Houston, or somewhere in between
Posts: 2,166
Merger Update: 2012 MileagePlus Program Details

Hi Everyone, today we’re going to give you a look at our 2012 MileagePlus program. Although many of my front line co-workers have begun the process of training, this is a lengthy process and not everyone will have completed their briefings at the time of this posting. Please be sensitive to this, as there’s no easy way to get everyone on the same page at the same time. There’s a lot to take in, but here are the top dozen things worth noting:
  1. New vocabulary. First, here’s some new nomenclature: The term Premier will live on but in a new context. It will replace the term “Elite”. With that will come some new three-letter acronyms:
    • PQM & PQS: Premier Qualifying Mile & Segment (formerly EQM/EQS)
    • CPU: Complimentary Premier Upgrade (formerly UDU and EUA)
    • RPU: Regional Premier Upgrade (formerly CR1 and RU)
    • GPU: Global Premier Upgrade (formerly SWU)
  2. New tiers and qualification requirements. Heard any good rumors lately? Here are our new Premier tiers – all of which will have a minimum requirement of 4 paid flights on United, Continental and/or Copa:
    • Premier Silver: 25K PQM or 30 PQS
    • Premier Gold: 50K PQM or 60 PQS
    • Premier Platinum: 75K PQM or 90 PQS
    • Premier 1K: 100K PQM or 120 PQS
    • Global Services: Invitation only
  3. Bonus Award mile changes. Here are the changes we’re making to premier and fare class bonuses:

    Premier bonuses:
    • Premier Silver: 25% bonus miles (no change)
    • Premier Gold: 50% bonus miles
    • Premier Platinum: 75% bonus miles
    • Premier 1K and Global Services: 100% bonus miles (no change)

    Fare Class bonuses for United/Continental:
    • Full-fare Economy Class (Y/B) fares: +25% bonus miles
    • Discounted Business Class (Z/P) fares: +50% bonus miles
    • Full-fare Business Class (J/C/D) fares: +75% bonus miles
    • 2-Cabin First Class (F/A) fares: +75% bonus miles
    • 3-Cabin First Class (F/A) fares: +150% bonus miles
  4. New CPU geography for United, Continental and Copa. Our rationale for offering CPUs will almost entirely be based on how the premium cabin of the flight is marketed. Simply put - markets where the premium product is predominantly our domestic standard will be eligible for CPUs, and all others will not. Based on our current network, this is how our CPU program shakes out geographically:
    • Mainland U.S. (except p.s. markets JFK-LAX/SFO), Alaska and Canada
    • Hawaii (California to/from Hawaii, plus any other market operating with a domestic premium product, such as Chicago-Honolulu)
    • Mexico/Caribbean/Central America
    • Northern South America (except New York-Lima)
    • Southern South America (Copa flights only)
    • Asia/Oceania (except transpacific, Honolulu-Guam, Tokyo-Singapore/Bangkok nonstops)
    RPUs will be eligible in these same markets plus our p.s. and all Mainland U.S.-Hawaii markets.

  5. Instant upgrades for full-fare Economy Class fares. Premier members traveling on certain full-fare Economy Class fares will be eligible for an instant upgrade as early as ticketing. Specifically, all premier members will be eligible for instant upgrades from Y and B fares, and Premier 1K members will additionally enjoy instant upgrades from M class fares. Y fares will instantly upgrade using last-seat availability. B and M fares will have expanded upgrade availability, but it won’t always be down to the last seat.

  6. New CPU clearance windows. CPUs will begin processing automatically starting at 120 hours for Global Services, 96 hours for Premier 1K, 72 hours for Premier Platinum, 48 hours for Premier Gold and on the day of departure for Premier Silver.

  7. New CPU hierarchy. Our CPU/airport standby upgrade hierarchy will be as follows:
    • Global Services
    • Y/B/M instant upgrades that weren’t confirmed in advance (sorted by fare class then premier tier)
    • Paid upgrades (i.e. GPUs, RPUs and mileage upgrades) sorted by status, fare class, and date of waitlist
    • All remaining premier customers by status, then fare class
  8. Companion CPUs for all Premiers. Premiers at all levels will be able to extend their CPUs to one travel companion in the same reservation, including in the advance clearance window and with Y/B/M instant upgrades. This will happen automatically when the Premier reservation includes a single companion. In cases where there are more than two people in the reservation, or where the companion is in a separate reservation, the companion upgrade may be designated at the airport.

  9. Economy Plus access at check-in for Premier Silver, improved access for all other levels. To ensure we have better seating options for our top premier levels, advance complimentary access to Economy Plus will be limited to Premier Gold members and higher plus one companion (Premier Platinums and above may have up to 8 companions). Premier Silvers and one companion will continue to enjoy complimentary space-available access to Economy Plus starting at 24 hours before departure.

  10. Baggage changes for Premier Silver. The complimentary baggage allowance for Premier Silver and Star Alliance Silver members will be reduced to 1 complimentary checked bag weighing up to 50 lbs.

  11. Aligned mileage expiration policy. Miles will expire if your account is left inactive for 18 months. Our definition of activity will be very easy to meet for earning or redemption in thousands of ways. This includes something as simple as a magazine subscription redemption – which can be had for as little as 400 miles.

  12. New lifetime benefits. Big changes here, and we think you’ll agree this is the most generous lifetime program in the world. The following will take effect next spring (so please hold tight until then):
    • Continental and United lifetime earnings will be combined. You all guessed that much, but the key will be how we do it. Continental’s lifetime earnings have been EQM-based, and United’s have been based on actual flight miles. Starting in 2012, the program will be based on actual flight miles, however, we will make a one-time adjustment on the United side to boost everyone’s lifetime earnings to EQMs dating back to the beginning of the program
    • Lifetime premier benefits for 1 million miles = Premier Gold, 2 million = Premier Platinum, 3 million = Premier 1K, 4 million = Global Services
    • Million milers will be able to designate a spouse or significant other to always have the same premier tier as them (this includes when the million miler member earns a higher tier). The spousal premier benefits will be identical as the member, except they will not include RPUs and GPUs. This spousal benefit will replace the one-time and annual upgrade gifts, and hopefully you’ll agree this is a better deal
    • Continental’s Infinite Elite members (the limited few of you that earned this back in the early 90’s) will be grandfathered in and given lifetime Premier 1K status, but without the GPUs. We hope you’ll agree this is a generous resolution
One final note is timing. As most of you know, our Elite program year typically begins in February. In the case of 2012, most of the new program benefits and features, including the new Premier tiers, will be effective when we migrate to a single technology system late in the first quarter. Some changes, such as CPU geography may come sooner, but for now, the expectation we’d like to set for all new Premier tiers and associated benefits will be late first quarter 2012. We’ll be sharing more details, including the exact effective date, in the coming months.

Our website has been updated with all the details. In the coming month, we’ll be filling in more blanks, such as extension of the current Elite year and how the overall account transition will occur.

Thanks as always for your feedback, and we look forward to answering your questions.

Scott O’Leary
Managing Director, Customer Solutions
United Airlines

[Moderator note: Please see UA Insider's post later in this thread answering a number of member questions about the changes.]

Last edited by Ocn Vw 1K; Sep 21, 11 at 6:22 pm Reason: OP updated link to website; moderator added note to Q&As.
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