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Old Jan 9, 18, 8:31 am
  #7  
jsloan
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
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Originally Posted by AboveTheClouds89 View Post
I travel weekly for work, and this past year have switched over to United because my job has me frequently in/out of EWR. My flights are almost always short, regional flights on UAX. My elite status has generally been achieved via PQS and not PQM (not the norm, I know). Looking at the 1K requirements for 2018, I would need 120 PQS, meaning that I could fly EVERY week of the year and still not have enough. I plan to move all my personal travel onto United as well, but even with that it seems simply not possible.

Is this just the way it is for regional flyers or am I missing something?
You're not missing anything, and it's not limited to UA. AA ExPlat is 120 EQS; DL Diamond is 140 MQS. The reason is simple -- they don't see any need to give a top status to someone who is flying short nonstop segments regularly, because while that passenger is often highly profitable, there's a good chance that they're hub-captive. You're not flying UA because of benefits from MileagePlus -- you're flying them because they have the most nonstop options from Newark. And they know it.

You have a few options if 1K status is meaningful for you. You can add connections, perhaps via a same-day confirmed change (SDC) -- so, if you're flying EWR-RDU, you might be able to fly EWR-IAD-RDU instead. You also get 1.5 PQSs for first class or unrestricted coach fares, if those are an option for you. And, of course, you can do a "segment run" when your schedule permits, once you've got an idea of how many segments you'll need to reach your status goal.

Having said that, the biggest benefit of 1K status in my mind is the ability to earn global upgrades -- but if you're not flying internationally, those certificates may be of limited use. (Even if you do fly internationally, they're hard to use unless you have flexibility in your travel plans). If you're a EWR-based flyer on a typical commuting schedule, you may find it's hard to get upgrades even as a 1K -- and, how much is an upgrade on a short regional flight worth to you anyway? Before shelling out a significant out-of-pocket expense to earn 1K, I'd make sure to review the benefits, and the board threads like "Is it worth it to stretch for 1K?", to make sure it's a good investment for you.

Hope this helps.
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