UA 1K thinking of changing to Miles and More...should I do it.

Old Aug 16, 16, 10:27 pm
  #1  
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UA 1K thinking of changing to Miles and More...should I do it.

Ive been a 1K with UA for over 25 years and have flown 3 million miles of my UA account. For the million mile program, UA does not count code shares.....its 3 million BIS miles on United

Howevermost of those UA operated flights were before the merger, Although I still keep 1K,AT LEAST 75% of my flights are now on UA code shares operated MOSTLY by LH and other partners (I fly First of business only and won't waste the money on UA when I can fly LH instead under UA flight numbers, getting full credit towards 1k

The bottom line is last year I flew 143,000 miles credited to UA but 99,000 of those miles were on LH or LX, 23,000 miles were on partners such as SQ, etc and I only flew 21,000 miles on actual UA flights (Since UA gives double credit towards elite status on premium fares (even P), my statement shows 43,000 miles flown on UA (SO INSTEAD OF 143,000 PQM'S MY STATEMENT SHOWS 254,000 MILES.

Since I now fly LH more then any other carrier (except EK), doesn't it make sense to change to M&M or is the UA program really better. One nice bonus of changing to M&M is I can get F awards on LH and LX and in the case of LH I don't have to wait to within 2 weeks,

IF I contact M&M and let them know I want to switch, and sow them a few years statements, will they possibly offer me some kind of status match

Is it worth changing to M&M since I fly LH much more then UA or should I stick with UA since I get double Elite qualifying miles on all Biz/first fares, even on LH

thanks
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Old Aug 17, 16, 12:04 am
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Forget the status match.

As for the F awards, keep in mind that LH charges a lot of taxes and fees on each award, so ask yourself whether availability is more important than 500/award.

If you flew enough to make HON I'd have considered it, but I'm not sure it's a great change for you.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 3:54 am
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Originally Posted by malmostoso View Post
As for the F awards, keep in mind that LH charges a lot of taxes and fees on each award, so ask yourself whether availability is more important than 500/award.
His problem is that he won't find availability for LH/LX First. And 500 EUR for a decent first class flight on a still pretty flexible ticket is a steal.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 7:54 am
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Unless you can qualify for HON (150k BIS miles would do it in C/F, but that's only LH&Co flights!) I wouldn't bother.
The one or two awards in F you may score is less then the six upgrade vouchers you can use on LH C->F and then getting some last minute C/F awards even at the inflated price (reasonable though if you're comparing it ot M&M three regions). Unless you get them every year anyway (not sure how lifetime works in there).

UA is about to get a new C class which seems better then what LH offers, so your preference may change shortly too. That would also help getting you to lifetime GS which ain't too shabby.

Another thing to consider might be the SQ program for their F travel redemptions.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 8:06 am
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Question

Originally Posted by Flying Lawyer View Post
His problem is that he won't find availability for LH/LX First. And 500 EUR for a decent first class flight on a still pretty flexible ticket is a steal.
Exactly. I don't care about the fees. I fly EK more per year then ALL other airlines combined & they charge more in fees then LH etc. everyone values miles differently. Someone who would never pay cash for an F ticket, but gets sn F award would not value his miles at $10,000 to $20,000. Since I fly first 2-4 times a month between DXB & USA and/or S.E. Asia, my miles are worth quite a lot to me (I actually don't use them for myself - I use them to bring my family to visit & if I was paying cash I'd probably at least bring my parents in F (my brothers, etc would probably go business if I had to pay cash. Bottom lines, since I don't care about the fees, but do care about being able to get F on LX or booking F on LH without waiting till 2 weeks before the flights AM I BETTER OFF SWITCHING TO LH's M&M. I see I should not waste my time asking for a status match nut I guess that's not AC big deal (except I'll earn less miles at the beginning). I have my UA 1K & as a 3 MILLION MILER I have 1K for life. I really don't use any of the perks. I have no time to play the upgrade game and chance not getting it cleared. The only think I use my UA *G for is A) extra luggage & B) if flying within Europe in Biz, 1ak gets me into the Senator lounge. A regular biz ticket wint work. I guess I can still use those things by showing my UA card to LH. I ASSUME ID MAKE senator in about 6 months

should I switch to M&M???
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Old Aug 17, 16, 8:27 am
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Originally Posted by chinatraderjmr View Post
I guess I can still use those things by showing my UA card to LH. I ASSUME ID MAKE senator in about 6 months

should I switch to M&M???
It seems to me you have already made your mind up. At the end of the day you are a real frequent flyer: you can easily switch back to UA (or another program) if within a couple of years you realize M&M is not for you.

Regarding earning miles on LH and using your UA card for *G perks: LH tends to heavily frown on this, and showing your card at checkin or lounge will probably end up with your UA number in the reservation. So take care in this respect. If you can push some extra business the LH way and make SEN within a few months it's a moot point anyway.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 8:28 am
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So you're don't want to waste time playing the upgrade game (booking a flight with confirmable space so you can apply the cert on the spot) but you're considering switching up your frequent flyer program just so you can get one flight per year booked >14 days out?
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Old Aug 17, 16, 8:32 am
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Originally Posted by malmostoso View Post
Regarding earning miles on LH and using your UA card for *G perks: LH tends to heavily frown on this, and showing your card at checkin or lounge will probably end up with your UA number in the reservation.
I don't understand where this idea comes from. I'm not doing hundred of segments a year, but in the ~30 or so I've done since I got *G in November last year, I _never_ had _any_ problems doing that.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 8:43 am
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Originally Posted by Flying Lawyer View Post
His problem is that he won't find availability for LH/LX First. And 500 EUR for a decent first class flight on a still pretty flexible ticket is a steal.
I tend to agree here with Flying Lawyer. LH inventory availability, especially via the SEN waitlist, is FAR superior, and the fees are, well, at least for me, tolerable. They certainly discourage one from wasting award miles on economy tickets.

Fellow FTer LufthansaFlyer wrote a blog on this very subject of switching from MP to M&M a while back. He listed some good reasons and some key advantages and disadvantages, and I think he was happy with his decision to switch.

I left MP back in 2007 or -8 and never looked back, because it was then a no-brainer for those who fly TATL primarily in premium classes (fair disclosure: in those days all business calls fares earned 200% status and award miles). Since 2011, I am primarily FRA-based for O&D purposes, so I now find M&M the most practical for LH network reasons. I will soon move my base again to the USA, and I have fewer projects in Germany/central Europe, so we shall see if my mood changes.

The two-year qualification cycle is also to me nice. During off-qualification years, one is free to explore other carriers' routes and services without pressure. For example on routes to Asia and Trans-Pacific, I sometimes saved considerable money by using non-Star Alliance products, and I was able to explore carriers like CX and KE, that I never before would have considered. I discovered that there are actually other carriers who also provide good schedules and services. Of course one still needs to fly *A/LH enough to enjoy the benefits, but as one in the 100k-200k mile per year bucket, it is nice to not feel pressed all the time to fly a single carrier group/alliance.

There are also some little things about SEN vs. 1K that are nice if you fly LH frequently. Advanced seat selection is one (even on a "Light" continental fare, where ASR is not available, the availability of certain seats once check-in opens seems to be better as SEN vs. non-SEN. Also as SEN, you can use LH SEN lounges on arrival as well as departure, which is not an option for 1Ks, and if you want to book an award and are some mile short, you can even borrow up to 50k miles against future revenue travel (I have never done this, but I understand if you don't bring your account to a positive balance before losing your SEN status, LH will get around to billing you for the miles somehow).

To me the largest downside is that UA, from a customer service standpoint, is not impressed by non-UA *G status customers. No ASR, no preferred seats, nothing. Of course the folks in the UA Clubs are more than happy to sell you a preferred seat when you transfer, or you can also pay the going rate at check-in.

If you fly a lot of UA in the USA, you will definitely notice your second-class status when flying UA as a SEN. At least you get to board with Group 2.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 8:57 am
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Originally Posted by chinatraderjmr View Post
should I switch to M&M???
As much of the commentary here shows, the answer is not straightforward. It depends on your values.

If I were you, yes, I would switch to M&M, especially given that you already have lifetime 1k. Why? 1.) I feel (and it is only a feeling, not demonstrable) that I get treated better by LH as a SEN than as 1k. 2.) I do think redemption opportunities are on the whole, for global travel, better.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 9:15 am
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Originally Posted by N1003U View Post
I tend to agree here with Flying Lawyer. LH inventory availability, especially via the SEN waitlist, is FAR superior, and the fees are, well, at least for me, tolerable. They certainly discourage one from wasting award miles on economy tickets.
Yup, being able to get that one-way flight once per year in advance is such a plus...

Originally Posted by N1003U View Post
Fellow FTer LufthansaFlyer wrote a blog on this very subject of switching from MP to M&M a while back. He listed some good reasons and some key advantages and disadvantages, and I think he was happy with his decision to switch.
Yup, a similar made up dilemma.

Originally Posted by N1003U View Post
If you fly a lot of UA in the USA, you will definitely notice your second-class status when flying UA as a SEN. At least you get to board with Group 2.
OP will still be a lifetime 1K.

Originally Posted by N1003U View Post
I do think redemption opportunities are on the whole, for global travel, better.
Yeah, those three region surcharges and limited segment numbers are the boss.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 9:31 am
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Originally Posted by Lack View Post
Yup, being able to get that one-way flight once per year in advance is such a plus...
Being able to get that SEN companion award on short notice (via waitlist), or on days not otherwise available has been lovely for me. The SEN Premium Award has also been useful for me. I am not sure I understand...

Originally Posted by Lack View Post
Yup, a similar made up dilemma.
I suppose, if it weren't for made up dilemmas, about 98% of all FT fora would not exist.

Originally Posted by Lack View Post
OP will still be a lifetime 1K.
IME, when the fertilizer hits the ventilator, the FF number rules. If you are flying as SEN, UA doesn't even care if you are GS. Others may have different experinces.

Originally Posted by Lack View Post
Yeah, those three region surcharges and limited segment numbers are the boss.
For those of us who can't even spend all the miles we earn now, and/or who don't use complex routings when a simpler routing on another carrier will do, this seems to be a minor issue.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 9:40 am
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Originally Posted by N1003U View Post
Being able to get that SEN companion award on short notice (via waitlist), or on days not otherwise available has been lovely for me. The SEN Premium Award has also been useful for me. I am not sure I understand...
Being able to get a four segments on a one one award with UA (saving 200E in charges while at it) was pretty lovely too, but a once per year (or less when using the 150% award) occurrence has limited weight in my FFP choices.

Originally Posted by N1003U View Post
IME, when the fertilizer hits the ventilator, the FF number rules. If you are flying as SEN, UA doesn't even care if you are GS. Others may have different experinces.
I don't see a reason for the OP to give up using his 1K credentials when flying UA.

Originally Posted by N1003U View Post
For those of us who can't even spend all the miles we earn now, and/or who don't use complex routings when a simpler routing on another carrier will do, this seems to be a minor issue.
So much for global travel then?
What's complex about US - Asia / Middle East routing? This minor issue of third region transit is valued at 50-80k.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 10:27 am
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Originally Posted by N1003U View Post
I tend to agree here with Flying Lawyer. LH inventory availability, especially via the SEN waitlist, is FAR superior, and the fees are, well, at least for me, tolerable. They certainly discourage one from wasting award miles on economy tickets.

Fellow FTer LufthansaFlyer wrote a blog on this very subject of switching from MP to M&M a while back. He listed some good reasons and some key advantages and disadvantages, and I think he was happy with his decision to switch.

I left MP back in 2007 or -8 and never looked back, because it was then a no-brainer for those who fly TATL primarily in premium classes (fair disclosure: in those days all business calls fares earned 200% status and award miles). Since 2011, I am primarily FRA-based for O&D purposes, so I now find M&M the most practical for LH network reasons. I will soon move my base again to the USA, and I have fewer projects in Germany/central Europe, so we shall see if my mood changes.

The two-year qualification cycle is also to me nice. During off-qualification years, one is free to explore other carriers' routes and services without pressure. For example on routes to Asia and Trans-Pacific, I sometimes saved considerable money by using non-Star Alliance products, and I was able to explore carriers like CX and KE, that I never before would have considered. I discovered that there are actually other carriers who also provide good schedules and services. Of course one still needs to fly *A/LH enough to enjoy the benefits, but as one in the 100k-200k mile per year bucket, it is nice to not feel pressed all the time to fly a single carrier group/alliance.

There are also some little things about SEN vs. 1K that are nice if you fly LH frequently. Advanced seat selection is one (even on a "Light" continental fare, where ASR is not available, the availability of certain seats once check-in opens seems to be better as SEN vs. non-SEN. Also as SEN, you can use LH SEN lounges on arrival as well as departure, which is not an option for 1Ks, and if you want to book an award and are some mile short, you can even borrow up to 50k miles against future revenue travel (I have never done this, but I understand if you don't bring your account to a positive balance before losing your SEN status, LH will get around to billing you for the miles somehow).

To me the largest downside is that UA, from a customer service standpoint, is not impressed by non-UA *G status customers. No ASR, no preferred seats, nothing. Of course the folks in the UA Clubs are more than happy to sell you a preferred seat when you transfer, or you can also pay the going rate at check-in.

If you fly a lot of UA in the USA, you will definitely notice your second-class status when flying UA as a SEN. At least you get to board with Group 2.
Yes indeed, I made the switch 2 years ago and have been quite happy. The biggest advantage for me was the much much much better award inventory on LH group carriers which is where I do 90% of my travel on. For example I was able to book LX F seats to from JNB to ORD several months in advance.

Another nice benefit for me was that I didn't have to spend the 12k like I would have had to with MileagePlus. I travel just enough each year to get 100k, but sometimes it's done on Y+ or P fares so getting the 12k is sometimes harder than the 100k miles.

The 2 year validity is also nice because I don't have the pressure of HAVING TO HAVE to fly 100k each year. For example this is an 'off' year for me so I'll come in with about 75-80k miles but keep the status. Another nice feature is the overdraft option that lets you overdraft your mileage balance by 50k miles if you are close to an award but need additional miles.

Also, the MM service center in the US is fantastic. Anytime I had a question or needed to book an award ticket, they were quick and competent. United on the other hand, you had to hope to God that you were routed to the HNL or IAH call centers, otherwise you were dealing with poor staff that had little knowledge about the program.

What I began to dislike about UA MP was the fact that even though I was a 1k, I could lose my place in the upgrade queue by some schmuck coming along and paying $150 to upgrade from Y to F on domestic US flights.

The one benefit that I do miss with United is the 6 SWUs that you would get for qualifying. They came in handy for several trips to Hong Kong, but from what I understand the SWU inventory 'just ain't what she used to be...'

It was lack of loyalty to their best flyers that ultimately made me want to move.

People may say that the fees are higher. My thoughts are that if you can't afford to fly or pay a few hundred dollars in fees/taxes, you have other more important issues to attend to and flying shouldn't be one of them.

No regrets whatsoever. I would make the same decision again today.

Last edited by LufthansaFlyer; Aug 17, 16 at 10:34 am
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Old Aug 17, 16, 10:32 am
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Originally Posted by chinatraderjmr View Post
Ive been a 1K with UA for over 25 years and have flown 3 million miles of my UA account. For the million mile program, UA does not count code shares.....its 3 million BIS miles on United

Howevermost of those UA operated flights were before the merger, Although I still keep 1K,AT LEAST 75% of my flights are now on UA code shares operated MOSTLY by LH and other partners (I fly First of business only and won't waste the money on UA when I can fly LH instead under UA flight numbers, getting full credit towards 1k

The bottom line is last year I flew 143,000 miles credited to UA but 99,000 of those miles were on LH or LX, 23,000 miles were on partners such as SQ, etc and I only flew 21,000 miles on actual UA flights (Since UA gives double credit towards elite status on premium fares (even P), my statement shows 43,000 miles flown on UA (SO INSTEAD OF 143,000 PQM'S MY STATEMENT SHOWS 254,000 MILES.

Since I now fly LH more then any other carrier (except EK), doesn't it make sense to change to M&M or is the UA program really better. One nice bonus of changing to M&M is I can get F awards on LH and LX and in the case of LH I don't have to wait to within 2 weeks,

IF I contact M&M and let them know I want to switch, and sow them a few years statements, will they possibly offer me some kind of status match

Is it worth changing to M&M since I fly LH much more then UA or should I stick with UA since I get double Elite qualifying miles on all Biz/first fares, even on LH

thanks
btw, you will not get a status match... Usually Alliance partners don't do it.
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