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Blog speculation on UA/CO new Mileage Plus scheme

Blog speculation on UA/CO new Mileage Plus scheme

Old Aug 11, 11, 10:25 pm
Moderator: Hyatt Gold Passport & Star Alliance
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Join Date: May 1998
Location: London, UK
Programs: UA-1K 3MM/AA-Ex Plat/HY- LT Globalist/BA-CCR/GGL/GfL
Posts: 10,848
Blog speculation on UA/CO new Mileage Plus scheme


Pretty nasty changes if the rumours are true!

Moderator edit: following is a copy of UA Insider's post #235 of 12 Aug. 2011:
Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
Hi Everyone, we understand that you’re anxious to hear about the MileagePlus program changes for 2012. As we’ve said, the details are coming in the fall – specifically, we’re aiming for the end of next month. In the meantime, there will be rumors -- like what’s been posted here -- that unfortunately contain some inaccurate information. As much as we’d like to, until we announce the program fully, we’re not in a position to talk about specific elements or the general direction of the program.

To the extent that we can, we’ll make sure you have an early preview of the full rollout. It goes without saying that we do value your feedback. Keep it coming.

Shannon Kelly
Director, Customer Insights and Metrics
United Airlines

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Aug 13, 11 at 9:05 am Reason: To update to flag UA's reply.
Markie is offline  
Old Aug 11, 11, 10:31 pm
Join Date: May 2010
Location: NJ
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Horrendous if true
infamousdx is offline  
Old Aug 11, 11, 10:33 pm
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Dallas area, TX
Programs: AA EXP (2MM), AS MVP 75K, Hyatt Globalist, Marriott PLAT, Hilton DIAMOND, SPG PLAT, IHG PLAT
Posts: 742
It better not be true. Already on my way to qualify for 1k this year for the first time. At least I have AA to fall back on
utpharmdoc is offline  
Old Aug 11, 11, 10:37 pm
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 1,325
i am affraid that other alliances may follow suit as this makes perfect sense. A lot of ppl now members of FT will LOVE that change.
libuser is offline  
Old Aug 11, 11, 10:40 pm
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA; Philadelphia, PA
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As much as I don't like the idea, but "here I come, US" if the rumor becomes truth.

LAX is offline  
Old Aug 11, 11, 10:45 pm
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Um. Where is that AA ExPlat challenge again?

Here's Lucky's post:

This information comes from a reliable source under the condition of anonymity, so take it for what it’s worth. According to my source, below are the terms that United is considering for the combined Mileage Plus program in 2012.

Let’s start with the good news (and trust me, there’s not a whole lot of it for most of us).

Class of service bonuses:

Class of service bonuses for full fare tickets and paid premium cabin tickets will go up substantially, ranging anywhere from 125% for Y, B, and M fares, to 250% for F and A fares.

And now the bad news (get some popcorn, folks):

Status level names and qualification criteria:

Premier Silver:
(a) 25,000 elite qualifying miles AND $2,000 revenue AND 4 United segments,
(b) 30 elite qualifying segments AND $2,000 revenue AND 4 United segments,
(c) $5,000 revenue AND 4 United segments

Premier Gold:
(a) 50,000 elite qualifying miles AND $4,000 revenue AND 4 United segments,
(b) 60 elite qualifying segments AND $4,000 revenue AND 4 United segments,
(c) $10,000 revenue AND 4 United segments

Premier Platinum:
(a) 75,000 elite qualifying miles AND $6,000 revenue AND 4 United segments,
(b) 90 elite qualifying segments AND $6,000 revenue AND 4 United segments,
(c) $15,000 revenue AND 4 United segments

Premier Diamond:
(a) 100,000 elite qualifying miles AND $8,000 revenue AND 4 United segments,
(b) 120 elite qualifying segments AND $8,000 revenue AND 4 United segments,
(c) $20,000 revenue AND 4 United segments

Change in status benefits:

Premier Silver:
– Economy Plus can only be selected at time of check-in
– Only one free checked bag weighing up to 50 pounds per passenger on reservation
– Upgrade window goes from 48 hours to 24 hours before departure

Premier Gold:
– Mileage bonus goes from 100% to 50%
– Upgrade window goes from 72 hours to 48 hours before departure

Premier Platinum:
– Mileage bonus goes from 100% to 75%
– Upgrade window remains 72 hours before departure
– M fares no longer offer instant upgrades for Platinum members

Premier Diamond:
– Upgrade window goes from 100 hours to 96 hours before departure

Change in upgrade priority:

I’ll leave the exact details for another time, though the idea is that with the exception of Global Services members, full fare tickets clear first (so a Silver on a full fare ticket outranks a Diamond on a lower fare) and mileage upgrades with co-pays outrank systemwide/confirmed regional upgrades, which outrank complimentary upgrades. With this, there’s a possibility that fare restrictions will be eliminated on systemwide upgrades.

If the above were to be implemented, suffice it to say this would be a truly radical change. I suppose this would be an attempt to “fire” their most unprofitable customers. I’m guessing 80%+ of elites at each status level already requalify using the criteria above, though for the rest of us, well, that would be the end.

What bothers me about this more than anything, though, is that they’re simultaneously making it much harder to qualify for status unless you usually travel on full fare tickets, while substantially reducing elite benefits. The Gold mileage bonus going from 100% to 50%? Ouch! Silvers not being able to select Economy Plus seats at the time of booking? Ouch! Prioritizing upgrades with miles and co-pays over systemwide upgrades? Ouch!

With these changes United would be making sure that those at each status level are actually not only United’s most loyal customers, but also United’s most profitable customers. For that reason it wouldn’t make sense to me to prioritize upgrades from someone with lower status that’s on a full fare ticket ahead of a higher status passenger on a lower fare. I guess it just follows the general trend of judging a customer’s value to the company based on each individual transaction as opposed to their overall profitability/business/loyalty over years.

It’ll be interesting to see how much of this, if any, comes true. Again, I’m not saying this will be United’s 2012 program, so don’t panic… yet.
fsfsfsfs is offline  
Old Aug 11, 11, 10:50 pm
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Posts: 350
All I can say is holy cow and that is putting it mildly. Wow. This is very much making me think about future travel. I have 25K booked in 2012 already and I did not spend $2k.

Great year to qualify to have qualified for 1K.
crankychick is offline  
Old Aug 11, 11, 10:51 pm
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Quite scary if true....
dinoscool3 is online now  
Old Aug 11, 11, 11:00 pm
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Northern New Jersey and Naples, Florida
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Posts: 168
If true, going to put a dent into mileage runs.
rcodey is offline  
Old Aug 11, 11, 11:01 pm
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Honestly, it doesn't sound right. Those (c) options are relatively easy to accomplish with one or two premium cabin international tickets.
izzik is offline  
Old Aug 11, 11, 11:02 pm
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I have heard similar things

Welcome to MileageMINUS, courtesy of Jeff $misek.
entropy is offline  
Old Aug 11, 11, 11:06 pm
Join Date: Oct 2008
Programs: UA 1K
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no way they attach revenue to the levels, at least the lower levels. Right? I'm screwed if they do. Nah I don't think they'd go this far
ACVBear is offline  
Old Aug 11, 11, 11:10 pm
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Sigh, and I'm on track to hit 1K this year. I guess it's another to make sure I at least retain PLT with AA...
FlyerChrisK is offline  
Old Aug 11, 11, 11:14 pm
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I may be in the minority, but I actually don't disagree with some of the "bad" news. Not all of it, but...

I actually had suggested (I think) in an earlier thread about them bringing in a revenue option for qualifying (I'm talking about the "OR" option here). In fact, since most of my flights are to Canada, I'd actually be a Premier Gold, as opposed to a 2P now. I really like this option. I'm also not opposed at all to the "AND" revenue requirement as well. I know I'll probably get flamed for that. However, IMO, those who have been making status on MR's have been very lucky to be able to do that for so long. Not really surprising that UA wants to make sure they are only paying for benefits for those who spend a min. amount with the airline.

I also am really not opposed to the United segment requirement as well. It only seems fair that if UA is going to spend on giving you benefits, you are at least flying them a little. 4 segments on UA metal really isn't that much to ask. BTW, AA has this, I believe, and AC has this as well.

The E+ seats are a big ouch though for the silver level, for sure. Definitely something to be po'd about. Though on a positive note, for all those complaining about 2Ps having exit row access, this would certainly seem to solve that issue.
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Old Aug 11, 11, 11:17 pm
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Short term it will suck, but long term it will work out just fine.

They'll "fire" the customers they don't want, and then lose a bunch more they don't intend to -- people who don't understand it, corporate contracts that cut UA because they're afraid their employees will try to increase their revenue, etc. They'll have nuances in there (e.g., LH revenue may count since it's a joint-venture partner), and a chunk of people who don't understand those nuances will leave. ORD and LAX will be especially hard hit thanks to AA. EWR may lose some to JFK (DL and AA).

Then they'll have to backpedal on it and have some hefty promotions to try to win back customers.
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