Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

is 1k-status really worth all that more than platinum?....

is 1k-status really worth all that more than platinum?....

Old Oct 27, 11, 6:13 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 35
is 1k-status really worth all that more than platinum?....

I've pretty much have my business and leisure travel plans for the rest of year planned, and it looks like I'm on track to make platinum by the end of the year. However, if I wanted to spend about 1000-1200 bucks I could probably do a crazy mileage run to asia/sydney, or 2 trips to alaska, or 4 trips to cali.

so the questions is...is 1k status really worth all that more than platinum (between upgrades and mileage bonus)?? (considering the potential effects of the merger?). I do fly in/out of EWR(sometimes PHL), and often have connections in Houston/O'hare.

If it means anything, I have a presidential platinum card that will I will need to pay an annual fee on in February...perhaps 1k members will get a reduced/free promotion in the mail for renewal in United's presidential plus equivalent?

but remember...i will need to spend literally 3-4 days flying for no reason.

Please let me know what you advise based upon above. My job requires travel leaving Sunday night, coming home Friday afternoon, approximately 4-6 months a year, all domestic.
papajohns is offline  
Old Oct 27, 11, 6:31 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: LGA/JFK/EWR
Programs: UA 1K1.5MM, Hyatt Globalist, abandoned Marriott LTT (RIP SPG), Hertz PC
Posts: 20,267
Probably not - SWUs are a huge gamble now, you're just missing an extra 25% RDM bonus and will have a slightly lower UG priority. Other than that, no difference.
UA-NYC is offline  
Old Oct 27, 11, 6:42 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: UA GS>1K>Nothing; DL GM 2MM; AS 75K>Nothing
Posts: 8,634
I think it depends on whether you fly international or not. If you do, then the SWU are a great benefit. People have different views on the the value of the SWUs, but I haven't sat in the back in almost two years now.
5khours is offline  
Old Oct 27, 11, 6:46 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: LGA/JFK/EWR
Programs: UA 1K1.5MM, Hyatt Globalist, abandoned Marriott LTT (RIP SPG), Hertz PC
Posts: 20,267
Originally Posted by 5khours View Post
People have different views on the the value of the SWUs, but I haven't sat in the back in almost two years now.
Feel free to post that in the EUA thread where I was called a liar and had no data on SWU UG rates over time
UA-NYC is offline  
Old Oct 27, 11, 7:19 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Programs: AA EP, UA MM
Posts: 135
With UGs become harder and with you only flying domestic, I would say yes.
GottaGoFlying is offline  
Old Oct 27, 11, 7:47 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: somewhere
Programs: their are many of them
Posts: 1,614
If you like to fly INTL routes then yes just for the system-wide Upgrades because buying business tickets sucks
TWAB747nomore is offline  
Old Oct 27, 11, 8:12 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Seattle
Programs: Mileage Plus
Posts: 2
I have the same question, I'll be at 85k after my next trip and wondering if it is worth paying for a quick weekend in Asia to get over the 100K needed.

I'd do it if the business class tickets are guaranteed.

Does anyone know how difficult it is to use the SWUs?
twixwav is offline  
Old Oct 27, 11, 8:31 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: ORD
Programs: Newly minted AA EXP Plat., disatisfied UA 1K, Marriott Silver & Hilton Gold
Posts: 704
It's not too big of a deal, so if you don't have the extra time to spare, then you might want to pass on it. I've done a few MRs to just get away in a "quite space" (no interruptions.) Kind of weird, but it works for me. And I really didn't pay anything for those MRs (less than $50, anyway.)
reddirt14 is offline  
Old Oct 27, 11, 9:04 pm
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SJC, SFO, YYC
Programs: AA-EXP, AA-0.41MM, UA-Gold, Ex UA-1K (2006 thru 2015), PMUA-0.95MM, COUA-1.5MM-lite, AF-Silver
Posts: 13,437
Originally Posted by GottaGoFlying View Post
With UGs become harder and with you only flying domestic, I would say yes.
Not sure how to interpret the above.

The 1K priority for domestic com upgrades might be worth $1000; it depends how often upgrades clear next year with the new changes that SMI/J says we will like. If the MR can be domestically, over the weekend when a 1P's UDUs are sure to clear, then do it. If it has to be done on a TPAC in E+, then don't. This year my UDU rate is much worse than last, yet I just paid $850 today for a last minute trip, and of the three segments with an F cabin, the upgrade cleared immediately for a flight on Sunday. Kind of nice.

If OP redeems RDMs for long hauls on premium cabins, then the additional 25% RDM bonus makes the $1000 a wash if you value a C saver at $3K to $4K.

The lounge discount for a 1K is nice too, especially if you have a spouse.

I'd probably do it.

The danger of 1K, is once you get used to your upgrades clearing much more frequently, you detest flying a lot less. Once a 1K, always a 1K, and this is from someone who from 1996 to 2006 was 2P or 1P. It was because of the 2006 DEQM (a cash deal) that I finally made it, and I was hooked. This year I re-qualified in June (thanks to 4 long hauls in C, and 2 on discount Y fares, which of course upgraded at booking), and every other year after 2006, I've re-qualified without needing the DEQM.

Originally Posted by twixwav View Post
I have the same question, I'll be at 85k after my next trip and wondering if it is worth paying for a quick weekend in Asia to get over the 100K needed.

I'd do it if the business class tickets are guaranteed.

Does anyone know how difficult it is to use the SWUs?
SWUs are easy use. Usually they can be applied at united.com, though sometimes "the bomb" won't let you and you need to use the 1K desk.

The hard part is having them clear. My first year as a 1K, I was naive, and selected my flights without looking for upgrade space (always read this forum before you become a 1K). Out of two Y to C upgrades that I applied for at time of booking, only one cleared. Out of 3 that I applied for at the gate, all 3 cleared. So far, if I am going to Europe, I've always been able to find upgrade inventory at time of booking, but I'm not picky about which city I land in, even if my ultimate destination is several hundred miles away (the great thing about Europe is that is a tiny place by North American/Asian/Australia standards). I can suffer a short on LH.

Upgrade space to Asia is harder to find, but I've found it. I'm not picky about where I land in Asia either, but the "short hauls" are not so short. Australia: forget about it. CO to India looks pretty hard too.

These days, I can often get my employer to pay for C, and thus SWUs get used for upgrading to F. For anything booked weeks advance, I've never failed to have an SWU clear. A few weeks ago, a last minute trip was rebooked, and I failed to clear at the gate, but was top of the list.

SWUs from C to F on LH are a really nice treat. LH F is superior to UA F, despite the old F seats on some to most LH birds. Better service, food, and the cabins are usually pretty empty because LH does not comp F to its employees unlike UA (and if UA had LH's policy, my upgrade a few weeks ago would have cleared). Plus LH F on a 747 is great because it is on the upper deck, so no disturbances from people in the lesser cabins. You sleep soundly.

Last edited by mre5765; Oct 27, 11 at 9:23 pm
mre5765 is offline  
Old Oct 27, 11, 9:18 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: N Charleston South Carolina
Programs: UA PM (by 2MM), DL GM (by 3.5MM), Marriott Lifetime Plat
Posts: 1,654
I've been a 1K for years, and Plat is a new level I've never had, so I have to tell you my experiences as a 1K.

One significant benefit is elimination of almost all fees. Being able to redeem and redeposit awards without fees is very valuable to me. I don't believe Plats get this but I don't think so.

Second, you get a lot of upgrades. You will get a pair of CR1's at 75K, but at 1K you'd get another pair of CR1's AND six SWUs. If you don't travel internationally, they are worth a bit less to you (unless you exchange them in the CC). For me, they are very well worth it. I look for flights have have upgrade ability the day I purchase. Even the few times I haven't been able to do that, they have almost always cleared. Not 100% of the time, but more than 90%.

Anyway, just my input.

Billy
Delta3MM is offline  
Old Oct 27, 11, 9:29 pm
  #11  
PPM
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 189
Hard to say because I've had to return unused SWUs for the last two years. It is virtually impossible to confirm upgrade space at the time of booking. All is a wait-list based on who arrives at the gate with which fare. Two years ago, I would say it was definitely worth it. Not now. I started diversifying my flights based on convenience in August after I made 1K this year.
PPM is offline  
Old Oct 27, 11, 9:32 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 200
Originally Posted by mre5765 View Post
SWUs are easy use. Usually they can be applied at united.com, though sometimes "the bomb" won't let you and you need to use the 1K desk.
coming from CO here...

have UA SWUs always had fare restrictions? or is that new?
has that affected how easy they are to use? will it no longer be the case for those that say "I'ven't flown coach internationally in XX years"?

just wondering how much they will change from past experience.

thanks!
sockrebel is offline  
Old Oct 27, 11, 9:49 pm
  #13  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Gold
Posts: 53,101
Originally Posted by twixwav View Post
I have the same question, I'll be at 85k after my next trip and wondering if it is worth paying for a quick weekend in Asia to get over the 100K needed.

I'd do it if the business class tickets are guaranteed.

Does anyone know how difficult it is to use the SWUs?
The simple answer is, it varies -- upgrades are never guaranteed and the percentage available at booking have significantly reduced (unclear how the new UA will be but best to assume no improvement).
As far as clearing after booking it is very route and day of week dependent.

But the biggest unknown is how the new UA will operate.


Originally Posted by Delta3MM View Post
.... so I have to tell you my experiences as a 1K.

One significant benefit is elimination of almost all fees. Being able to redeem and redeposit awards without fees is very valuable to me. I don't believe Plats get this but I don't think so.....
Plats will have the same level of fee waivers as 1K

see http://mileageplusmergerupdates.com/...2MPStatusChart

Originally Posted by sockrebel View Post
...have UA SWUs always had fare restrictions? or is that new?
not new
Originally Posted by sockrebel View Post
... just wondering how much they will change from past experience.
that is the $64K question
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Oct 27, 11, 10:21 pm
  #14  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Programs: UA 1K .97MM, IHG AMB-Spire, HH Diamond
Posts: 55,267
PMUA - totally worth it

COdbaUA - not at all worth it. Save your money.
uastarflyer is online now  
Old Oct 27, 11, 10:47 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: ORD
Programs: AA-EXP, Alaska MVP, BAEC Silver, Hyatt-Globalist, Hilton-gold, SPG-gold
Posts: 848
Depends on which fares your employer allows. In the new system, lower level elites on y/b fares will trump 1k on lower fare buckets. So if you book y/b fares, you can save your time and money.
smitty06 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: