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Changes to MileagePlus Award and Upgrade Policies - Eff. 3-Feb-2014

Changes to MileagePlus Award and Upgrade Policies - Eff. 3-Feb-2014

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Old Jan 8, 16, 4:42 pm   -   Wikipost
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New UA Award/Upgrade Chart (vs. Current Chart)

Changes took effect for travel booked starting February 3, 2014. See UA Insider's post linked here for more info about the date change. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/22263212-post2366.html

Awards with *A partners now cost more than similar awards flown only on UA metal.
  • F awards on partners went up 40-80%
  • J awards on partners went up 20-40%
  • F and J awards on UA metal (or mixed carriers where UA metal is in premium cabin followed by partner segment in lower class) as well some Y awards increased by 5-20% (US to Europe in F up 19%, US to Middle East in F up 20% for example)

See below for the round-trip increases on partner metal :
US ✈ Southern South America: +10,000 J, +5,000 F

US ✈ Europe: +40,000 J, +85,000 F

US ✈ Northern/Central/Southern Africa: +40,000 J, +110,000 F

US ✈ Middle East: +5,000 Y, +40,000 J, +130,000 F

US ✈ Central Asia/India: +5,000 Y, +40,000 J, +120,000 F

US ✈ South Asia: +15,000 Y, +40,000 J, +120,000 F

US ✈ North Asia: +5,000 Y, +40,000 J, +100,000 F

US ✈ Japan: +5,000 Y, +30,000 J, +85,000 F

US ✈ Oceania: +30,000 J, +70,000 F

US ✈ Australia/New Zealand: +25,000 J, +100,000 F

RTW: +20,000 Y, +90,000 J, +100,000 F

Changes to upgrade policy for intra-Asia and northern South America flights
  1. Complimentary Premier Upgrades and instant upgrades are not applicable
  2. Regional Premier Upgrades (for any fare class) and Global Premier Upgrades (for flights booked in fare class Z, P, S, T, L, K, G or N) can no longer be requested on or after November 1, 2013
  3. There is no co-pay exemption for MileagePlus Upgrade Awards requested on or after November 1, 2013
  4. The above changes do not apply to Copa-operated flights.


Questions and Answers

Q: If I book an award in January 2014 and then make changes in February or beyond (in routing, airline, origin, destination, etc), will it be repriced according to new mileage requirements, or will I keep the old pricing on that ticket?
Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
Our existing change process will apply. Changes to awards that require a change in date do not result in a change to the award price. Any other change will require an add/collect in miles and fees for changes or cancellations will still apply as per our existing policies.
Additional details on changing tickets booked prior to 2/3/14 per UA Insider:
Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
Changes that will not trigger a re-price for itineraries ticketed before February 3, 2014 include:
  • Date/time (cabin, region, and award type can't change)
  • Carrier on one or more segments (cabin, region, and award type canít change)
  • Origin/Destination within the same regions (carrier and cabin canít change)
Full details are in post #2588 http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/22283437-post2588.html

Q: Do these rates apply for tickets purchased after Feb 3 or for travel after Feb 3? That is,if one purchases a ticket now, to fly on Mar 15, will that be new or old pricing?
Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
The new award pricing takes effect for bookings made on or after Feb 3, 2014 for all future travel dates. If you purchased a ticket prior to then for travel on March 15, and no changes are made to the itinerary, the current pricing will apply.
Q: How will award pricing apply to mixed-carrier Saver Awards?
Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
Updated handling for mixed UA-Partner United/partner award itineraries: As we shared with the initial announcement, the Star Alliance/Partner partner award pricing will apply to Business or First awards for itineraries that include at least one flight segment operated by a MileagePlus partner carrier in Business or First.

However, as a customer benefit we have made an exception for most itineraries which require connecting onto a MileagePlus/Star partner in First or Business for a short distance. Specifically, if a United/Copa award itinerary contains a connecting segment on a MileagePlus/Star partner that is wholly within one MileagePlus award region, then the United award price will apply.
  • For example: IAD-FRA in United BusinessFirst connecting to FRA-FCO in Lufthansa Business, will be priced at the United mileage award amount.
  • Note that this exception will not apply to a few specific regions and routings, such as intra-Africa connecting segments and certain fifth-freedom routes (e.g. BKK-KUL operated by Lufthansa)
(reverted to J.Edward's rev)
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Old Nov 7, 13, 8:45 am
  #1576  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: NJ, USA
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Originally Posted by hyho61 View Post
The initial summary is somewhat misleading. It says changes to the award miles on partner travel. In fact award miles has changed for travel on UA metal also.
First time heard that UA awards are changing - what are changes? do you mean the Asian and SA changes? or are there others?
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Old Nov 7, 13, 8:52 am
  #1577  
 
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Originally Posted by jerseygirl View Post
First time heard that UA awards are changing - what are changes? do you mean the Asian and SA changes? or are there others?
Sure, just for example, USA to Hawaii on UA has gotten more expensive (45k instead of 40k for an economy saver award). USA to Middle East, South Asia, North Asia, and Japan all also went up slightly (on all-UA trips). Lots of changes in here.

There is also no more "10,000 miles for a domestic stopover on a domestic round-trip award", but I don't think I have ever used that or know anyone who used it.
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Old Nov 7, 13, 9:24 am
  #1578  
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Originally Posted by Fanjet View Post
And back then, how much money was Delta making? How much was a barrel of oil? And Delta's devaluation back then had to do with the real-time elite benefits. Like the inability to upgrade from the lowest fare buckets. Even with the upcoming award changes with Mileage Plus, it will still be a better redemption program than the "saved" Sky Miles program. Go to their website and try to book a J award ticket to Europe ( I picked J class because there are no F awards to Europe). See if you get one at the 100K level (which btw becomes 125K in June). You'll see that basically the 185K award is the de facto award level. Which is more than [email protected] or [email protected]
Things have gotten better with DL and I'm doing way better on getting DL TATL award availability in business class for way less than 185k roundtrip. VS becoming a redemption option using DL miles has helped quite a bit so far.
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Old Nov 7, 13, 9:28 am
  #1579  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Originally Posted by username View Post
I wonder what happens if you change your MileagePlus ticket after departure (e.g. change the departure date of the return or continuing segments). Would the ticket be re-fared and you have to pay the difference?
I haven't gotten around to calling UA and asking yet. When I wrote to 1KVoice last weekend with this question, I got a response from MileagePlus saying that they were refusing to answer my question and that I should call a phone reservations agent to get the answer. See their non-response at http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/21713197-post922.html
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Old Nov 7, 13, 9:55 am
  #1580  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 266
For these recent changes, I am going to dump all UA cards after 1 year of membership.
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Old Nov 7, 13, 10:49 am
  #1581  
formerly known as Tad's Broiled Steaks
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Things have gotten better with DL and I'm doing way better on getting DL TATL award availability in business class for way less than 185k roundtrip. VS becoming a redemption option using DL miles has helped quite a bit so far.
Searching DL for NYC-SIN regularly brings up J options at ~350k R/T. Gross.
But, with UA "taking a page" out of DL's playbook (somewhat; one can do UA all the way NYC-SIN, but why?), comparing mileage costs will be sobering starting 02/2014.
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Old Nov 7, 13, 11:09 am
  #1582  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 262
Can someone please start an on-line petition at http://www.change.org/petition
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Old Nov 7, 13, 11:17 am
  #1583  
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Originally Posted by INDFlyer View Post
Can someone please start an on-line petition at http://www.change.org/petition
Waste of time. Petitions do nothing. Take meaningful action.

  • Pay to fly other airlines and mail the boarding passes to Smisek's office.
  • Cancel your Chase cards and make sure Chase knows why.
  • Obtain status matches with AA, etc. and mail evidence to Smisek's office. Enclose your current UA elite-level MP card.
  • Redeem all your MP miles as quickly as possible in a manner that costs UA maximally (e.g. partner premium awards).
  • Raise awareness in the office and with seatmates on planes, etc.

That is all.

Last edited by BearX220; Nov 7, 13 at 11:50 am
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Old Nov 7, 13, 12:30 pm
  #1584  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
Waste of time. Petitions do nothing. Take meaningful action.

  • Pay to fly other airlines and mail the boarding passes to Smisek's office.
  • Cancel your Chase cards and make sure Chase knows why.
  • Obtain status matches with AA, etc. and mail evidence to Smisek's office. Enclose your current UA elite-level MP card.
  • Redeem all your MP miles as quickly as possible in a manner that costs UA maximally (e.g. partner premium awards).
  • Raise awareness in the office and with seatmates on planes, etc.

That is all.
+1

My thoughts exactly. Things will only change if people "vote with their feet"
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Old Nov 7, 13, 12:31 pm
  #1585  
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Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post
Searching DL for NYC-SIN regularly brings up J options at ~350k R/T. Gross.
But, with UA "taking a page" out of DL's playbook (somewhat; one can do UA all the way NYC-SIN, but why?), comparing mileage costs will be sobering starting 02/2014.
Don't rely on delta.com, and don't take Delta metal (well, you can, partner airlines ONLY offer saver inventory so there's no chance of seeing numbers like that when using them).

Those sky high rewards bait the suckers out there, but anybody who reads the DL forum here knows how to avoid them.
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Old Nov 7, 13, 12:44 pm
  #1586  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: BOS, PVG
Programs: United Global Services and 1MM, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 8,640
Originally Posted by moondog View Post
Don't rely on delta.com, and don't take Delta metal (well, you can, partner airlines ONLY offer saver inventory so there's no chance of seeing numbers like that when using them).

Those sky high rewards bait the suckers out there, but anybody who reads the DL forum here knows how to avoid them.
SkyMiles suck big.

But I do manage to get low C awards once in a while. It just takes lots of efforts.
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Old Nov 7, 13, 12:48 pm
  #1587  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
Not so sure about that...by FTers? For sure. By "regular" elites? I bet it's much less.

Part of this whole problem it's the strength of booking *A carriers online...it's definitely greased the wheels post-3/3/12 for many folks to book Star carriers who didn't have KVS/EF. So UA has done it to itself basically.
The amount of non-FT elites who don't even know they can redeem on partners is staggering. It's hard to believe that a community as small as FTalk accounted for so much redeeming that UA needed to change the rates to save $.

Originally Posted by Tiki View Post
Very cool! I found the Star Alliance one. https://web.archive.org/web/20051215...d_chart_v2.pdf BMI, Spanair & Varig were still members then. Australia to the US was a bargain 60k in Y, 90k in J, 120k in F.
My god, look at the size of the European zone.

Last edited by iluv2fly; Nov 7, 13 at 2:04 pm Reason: merge
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Old Nov 7, 13, 1:08 pm
  #1588  
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Posts: 12,312
Originally Posted by LeviFlight View Post
To do that he would have to think like Whole Foods and not like Safeways.
Not Safeway but Wal-Mart. Long lines, unhappy low-paid line staff, shoddy product mix.

Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
Waste of time. Petitions do nothing. Take meaningful action.
  • Pay to fly other airlines and mail the boarding passes to Smisek's office.
  • Cancel your Chase cards and make sure Chase knows why.
  • Obtain status matches with AA, etc. and mail evidence to Smisek's office. Enclose your current UA elite-level MP card.
  • Redeem all your MP miles as quickly as possible in a manner that costs UA maximally (e.g. partner premium awards).
  • Raise awareness in the office and with seatmates on planes, etc.
That is all.
Cancel Chase - absolutely! ^
Redeem MP miles for high value awards - definitely! ^

Abandon UA? Not an option for everyone nor am I convinced there are better alternatives within the USA. However I am certainly going to take a close look at other *A programs to see if there is one that offers better elite perks and comparable EQM. So far I have't found one but there are a lot to review. You have to weigh the few remaining meaningful 1K perks (fee waivers, GPUs, E+) against the value of banking miles in another program. LH Senator is great but difficult to achieve. I also refuse to participate in any program where my miles automatically expire on a certain date (e.g. AC, no extension regardless of activity).

Similarly I am not sure I would want to raise awareness generally until after February 1. Don't need more miles chasing saver award seats prior to DDay. And for those of us who still earn most of our miles by BIS flying there may be a bit of a silver lining if this drives the card churner bloggers away from UA. Again fewer miles chasing premium awards.

Last edited by Boraxo; Nov 7, 13 at 1:14 pm
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Old Nov 7, 13, 1:11 pm
  #1589  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,645
Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
Waste of time. Petitions do nothing. Take meaningful action.

  • Pay to fly other airlines and mail the boarding passes to Smisek's office.
  • Cancel your Chase cards and make sure Chase knows why.
  • Obtain status matches with AA, etc. and mail evidence to Smisek's office. Enclose your current UA elite-level MP card.
  • Redeem all your MP miles as quickly as possible in a manner that costs UA maximally (e.g. partner premium awards).
  • Raise awareness in the office and with seatmates on planes, etc.

That is all.
Agreed. But, I think it would be useful to create a petition that gets sent to the right contacts at FTC and DOT asking them to look into these devaluations from a regulatory perspective.
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Old Nov 7, 13, 1:54 pm
  #1590  
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Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
Abandon UA? Not an option for everyone nor am I convinced there are better alternatives within the USA. However I am certainly going to take a close look at other *A programs to see if there is one that offers better elite perks and comparable EQM. So far I have't found one...
I heard you, and I know booking away from UA is a logistical burden for some. But I do thing UA management believes if they see you continuing to buy and fly UA you're not that upset. All they really understand is revenue pressure.

Originally Posted by mitchmu View Post
Agreed. But, I think it would be useful to create a petition that gets sent to the right contacts at FTC and DOT asking them to look into these devaluations from a regulatory perspective.
Potential problem with a petition is, you try everything you can via social media and muster maybe 4,000 or 5,000 signatures, max, and UA can still laugh in your face. There's tens of millions of MP members. Put in perspective, this is an elite concern, like Bentley owners complaining about blemishes on their chrome, and the raw numbers might work against us or make us look pathetic.
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