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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 can’t change)
  • Origin/Destination within the same regions (carrier and cabin can’t 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 1, 13, 5:47 am
  #181  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by belfordrocks View Post
What can/will Chase do about it? They're part of the problem, not the solution.
Bingo. United's PQDs mean people may concentrate additional spending on the Chase issued United credit cards to eliminate the PQD thresholds. The awards changes can have several effects, one of which being that people need to focus more spending on Chase products to hit the same award redemption. FTers aside, the average person may shift additional spend from other cards to plug the new gap. While there is clearly downside, I have to imagine either (a) Chase is convinced the positives outweigh the negatives, (b) United convinced Chase the positives outweigh the negatives or (c) Chase is indifferent and going along for the ride because its not like there is another legacy carrier to rope in.

Originally Posted by mecabq View Post
Clearly United is betting that the costs of maintaining elite loyalty, including giving us the ability to redeem on partners, outweigh the benefits. Time will tell whether they are correct. I hope not.
If it proves to be correct and is reflected in United's financials, then AA/US are next, so there is really nowhere to run. C'est la vie.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 5:51 am
  #182  
 
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Originally Posted by mitchmu View Post
I still don't get this: Have they eliminated saver level for *A flights in J?
No just raised the prices dramatically
myb821 is offline  
Old Nov 1, 13, 5:52 am
  #183  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
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I was considering either Europe to South America or Europe to Australia. If I read the new charts correctly, the former is cheaper on *A than it is on UA in premium cabins, which seems odd. Also, Europe to Australia is cheaper than Europe to South America. All weird.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 5:58 am
  #184  
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+1, just another DYKWIA (acts the same way over on the Marriott forum)

Originally Posted by Babu View Post
Sorry to say, but I am sure they would laugh at such an email.
Originally Posted by wethereyet View Post
I'm going to be booking my first flight of 2014 in the next couple weeks. Very tempted to email UA and say if they don't give me GS immediately that I'm gone.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:01 am
  #185  
 
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
I was considering either Europe to South America or Europe to Australia. If I read the new charts correctly, the former is cheaper on *A than it is on UA in premium cabins, which seems odd. Also, Europe to Australia is cheaper than Europe to South America. All weird.
The cheaper *A Europe to South America makes sense. You need 2 longhaul UA metal flights for that. While via *A good chance you're routing on a single Lufthansa flight.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:08 am
  #186  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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So at this point what exactly does United hang their hat on? I think a lot of people were unhappy with United but I hung on with them because imo their miles were the best ones out there. One of the worst parts about this is how much it devalues Chase cards. I guess my trip next week will be my first and last in Lufthansa first.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:10 am
  #187  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by FlyingCOS View Post
So at this point what exactly does United hang their hat on? I think a lot of people were unhappy with United but I hung on with them because imo their miles were the best ones out there. One of the worst parts about this is how much it devalues Chase cards. I guess my trip next week will be my first and last in Lufthansa first.
Route network, 787, pretty good hard product and the promise that at some point, in a future that almost certainly doesn't exist, they'll be some changes we like.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:11 am
  #188  
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Wow, they messed with one of my two primary reasons for sticking with UA.

Good job UA

UA you have to remember, now with this change, you are the worst at almost every category that is important to me except for SDC. Congratulations.

I expected an increase of 5-20K in pretty much all categories. Not this change. It is very obvious some people are in panic mode including Smisek when he told investors that they are going to make swift changes in the short term to improve their financial results. This is definitely part of it with the massive increases.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:17 am
  #189  
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Originally Posted by pigx5 View Post
DL has Economy Comfort with more recline and AA has Main Cabin ExtrAA.

DL gives 100% bonus miles to gold/platinum and 8-10 months ahead of time to notify their members about the devaluation while UA gives 3 months.
AA give 100% to platinum.

I really don't know how UA is going to attract people?? We have SMI/J?

I am very interested in seeing the Q4 and 2014 report after these FRIENDLY changes.
For much of the last year during the "who is really leaving UA" debate, the Jeff apologists would correctly note that Skypesos made DL a bad option. I wonder what they are going to do now that Jeff has moved MileagePlus into that same territory?

None of the recent rollbacks - losing EF, raising the award redemption rates - should be a surprise to anyone. Compared to the competition, UA's were far too generous. When you add to the mix the fact that UA hasn't been able to realize all those merger synergies they were bragging about and they are financially lagging the competition, it is almost a given that as passengers we are going to see a continued downgrading of the United product and an increased hit to our wallets.

Next up? I'm guessing that they will do something other than hiding R space to make it even more difficult to use GPUs.

Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
MileageRupies. Or are there other suggestions?
MileageMinus
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:17 am
  #190  
 
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Do AA still offer status match for this 1k?
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:19 am
  #191  
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Originally Posted by DWFI View Post
Not going to belabor the utter destruction, but,

Aaron - if I book an award in Jan 2014 and then make changes in Feb or beyond (in routing, airline, origin, destination, etc), will it be repriced according to new mileage reqs. or will I keep the old pricing on that ticket?
I'm looking for the answer to this question. I want to burn the remaining miles I have to SEAsia and I'm more than happy to book by Feb 1 and miss the increase if I can make changes with the standard caveats w/ changes.

I'm only sitting on about 65k miles for a Y award and not looking forward to a 15k increase to SEAsia
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:22 am
  #192  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Gonna miss the 35k R/T intra-Asia biz routings...had some good times with those.

However, 60k R/T from South Asia to Australia/NZ in business?? I'll take that..
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:22 am
  #193  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Wow - these increases are huge.
US - Europe now 220K in F on *A and 160K in F on UA (was 135K on both).
UA F isn't worth 160K miles to Europe and now 220K for LH F makes that impractical.

I guess the difference between UA metal and *A metal rewards is that UA premium services are so bad compared to other carriers - that people would book UA then switch to the other carriers when they opened inventory.

I was doing most of my credit card charging on Chase for UA miles rather then Citibank for AA miles. But now I may need to rethink that.

Originally Posted by civicmon View Post
I'm looking for the answer to this question. I want to burn the remaining miles I have to SEAsia and I'm more than happy to book by Feb 1 and miss the increase if I can make changes with the standard caveats w/ changes.

I'm only sitting on about 65k miles for a Y award and not looking forward to a 15k increase to SEAsia
Many people are waiting for this answer.

Last edited by iluv2fly; Nov 1, 13 at 9:25 am Reason: merge
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:25 am
  #194  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
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(I checked the calendar to see if it was April 1st....but it isn't)

My biggest issue isn't with this specific change, it's the fact that this airline regularly and consistently announce negative changes that degrade the overall customer experience. I seriously think a group of UA execs sit around and think they have the best product out there (Direct TV/787/Wifi/planes with cool lighting) when in reality their product is severely lacking compared to their competitors in just about every aspect.

Take the food in F for example; Yesterday they announced another downgrade by no longer serving full meals on flights under 900 miles to "align ourselves with the marketplace". Correct me if I'm wrong, but UA's food isn't even close to what their competitors offer. How can you align when you never were aligned to begin with??

My point is just to say that I truly believe UA management is completely and utterly delusional.

This airline has become an absolute joke.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:31 am
  #195  
 
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Drachma Miles is my vote.
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