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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, 6:31 am
  #196  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: CLE
Programs: UA Gold, HH Diamond, Marriott Gold
Posts: 3,591
I looked to book a trip to DXB in business. There was no saver business or first tickets available except with connections on partners (and this was rare). On an entire page, there might be one flight that was at saver levels. It seems that whenever I've looked to book award travel that's been the case.
So, it seems (without actually looking at a chart) that this just means no saver availability on business or first on either partners or UA. So, it's pushing folks away from saver availability which means that it is essentially doubling or more the miles needed for international.
manneca is offline  
Old Nov 1, 13, 6:34 am
  #197  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Boulder
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Well, guess if I want to fly LH F it's now or never. Fortunately my schedule is flexible, I should be able to find something between now and 2/1ish.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:39 am
  #198  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
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i do feel bad for Aaron. it must suck to be the person who is given the task of delivering nothing but a steady diet of bad news.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:41 am
  #199  
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Novum Caput Mundi
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Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
MileageRupies. Or are there other suggestions?
A dead currency seems more fitting: MileageDrachma (sounds appropriately harsh) or MileageLira (Turkish Lira undermines, though)?
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:41 am
  #200  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Originally Posted by fjfv19 View Post
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.
You missed the point that they are now flier friendly.

Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
MileageMinus
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:41 am
  #201  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Programs: AA EXP/3mm+, UA 1k/1mm+, National EE, IC Plat, Marriott Plat
Posts: 2,604
Originally Posted by belfordrocks View Post
You can thank Chase freeloaders for this.
It is one thing to focus regular credit card spend on Chase and to then redeem the miles on LH F. But that isn't what has been going on. There is an ocean of bloggers out there that have been aggressively hawking the Chase cards to readers, including the advice to violate card member agreements by applying for and using the business cards to fund non-business expenses to max out category bonuses. That is then combined with gift cards and bluebird and voila! A machine that earns miles without actually spending money...just recycling it.

I know there will be many that say this is a fringe group and that it is a tiny percentage of Chase customers. But I disagree. Remember how entire cities were wiped out of vanilla reloads at some point earlier this year? This is not fringe and it is being abused all over the place.

I honestly can't blame UA for trying to stop the abuse of the system by kettle who used manufactured spend to hang out at the FCT in FRA twice a year.

But I do think, in typical UA fashion, that they went too far. They could have used a more nuanced approach. How about putting in PQD that are not subject to credit card spend waiver and then allowing GS and 1k to continue to redeem at lower rates than non-elites? That way, the most profitable and highest volume customers would still have reasonable access to the award inventory and the moochers would be discouraged. Instead, they took the hatchet to everyone including GS and 1k.

Originally Posted by belfordrocks View Post
Well the old system was apply for a couple credit cards, buy some gift cards to cash them out then enjoy LH F at United's expense... funny how that didn't last, no?
Bingo. This could not last.

Originally Posted by golfingboy View Post
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.
Exactly. This move is so drastic and so sudden that it just reeks of panic and desperation. The most tragic thing is that it will do the exact opposite of what they they THINK will happen. UA management tragically misunderstands how business works and their competitive position in the industry. Of course, they think this will decrease the outstanding liabilities they have on the books from the unredeemed miles...and that buying behavior will otherwise not be affected.

In reality, what is going to happen is that outside of those who have zero choice in whether to fly United (a group I unfortunately belong to as of this past week), anyone with a choice can and will now decide whether they want to move business to DL where miles are not necessarily worth more, but where they get to fly a better airline OR if they want to move business to AA where miles are still worth more as long as they are redeemed on AA partners that don't charge YQ.

And every time a customer leaves for another airline, it put more pressure on yields because less and less seats a filled from the outstations and spokes of the system. And the crappier the yields, the crappier the revenue performance and that is the ONE thing they have to improve to get credibility with Wall Street.

In the end, this move will do the exact opposite of what Smisek and co think it will do and it will hasten their exit.

Incidentally, this move won't affect me as much as others as I typically redeem in Y and I don't mind flying UA in Y due to E+. But it sucks not having the option of flying in J or F going forward considering I will be clocking in 200k+ on UA annually going forward.

Originally Posted by cova View Post
Many people are waiting for this answer.
You already know the answer...

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Nov 1, 13 at 5:13 pm Reason: Profanity is not allowed
AAExPlat is offline  
Old Nov 1, 13, 6:44 am
  #202  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: GRR, USA
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So this is what third-world country currency devaluation feels like......
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:47 am
  #203  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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MileageLess strikes again. So glad I'm done with this airline.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:48 am
  #204  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 116
Chase must be paying UA upward of $100s of millions a year for their miles. UA would be crazy not to listed to them.

Anyway if DL is Pesos, UA is Bolivar
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:49 am
  #205  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Costa Rica
Programs: UA 1K, Priority Platinum, Marriot Gold, Delta Platinum
Posts: 307
I did the following table to illustrate the changes for Central American members... Only 3/17 regions have no change all of them have gone up.

Central American Reward Changes

UAInsider, after reviewing the chart, please confirm that Business Award between Central America went from 10k to 20k, I must think this is an error for a 1hr flight in the region....
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:52 am
  #206  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
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I'm guessing awards that are mostly on United metal, but the last leg is on *A to a destination United doesn't serve....those get charged the full amount?

For example EWR-HKG-SIN (UA) - BWN (MI)

So in that case, really no incentive to keep the first part on UA metal it would seem
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Old Nov 1, 13, 6:53 am
  #207  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: SFO
Programs: UA S
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Wow this is a massacre. I'm fortunate that I mostly fly SFO-JFK, where I have lots of choices. MP was basically the only reason I dealt with UA, and it just became much less of a reason

Originally Posted by vforni View Post
I'm guessing awards that are mostly on United metal, but the last leg is on *A to a destination United doesn't serve....those get charged the full amount?

For example EWR-HKG-SIN (UA) - BWN (MI)

So in that case, really no incentive to keep the first part on UA metal it would seem
Yea thats going to kill premium awards to Europe as well. Even if you take UA on the TATL segments, for a lot of destinations you need to take LH...

Last edited by iluv2fly; Nov 1, 13 at 9:27 am Reason: merge
whakojacko is offline  
Old Nov 1, 13, 6:57 am
  #208  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by whakojacko View Post
Yea thats going to kill premium awards to Europe as well. Even if you take UA on the TATL segments, for a lot of destinations you need to take LH...
That's what I'm thinking. In some of these cases it makes a lot of sense to just fly to FRA on UA metal and book a cheap roundtrip in LH Y to save the increase in miles spent.
pushmyredbutton is offline  
Old Nov 1, 13, 6:59 am
  #209  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,812
. That is all.
JC1120 is offline  
Old Nov 1, 13, 7:00 am
  #210  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: ANC
Posts: 5,374
You can fly to OSL/GVA/WAW/other LCC 'hub' and tack on a LCC flight from there.
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