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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 Feb 3, 14, 7:03 pm
  #2551  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 330
It would be interesting to see statistics about how many award miles were redeemed in the last week compared to a normal week. But I'm going to guess that's a closely guarded secret.
claurianta2 is offline  
Old Feb 3, 14, 8:24 pm
  #2552  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Originally Posted by claurianta2 View Post
It would be interesting to see statistics about how many award miles were redeemed in the last week compared to a normal week. But I'm going to guess that's a closely guarded secret.
What would be even more interesting to see is how this works out for UA financially.

Basically it boils down to what the spread is between earning and redeeming miles, which can be broken down into three categories.

1. Miles earned from flying.

2. Miles sold to Chase.

3. Miles bought on award accelerators.

IMHO, they'll get badly hurt on 1) because even though there will be a shift in redemptions from *A partners to UA, which reduces the cost of redemption to UA, I think a lot of HVFs will reduce UA spending or leave UA because one of the main benefits of MP was the partner redemption.

On 2), I suspect it will be wash. They'll save some money on redemptions, but they will sell fewer miles to Chase because for Chase customers the miles are less valuable and there is less reason to use a Chase credit card.

I think they will also see a big drop in award accelerator sales. IMHO miles bought on accelerators are only a good deal if you redeem on premium international fares. With the huge increase in redemption levels for partner awards, purchase miles (at current prices) don't make any sense.

The adjustment will take a year or so, which will allow the clowns at HQ to keep their jobs for a few more quarters while they get a temporary one time boost in financial performance, but long term I have to believe this will seriously hurt UA.

(Just my $0.02 from an armchair aviation industry expert )
5khours is offline  
Old Feb 3, 14, 10:32 pm
  #2553  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: SFO & ORD
Programs: UA1K, VXgold
Posts: 93
Award search seems to be working ex-SFO to Asia as of 9:30pm Pacific time...
artieb78 is offline  
Old Feb 3, 14, 10:44 pm
  #2554  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: So Cal
Programs: UA scum/0.699MM, WN ALP/CP, Hyatt Diamond, MR/SPG Gold,Hertz PC, National EE, Carlson Silver
Posts: 5,227
Originally Posted by artieb78 View Post
Award search seems to be working ex-SFO to Asia as of 9:30pm Pacific time...
Yep, and with the new rates (130k OW in F to SE Asia). I chuckle and cry at the fact that 2 days ago I booked the same for 140k RT.
jasonvr is offline  
Old Feb 3, 14, 10:45 pm
  #2555  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: FL35
Programs: AA EXP, DL PM, AS MVPG 75K, UA PM, MR Plat, Hyatt Globalist, HH Gold, Avis PC, Hertz PC, Natl EE
Posts: 359
And they're back. With Flyer Friendly changes like 110K OW in F from NA to Europe.
BallardFlyer is offline  
Old Feb 3, 14, 10:50 pm
  #2556  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTG, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 7,772
There is still some broken logic - if you try and make a date change to an existing award ticket it errors out.

Last edited by Duke787; Feb 4, 14 at 8:22 am
Duke787 is offline  
Old Feb 3, 14, 10:54 pm
  #2557  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: 39į51'31"N 104į40'23"W
Programs: UA 1.5K MM/SPG Plat/Various Random Golds lol
Posts: 1,070
Originally Posted by 5khours View Post
What would be even more interesting to see is how this works out for UA financially.

Basically it boils down to what the spread is between earning and redeeming miles, which can be broken down into three categories.

1. Miles earned from flying.

2. Miles sold to Chase.

3. Miles bought on award accelerators.

IMHO, they'll get badly hurt on 1) because even though there will be a shift in redemptions from *A partners to UA, which reduces the cost of redemption to UA, I think a lot of HVFs will reduce UA spending or leave UA because one of the main benefits of MP was the partner redemption.

On 2), I suspect it will be wash. They'll save some money on redemptions, but they will sell fewer miles to Chase because for Chase customers the miles are less valuable and there is less reason to use a Chase credit card.

I think they will also see a big drop in award accelerator sales. IMHO miles bought on accelerators are only a good deal if you redeem on premium international fares. With the huge increase in redemption levels for partner awards, purchase miles (at current prices) don't make any sense.

The adjustment will take a year or so, which will allow the clowns at HQ to keep their jobs for a few more quarters while they get a temporary one time boost in financial performance, but long term I have to believe this will seriously hurt UA.

(Just my $0.02 from an armchair aviation industry expert )

Agreed +1 on all points. I am looking at it the exact same way
JSlo is offline  
Old Feb 3, 14, 11:00 pm
  #2558  
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Originally Posted by BallardFlyer View Post
And they're back. With Flyer Friendly changes like 110K OW in F from NA to Europe.
Yep. LOL.



Thankfully, I cleaned out our MP accounts last Friday with our last two LH First tickets from UA.
Used to charge at least $30K a month on Chase cards. Now only use my Ink Bold card for the 5X stuff, may $5-6K, all of which is going to KE.
SFO777 is offline  
Old Feb 3, 14, 11:19 pm
  #2559  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 6,047
Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
Yep. LOL.



Thankfully, I cleaned out our MP accounts last Friday with our last two LH First tickets from UA.
Used to charge at least $30K a month on Chase cards. Now only use my Ink Bold card for the 5X stuff, may $5-6K, all of which is going to KE.
eeeeekkkkk
yerffej201 is offline  
Old Feb 3, 14, 11:22 pm
  #2560  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: So Cal
Programs: UA scum/0.699MM, WN ALP/CP, Hyatt Diamond, MR/SPG Gold,Hertz PC, National EE, Carlson Silver
Posts: 5,227
I notice the interactive award chart is updated...kinda. It is only updated with the UA metal rates with no mention whatsoever of the outrageous amounts if using partner flights Just the link to the PDF

However, I noticed something on the bottom of the page....a link to the previous award chart PDF

For awards redeemed on or before February 2, 2014, refer to our previous Travel and Upgrade Award Charts.
http://www.united.com/web/en-US/cont...2012-03-03.pdf

Might be wishful thinking, but why keep around a reference to the old rates unless there is a way for them to continue being used, like maybe changes to already booked itineraries???? Maybe only for refunds?
jasonvr is offline  
Old Feb 3, 14, 11:23 pm
  #2561  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Programs: A3 *G, AA exePlat, AS MVP 75k Gold, JL sapphire, UA silver
Posts: 3,674
it is up.
interesting that for some mix Y/J booking, the miles shown is kind of interesting.
pbd456 is offline  
Old Feb 3, 14, 11:30 pm
  #2562  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: SIN
Programs: SQ, UA, Delta, BMI(RIP), Marriott Lifetime Platinum Elite, Hilton Diamond ( Thank Amex) Hyatt Discov
Posts: 1,823
SIN-LHR shows 85,000 miles for Business Saver when all flights are available in Business, but drops down in some BUT NOT ALL cases to 75,000 miles for mixed classes with an economy flight thrown in. Is there any rhyme or reason to this, or is it just a software glitch?

Last edited by SingaporeDon; Feb 3, 14 at 11:45 pm
SingaporeDon is offline  
Old Feb 3, 14, 11:31 pm
  #2563  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: So Cal
Programs: UA scum/0.699MM, WN ALP/CP, Hyatt Diamond, MR/SPG Gold,Hertz PC, National EE, Carlson Silver
Posts: 5,227
Clearing out some old emails and found this email subject from UA just 5 days ago

Turn your 124,xxx miles into a travel experience, electronics and more
Ask and you shall receive UA!

Originally Posted by SingaporeDon View Post
SIN-LHR shows 85,000 miles for Business Saver when all flights are available in Business, but drops down in some BUT NOT ALL cases to 75,000 miles for mix class with an economy or coach flight thrown in. Is there any rhyme or reason to this, or is it just a software glitch?
I'm seeing it too. In all the cases I'm seeing it is where the longhaul is in Y and the feeders are in J. For example SIN-BKK-FRA-LHR where BKK-FRA is in Y while the others are in J. Seems to price out at the UA rate instead of the partner rate in that case. Looks like maybe there is some distance based logic in there??? Of course anyone who books that should be ashamed since the corresponding all-Y itinerary is 55k.

Last edited by jasonvr; Feb 3, 14 at 11:39 pm
jasonvr is offline  
Old Feb 3, 14, 11:59 pm
  #2564  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: WAS
Programs: SPG LTG, DL Plat
Posts: 1,648
It does look like there's some distance based logic built in. I'm seeing USA-Europe-Europe in UA C/LH C pricing at the UA C price.
DC777Fan is offline  
Old Feb 4, 14, 12:41 am
  #2565  
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Programs: Hyatt LT Globalist, Marriot LT Titanium, UA 2.4MM, HH Gold, AS MVPG
Posts: 3,172
Some funny things with the new award chart. Was playing around and found Sydney, via ICN. From ICN to SYD is obviously on OZ and a two-cabin flight. From SFO-ICN both UA GF and UA BF are available, so since it connects to a *A in business they both are 80K miles.
SF1K is offline  

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