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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 1, 13, 2:37 pm
  #631  
 
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Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
Finally, a note about mixed-carrier Saver Awards. Although there will now be two charts, it will be still be possible to combine United/United Express and MileagePlus partner award flights on the same itinerary. However, the MileagePlus partner award cabin level will need to be lower than that of the United-operated segment(s) in order to take advantage of the United Saver Award price. So, for a US to Europe itinerary where the long-haul segment is in United Global First, the intra-Europe connecting segment would need to be in Business or Economy (as they typically already are) to take advantage of the United Saver Award price. Similarly, for a US to Europe itinerary where the long-haul segment is in United BusinessFirst, the intra-Europe connecting segment would need to be in Economy to take advantage of the United Saver Award price.
At least this is good news for those like me wanting to travel to ATH and IST where UA doesn't fly. It would be nice if they would allow intra-region partner flights at the same level as the long-haul UA flight. In other words, a TATL flight in BusinessFirst and MUC-IST in TK short-haul business would price on the UA chart.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 2:37 pm
  #632  
 
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Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post

Finally, a note about mixed-carrier Saver Awards. Although there will now be two charts, it will be still be possible to combine United/United Express and MileagePlus partner award flights on the same itinerary. However, the MileagePlus partner award cabin level will need to be lower than that of the United-operated segment(s) in order to take advantage of the United Saver Award price. So, for a US to Europe itinerary where the long-haul segment is in United Global First, the intra-Europe connecting segment would need to be in Business or Economy (as they typically already are) to take advantage of the United Saver Award price. Similarly, for a US to Europe itinerary where the long-haul segment is in United BusinessFirst, the intra-Europe connecting segment would need to be in Economy to take advantage of the United Saver Award price.
That's actually a reasonable interpretation of an otherwise unreasonable devaluation.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 2:37 pm
  #633  
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Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
Finally, a note about mixed-carrier Saver Awards. Although there will now be two charts, it will be still be possible to combine United/United Express and MileagePlus partner award flights on the same itinerary. However, the MileagePlus partner award cabin level will need to be lower than that of the United-operated segment(s) in order to take advantage of the United Saver Award price. So, for a US to Europe itinerary where the long-haul segment is in United Global First, the intra-Europe connecting segment would need to be in Business or Economy (as they typically already are) to take advantage of the United Saver Award price. Similarly, for a US to Europe itinerary where the long-haul segment is in United BusinessFirst, the intra-Europe connecting segment would need to be in Economy to take advantage of the United Saver Award price.
That's still disappointing.. If I want to fly USA-FRA-ZRH on a combo of UA and LH, you'll charge me for wanting to keep the whole itin in business, vs. business on UA and Y on LH.

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Old Nov 1, 13, 2:40 pm
  #634  
 
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Thanks UA, the *A network and FF program was your strongest perk helping people cling on to an otherwise degraded airline. That last remaining thread has been cut now. I have not seen a more condescending attitude from a business in my life. Good luck, looking forward to see how much lower you can go. #unitedunfriendly
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Old Nov 1, 13, 2:40 pm
  #635  
 
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Has anyone considered just how many IT nightmares UA is initiating all at once? Between trying to make SHARES price partner awards and keep track of PQD's, I sense an IT disaster of epic proporotins.

Remember, these are the same crack IT guys that were giving away the house for $5 just a couple months ago. And selling awards to HKG for 4 miles. And.....

Maybe they can contract CGI Federal to help with the implementation.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 2:40 pm
  #636  
 
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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?
DWFI,

I have the same question, please let me know if you find the answer.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 2:40 pm
  #637  
 
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Originally Posted by artemis View Post
You may be right, but the folks who are most sensitive to the whole "free bag" marketing are also pretty price sensitive in general. And you don't have to do much math to realize that you need to fly UA round-trip at least 2 times a year (or once with a partner) just to get back the cost of that $95/year annual fee (much less save anything). So for a lot of casual flyers the card is no longer worth its fee.
Actually, primary rental coverage on a car is a very nice perk. Also, some of the travel perks are quite nice too and will substitute for the insurance I normally buy. I think $95 is a good deal. Ironically, only two weeks ago did I get the card since I like to use cards that actually give me cash back.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 2:40 pm
  #638  
 
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Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
Hi DWFI, 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.
Understood. As expected. Thanks for taking the time to reply.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 2:41 pm
  #639  
 
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Originally Posted by FriendlySkies View Post
That's still disappointing.. If I want to fly USA-FRA-ZRH on a combo of UA and LH, you'll charge me for wanting to keep the whole itin in business, vs. business on UA and Y on LH.

At least it is better than what we interpreted it was. If you are just going to Europe, then it's already blessing. Won't kill you to just stick in the A320 to intra-Europe via LH. However, South Africa or the fun way to go to Asia? Well...

I travel mostly to HKG and SIN so I have a couple of options. If I can go to NRT and take NH Y to HKG, it is still not the end of the world providing NH Y is still pretty good.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 2:41 pm
  #640  
 
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Originally Posted by CzeSEN View Post
Wait a minute. Are you trying to tell me that one-way award US-EU in J is going to be 70K MILES?! I mean, this can't be right. Can't be. 140K RT? In J? Since when is Halloween new April Fools'?
Honestly it makes sense to me. That's a $3k (or more) seat.

It just seems like UA is aligning their award costs so mile value caps out at $0.02-$0.03 or so.

No more $10k F seats for 180k miles.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 2:43 pm
  #641  
 
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Originally Posted by raehl311 View Post
Honestly it makes sense to me. That's a $3k (or more) seat.
If they sold them all. Which they don't.

Next.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 2:44 pm
  #642  
 
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Originally Posted by Paulakers2010 View Post
It is not too difficult to see that UA just wants us to fly UA. UA want you to redefine the term of loyalty to this airline, not to this alliance. That's ok.

However, you have to think about the downside of this as why people choose UA over DL. Networks? Maybe. IFE? Don't get me even started. Awards? Now no. Service? Heck no. Hard product? Others are coming after you, Jeff.
Exactly. The fact that Star Alliance is so much bigger than the other two alliances and it offers more destinations in Europe and Asia is the primary reason international travelers at least chose to fly UA over AA or DL. Weakening UA's relationship to the rest of Star Alliance is a dumb move long-term, however much it might help the balance books today.

Originally Posted by Paulakers2010 View Post
Can you find a balance? No, Jeff isn't thinking about a balance. He is thinking how DL makes a ton of money with an inferior network than UA, less generous FFP than UA. So Jeff reconsiders what the CFO thinks about the over-entitled elites, then pulled the trigger on award redemption. Here we have the race to the bottom, DL and UA.
Jeff's also forgetting that DL has more people hub captive than UA does, and that makes a difference. Until UA has as many fortress hubs as DL does, it's not going to be able to mimic DL's model successfully.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 2:44 pm
  #643  
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Originally Posted by INDFlyer View Post
DWFI,

I have the same question, please let me know if you find the answer.

This has been answered!


Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
Hi DWFI, 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.

Aaron Goldberg
Sr. Manager - Customer Experience Planning
United Airlines
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Old Nov 1, 13, 2:45 pm
  #644  
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Originally Posted by hobo13 View Post
Has anyone considered just how many IT nightmares UA is initiating all at once? Between trying to make SHARES price partner awards and keep track of PQD's, I sense an IT disaster of epic proporotins.

Remember, these are the same crack IT guys that were giving away the house for $5 just a couple months ago. And selling awards to HKG for 4 miles. And.....

Maybe they can contract CGI Federal to help with the implementation.
This is actually a very good but scary point. Among the many, many crazy complications, I can see all sorts of additional screw-ups in partner award reservations, which already are subject to many problems.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 2:46 pm
  #645  
 
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Originally Posted by travelinmanS View Post
This only changes when people like us, who chase after miles and status, become kayak shoppers and only book the best possible itinerary for our travel needs regardless of airline. Until then people like Aaron have us over a barrel because really, where are you going to go?
I find kayaking more attractive by the day. That's the future for me. As long as some status (mid) on all three carriers one can snag EC, E+ or MCE. What loyalty. Get none give none.
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