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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, 8:21 pm
  #826  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Anywhere but home
Programs: UA 1K/MM, AA PP, DL SM/MM, HH Dia, All Plat, PC Plat, MR Gold
Posts: 4,285
This is a game changer

I don't know which is worse:
1. Earlier this year, DL developed partner tiers, where flying on some SkyTeam "members" (e.g., Korean Air) don't earn any elite qualifying miles or bonus for flying in biz or first. (DL link) This makes earning miles on several SkyTeam partners much more difficult. Also, DL is already tied for worst in availability of low-tier award travel.

2. This massive UA devaluation in miles required for award travel, especially for Star "partners". Rather than change partner earnings, UA increased partner awards.

I used to fly DL exclusively, accumulating 1.8 MM, mostly in an 8-year span, but moved to UA in late 2011 because of their much better FF program. This new UA award chart is a potential game-changer and will force many of us to re-evaluate our preferred carrier.
FlytheTail is offline  
Old Nov 1, 13, 8:27 pm
  #827  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: LAX
Posts: 9,301
Originally Posted by Flyer IAH View Post
Traveling with partners in DL does not exist?
Have you priced DL awards with partners? Last week i was quoted C RT on AF with $800+ in taxes in fees and on SU with $300+.
Go give it a shot.

Originally Posted by FlytheTail View Post
.. This new UA award chart is a potential game-changer and will force many of us to re-evaluate our preferred carrier.
UA C awards (even partner) are not far outside DL levels and DL charges significant taxes/yq.
UA partner F are up a lot but try to get those on DL

DL devalued awards overnight without warning. UA is giving 4 months to adjust.

Devaluation is unfortunate but expected given all blog peddled credit card signups. It's not a game changer however.

Last edited by iluv2fly; Nov 1, 13 at 8:52 pm Reason: merge
azepine00 is offline  
Old Nov 1, 13, 8:34 pm
  #828  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Programs: UA Gold
Posts: 386
Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
Have you priced DL awards with partners? Last week i was quoted C RT on AF with $800+ in taxes in fees and on SU with $300+.
Go give it a shot.
I agree that DL awards are pretty hard to get and may include surcharges, I was just comparing when both are available. My point was that UA by increasing how many miles are needed for awards combined with the previous changes in reduced bonus for elites (50% for UA Gold versus 100% for DL Gold), it has devalued their program further as compared with DL.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 8:42 pm
  #829  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Anywhere but home
Programs: UA 1K/MM, AA PP, DL SM/MM, HH Dia, All Plat, PC Plat, MR Gold
Posts: 4,285
Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
UA C awards (even partner) are not far outside DL levels and DL charges significant taxes/yq.
Taxes/surcharges are only significant on DL if originating from outside the US. From the US, these are similar on UA and DL.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 8:42 pm
  #830  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: US
Programs: AA/UA/DL
Posts: 2,648
Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
UA C awards (even partner) are not far outside DL levels and DL charges significant taxes/yq.
UA partner F are up a lot but try to get those on DL

DL devalued awards overnight without warning. UA is giving 4 months to adjust.
Not this time. DL won't change until next Jun and they give people 8-10 months this time unlike United only gives 3 months.
United is beating DL in every aspect.....
Great terrible customer service
No customer relations
Worse J than DL
worse meal than DL
similar FFP now
pigx5 is offline  
Old Nov 1, 13, 8:44 pm
  #831  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 194
worry about AA may follow soon
lisa2926 is offline  
Old Nov 1, 13, 8:48 pm
  #832  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: South Park, CO
Programs: Tegridy Elite
Posts: 5,321
And how long will UA metal availability for premium cabins be better than DL's, when the new UA charts force more people away from partners?
84fiero is offline  
Old Nov 1, 13, 8:50 pm
  #833  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: los angeles, calif.
Programs: AAdvantage PLAT
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Originally Posted by lisa2926 View Post
worry about AA may follow soon
AA hasn't followed any of the other devaluations for the past decade, nor has it followed UA and DL's reductions in premium services. No reason it suddenly follows now.

AAdvantage miles are the hardest to earn - no transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards or AmEx points freely - so there's a lot less in circulation.
MAH4546 is offline  
Old Nov 1, 13, 8:54 pm
  #834  
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AA hasn't followed any of the other devaluations for the past decade, nor has it followed UA and DL's reductions in premium services. No reason it suddenly follows now.
Especially since unlike UA, they're getting record profits with their strategy,, while UA is flailing like a drowning rat.
entropy is offline  
Old Nov 1, 13, 8:55 pm
  #835  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: WAS
Programs: SPG LTG, DL Plat
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Originally Posted by MAH4546 View Post
AA hasn't followed any of the other devaluations for the past decade, nor has it followed UA and DL's reductions in premium services. No reason it suddenly follows now.

AAdvantage miles are the hardest to earn - no transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards or AmEx points freely - so there's a lot less in circulation.
OTOH Citi absolutely gives them away. You can churn 50k business cards every few months and I got a 60k retention bonus on a card this year -- yes, SIXTY THOUSAND.
DC777Fan is offline  
Old Nov 1, 13, 8:55 pm
  #836  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Originally Posted by pigx5 View Post
Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
DL devalued awards overnight without warning. UA is giving 4 months to adjust.
Not this time. DL won't change until next Jun and they give people 8-10 months this time unlike United only gives 3 months.
The Delta devaluation was for TRAVEL after June 1. The United devaluation was for BOOKINGS after Feb 1. I'd say United's actions are more customer-friendly, if only just.
mattp1987 is online now  
Old Nov 1, 13, 8:56 pm
  #837  
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Originally Posted by entropy View Post
Especially since unlike UA, they're getting record profits with their strategy,, while UA is flailing like a drowning rat.
I'm sure this has completely baffled Jeff. "How the heck are they making money?" On the other hand, I'm sure he has his excuses all lined up: "They're in BK. And we had bad weather. And the government shutdown. And 787 problems. It's not my fault!"
exerda is online now  
Old Nov 1, 13, 8:57 pm
  #838  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Sedona
Programs: UA Platinum, SW A-list
Posts: 109
Can't really think of anyting pithy to say so I'll leave it at this: UA is crunching the numbers and executing their strategy based on UA's perception of what's best for their shareholders. With this as yet another example of "the new United," I too share crunch the numbers, factor in the intangibles, and decide if I wish to continue my loyalty to UA. I suspect I'll join soon join the growing ranks of ex-UA elites, but maybe that's what UA really wants. Interesting strategy.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 8:59 pm
  #839  
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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Originally Posted by raehl311 View Post
Your analysis is flawed, because it posits a price for DL award travel that doesn't really exist in practice.
Huh?

Originally Posted by Flyer IAH View Post
Traveling with partners in DL does not exist?
Of course it exists, and availability ain't bad either. Just that you dont have a booking engine that is easy to work with.

We traveled on 100K low level flying AZ and AF J to ARN, OJ till SVO, and return from AMS via FCO.

This evening I spent 2 hours looking at each and every single direct flight to JNB from anywhere in the Star A network - NOTHING available in J and only Y is available on an IST-JNB on TK for the months from June to Sept.

Moreover, the only available J would be on Egypt Air via Cairo and Ethiopia via Africa.

So, before one makes blanket statement on how DL Skymiles are useless, one needs to have some basic fact check first.
Happy is offline  
Old Nov 1, 13, 9:02 pm
  #840  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: San Antonio
Programs: AS MVP
Posts: 2,276
Try booking to Europe on AA and then tell me if they haven't devalued. A year ago seats existed on most routes and dates at some point. I was looking last night for seats on AA BGI-JFK-FCO for a relative, and there are zero dates with sAAver availability JFK-FCO in coach or business. Only a month ago there were sAAver business seats on the BGI-MIA and BGI-JFK routes, now there are none. Ever. AA has used the convenient 'blame BA for the surcharges' excuse while doubling the price of many if not most of their awards.
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