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2015 MileagePlus Change - RDMs Will Be Calculated by Spend, Not Distance

2015 MileagePlus Change - RDMs Will Be Calculated by Spend, Not Distance

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Old Sep 6, 19, 4:07 am   -   Wikipost
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Earning miles on United flights

Spend-based mileage (RDM) earning for all UA metal flights effective March 1, 2015.

Redeemable Miles (RDM) changes highlights:
  • Miles earned will now be based on the ticket price instead of the number of miles flown (see partner flights on non-016 tickets exception )
  • Ticket price is defined as base fare plus carrier-imposed surcharges (same as PQDs)
  • Class of service bonuses have been discontinued (e.g. X% more on A fares).
  • There is a limit of 75,000 miles earned per ticket (see below for spending limits by status)
  • UA flights regardless of ticket stock will use the ticket price to determine RDMs
  • Partner flight on 016 ticket stock will use the ticket price to determine RDMs
  • Partner flights on non-016 ticket stock will use a flight mileage-based system to determine RDMs with a fare class multiplier (see the partner page for detials
  • Speciality / Bulk tickets with PQDs will use a flight mileage-based system to determine RDMs with a fare class multiplier, see Specialty tickets

Fare multipliers based on Premier status:
  • x5 General Members
  • x7 Silver
  • x8 Gold
  • x9 Plat
  • x11 1K/GS

For example, a 1K would earn 1100 miles for a $120 (assuming $20 in taxes/fees) ticket while a Silver would earn 700 miles for the same ticket.

As there is a maximum number of miles per ticket earned - this disincentives purchasing any ticket (excluding government taxes and fees) over the following:
  • $6818.18 for 1K/GS
  • $8333.33 for Platinum
  • $9375.00 for Gold
  • $10714.28 for Silver
  • $15000.00 for General Members

A way to avoid this is booking one-ways if the fare rules permit.

Premier Qualifying Miles (PQM) are not affected by this change.

Announcement Site
www.mileageplusupdates.com
There is a tool on the site that allow you to enter how much you spent on a ticket along your premier status in order to calculate how many miles you will earn under the new system. The tool is aware of the miles per ticket limit.

There is a FAQ here: http://mileageplusupdates.com/faq.html
Relevant UA Insider posts:

Post 57: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/23008349-post57.html
Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
Hi everyone,

Today we’re announcing changes to how MileagePlus members will earn award miles in 2015. We’ve posted complete details and a FAQ on united.com, but I wanted to share an excerpt of the key points with you directly:

As of March 1, 2015, the award miles you earn on most United and United Express tickets will be based on your ticket price (that is, base fare plus carrier-imposed surcharges) and your MileagePlus status, instead of the distance you travel. The new criteria for earning award miles will look like this:

<portion removed for brevity>

The changes to earning award miles will apply to all MileagePlus members worldwide, and will be based on status at the time of flight on or after March 1, 2015. These changes will not affect the qualification requirements for 2015 Premier status. PQM and PQS will still be based on the number of paid flight miles traveled and the fare purchased. And where applicable, PQD will still be determined by the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges.
Answered Questions:

Originally Posted by SunLover View Post
So a 1K purchasing a $5,000 EWR-NRT ticket would earn 55,000 miles plus the 1K additional RDM’s?
Class of service bonuses have been discontinued under the new system. There is already an adjustment for 1K over general members.
Originally Posted by ckidder331 View Post

LAX-Intl Location in Business Class as a Premier Gold

Would a $5,000 ticket in Business class to Asia earn:

5000 x 8 = 40,000 (Premier Gold earning)
5000 x .75 = 3750 (Class of Service bonus)
43,750 Total
For tickets that will earn award miles based on ticket price, the class-of-service bonus and Premier bonus will be included in the number of award miles you earn per dollar. Basically COS has been removed.
Originally Posted by mikelcf View Post
...On the mileageplus announcement site and FAQ site it lists only 1K's. With respect to most mileage levels, etc. UA usually treats GS the same as 1K, so I assume that's the case here, but has anyone seen anything specific to GS?
E-mail received by GS lists 1K and GS together.
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Old Jul 23, 14, 7:18 am
  #2041  
 
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Originally Posted by Silver Fox View Post
...and because it is a race to the bottom.
And potentially to curb abuse and/or liability, I would imagine.
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Old Jul 23, 14, 7:28 am
  #2042  
 
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Originally Posted by channa View Post
You're absolutely right if you only look at the cost side of the equation. If you attribute nothing to the business the loyalty program drives, then it makes sense.

Sadly this management team is very simplistic in how it looks at things -- cost only.
Channa.

SBM12 aka Seth wrote what I think is the must-read post of them all on this topic. Here is the link:

http://blog.wandr.me/2014/06/the-two...-award-points/

He explains how the industry looks at it and cites a recent presentation to that effect.
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Old Jul 30, 14, 2:13 pm
  #2043  
 
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Since the revenue-generation is being built into RDMs, I think we can see the coming of the elimination of PQMs in the status qualifying and the adjustment upward of the PQDs required for each status level. This will have the secondary effect of giving upgrades to the most valuable customers from a revenue perspective.

I think PQDs came in this year to ease that transition to the new RDM earning and away from PQMs for qualifying.

Stay tuned....
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Old Jul 30, 14, 2:22 pm
  #2044  
 
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Originally Posted by dmodemd View Post
Since the revenue-generation is being built into RDMs, I think we can see the coming of the elimination of PQMs in the status qualifying and the adjustment upward of the PQDs required for each status level. This will have the secondary effect of giving upgrades to the most valuable customers from a revenue perspective.

I think PQDs came in this year to ease that transition to the new RDM earning and away from PQMs for qualifying.

Stay tuned....
I don't see how changing status qualification method influences upgrade availability directly, but I do agree that both will change...and we won't like it
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Old Jul 30, 14, 2:31 pm
  #2045  
 
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For an organization that is financially and operationally not nearly close to where it wants to be, this move (following DL I agree even though DL is in better shape) would make perfect sense businesswise IMHO.

Less folks make higher status so less perks for them such as upgrades and such. At the same time, this would only work if folks continued to fly UA. Since the other airlines FF programs are also following this same practice, it seems that UA may be thinking why would someone leave to have to another airline with the same program. Maybe that is why DL just came out with their differentiator perk of free IFE for 90+ minute flights.

I am not saying I like the move as it affects me also, but I understand UA point of view if what I stated above is how they are thinking.
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Old Jul 30, 14, 3:18 pm
  #2046  
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Originally Posted by trini19 View Post
For an organization that is financially and operationally not nearly close to where it wants to be, this move (following DL I agree even though DL is in better shape) would make perfect sense businesswise IMHO.

Less folks make higher status so less perks for them such as upgrades and such. At the same time, this would only work if folks continued to fly UA. Since the other airlines FF programs are also following this same practice, it seems that UA may be thinking why would someone leave to have to another airline with the same program. Maybe that is why DL just came out with their differentiator perk of free IFE for 90+ minute flights.

I am not saying I like the move as it affects me also, but I understand UA point of view if what I stated above is how they are thinking.
Conversely, if all FFPs become more or less equal, why would someone stay with a substandard airlines? It comes down to service and value (not necessarily price) at that point.

Similarly, if I'm going to get crappy perks anywhere I go, why not just use whoever offers the best deal? If DL can get me where I want to go, with a better offering than UA, and some good, free IFE, why not choose them over UA?

This is where UA is at competitive disadvantage. DL keeps enhancing their product. US/AA appears to be enhancing some things, changing others. And if perks really don't factor in anymore, it opens more choices with VX, AS, B6 and WN. With all the cuts UA has done over the last few years, just what is their advantage anymore? An RJ infested network and the 787?

Loyalty will have gone the way of the dodo. Without loyalty, UA is going to turn into a bottom feeder airline as it'll have to rely on the Kettles since it doesn't have anything to offer a premium flyer.
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Old Jul 30, 14, 3:40 pm
  #2047  
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
Conversely, if all FFPs become more or less equal, why would someone stay with a substandard airlines? It comes down to service and value (not necessarily price) at that point.
Interestingly, UA clearly believes that FFP is a significant differentiator in the marketplace, as evidenced by the pre-flight video and beverage napkins touting "best award availability."
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Old Jul 30, 14, 4:06 pm
  #2048  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Interestingly, UA clearly believes that FFP is a significant differentiator in the marketplace, as evidenced by the pre-flight video and beverage napkins touting "best award availability."
Award availability doesn't mean a whole lot if it takes forever to earn miles. With the way UA's program is set up, I get more miles churning CCs than I actually do flying them. If the CC is my best bet, why bother flying them?
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Old Jul 30, 14, 4:30 pm
  #2049  
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
Award availability doesn't mean a whole lot if it takes forever to earn miles. With the way UA's program is set up, I get more miles churning CCs than I actually do flying them. If the CC is my best bet, why bother flying them?
You missed the point.

UA is on the one hand touting its award program as a primary differentiator, and on the other hand seriously devaluing the program by (a) raising award prices, (b) lowering earning levels for most of its passengers, and (c) cutting availability to the bone.

They must be aware of the disconnect, but apparently believe most customers won't notice.
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Old Jul 30, 14, 4:36 pm
  #2050  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
UA is on the one hand touting its award program as a primary differentiator, and on the other hand seriously devaluing the program by (a) raising award prices, (b) lowering earning levels for most of its passengers, and (c) cutting availability to the bone. They must be aware of the disconnect, but apparently believe most customers won't notice.
No, what UA is saying is even after devaluation, it has still got the best FFP.

RNE, not that I agree with UA, mind you.
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Old Jul 31, 14, 4:59 am
  #2051  
 
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
Award availability doesn't mean a whole lot if it takes forever to earn miles. With the way UA's program is set up, I get more miles churning CCs than I actually do flying them. If the CC is my best bet, why bother flying them?
Fine for economy travel but in FFP 4.0, you can kiss FC award travel goodbye without top status. There are going to be many, many upset churners in 24 months
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Old Jul 31, 14, 6:17 am
  #2052  
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Originally Posted by LaserSailor View Post
Fine for economy travel but in FFP 4.0, you can kiss FC award travel goodbye without top status. There are going to be many, many upset churners in 24 months
You keep saying this...not gonna happen :-:
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Old Jul 31, 14, 7:31 am
  #2053  
 
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
Conversely, if all FFPs become more or less equal, why would someone stay with a substandard airlines? It comes down to service and value (not necessarily price) at that point.

Similarly, if I'm going to get crappy perks anywhere I go, why not just use whoever offers the best deal? If DL can get me where I want to go, with a better offering than UA, and some good, free IFE, why not choose them over UA?

This is where UA is at competitive disadvantage. DL keeps enhancing their product. US/AA appears to be enhancing some things, changing others. And if perks really don't factor in anymore, it opens more choices with VX, AS, B6 and WN. With all the cuts UA has done over the last few years, just what is their advantage anymore? An RJ infested network and the 787?

Loyalty will have gone the way of the dodo. Without loyalty, UA is going to turn into a bottom feeder airline as it'll have to rely on the Kettles since it doesn't have anything to offer a premium flyer.
I agree 100% with you. But at the same time, to become a differentiator such as the DL IFE perk, you need to restructure yourself and make sure you are on solid ground as DL has been for recent years. DL is a market differentiator and UA a market follower we know this. DL is at a point that they can foot the bill (if thats what they are doing) or somehow offer this free service but I am simply saying I dont think UA is at that point. The resturcturing of the FF program is consistent amongst the big airlines so something else needs to be the differentiator, in DL's case it is the IFE. Lets hope UA has something to offer as a differentiator sometime soon.
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Old Jul 31, 14, 9:10 am
  #2054  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
You missed the point.

UA is on the one hand touting its award program as a primary differentiator, and on the other hand seriously devaluing the program by (a) raising award prices, (b) lowering earning levels for most of its passengers, and (c) cutting availability to the bone.

They must be aware of the disconnect, but apparently believe most customers won't notice.
Gotcha. I agree.
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Old Jul 31, 14, 10:24 am
  #2055  
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Originally Posted by trini19 View Post
I agree 100% with you. But at the same time, to become a differentiator such as the DL IFE perk, you need to restructure yourself and make sure you are on solid ground as DL has been for recent years. DL is a market differentiator and UA a market follower we know this. DL is at a point that they can foot the bill (if thats what they are doing) or somehow offer this free service but I am simply saying I dont think UA is at that point. The resturcturing of the FF program is consistent amongst the big airlines so something else needs to be the differentiator, in DL's case it is the IFE. Lets hope UA has something to offer as a differentiator sometime soon.
I think DL's taking the right approach with the IFE - making it a "freemium" service. They're going to provide what seems to be a fairly wide assortment of entertainment, but if you want the better stuff like the newest movies or shows like Game of Thrones, you're going to have to pony up a bit. It's a nice little perk for those that want a more basic offering, but still allows a revenue stream to defray the costs or generate a profit. I think it's a winner for them.

UA is a follower alright, but the problem is they can't follow DL halfway. They can't follow DL's cuts without making the enhancements too. At least DL gives you something on the front end if they take away on the back end. UA MIGHT be able to pull off their cuts if they match to some degree what DL gives.
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