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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 were announcing changes to how MileagePlus members will earn award miles in 2015. Weve 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 RDMs?
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 Jun 10, 14, 5:59 am
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Programs: UA *G 1MM LT United Club & Global Entry
Posts: 2,756
Originally Posted by edcho View Post
It's not blank....

Spend based mileage earning for all UA metal flights.

x5 Members
x7 Silver
x8 Gold
x9 Plat
x11 1K/GS
So a 1K purchasing a $5,000 EWR-NRT ticket would earn 55,000 miles plus the 1K additional RDMs?

Originally Posted by Billiken View Post
...thus ends the mileage run
Better at this point just to purchase miles at 2 cents each.


SunLover
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Old Jun 10, 14, 6:00 am
  #17  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: WAS
Programs: UA 1K, AA EXP, WN A-List Pref & CP, Hyatt Glob, Marriott Amb, Hertz PC
Posts: 1,051
For business travel, this is great. I'm spending $1k on transborder flights where I earn around 3,300 redeemable miles as a gold per trip. Now, I would earn 8,000.

For leisure travel, this is a huge devaluation.

From a strictly business sense, this makes sense. However, with UA's recent poor performance relative to peers, this move is going to anger a lot of people they can't afford to lose.

As others have said, once again UA copies DL. If only they could copy the good things about DL (e.g., wifi, service, meals, etc.).

In addition, this doesn't apply to *A carriers. Once you get your spend on UA, there's basically zero incentive to continue to fly UA when you have a choice of other *A carriers. I suffered through UA to get $10K PQDs and immediately switched my flying to AC since I was on UAX anyway.
Duke777 is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 6:02 am
  #18  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 5,811
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?

SunLover
The multiplication is the elite bonus. So only 55,000 RDMs for that 1K.
edcho is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 6:03 am
  #19  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Moreland Hills (CLE)
Programs: Over-entitled UA 1.3MM Gold, AA Gold, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Discv, Marriott Plat, Hertz PC
Posts: 5,514
How you earn award miles on flights will change on March 1, 2015

UA is becoming the Sears & Roebuck of the airline industry.
Billiken is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 6:06 am
  #20  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: SLC
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 484
Originally Posted by mh3265a View Post
More seriously, this just incentivizes buying expensive fares. Going to GUM will help me get a few more miles but going to LA I think I don't earn as many miles. I'm more interested to see how AA responds when they roll out their new program in 2015.
Nah, this incentivizes nothing but credit cards, unless you think that buying RDM at 9+ cents per is a good deal.

Chase friendly.
eflyte is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 6:06 am
  #21  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: United Premier 1K 1MM; AA Plat; Hyatt Explorist; Marriott Titanium; Hertz Pres Cirlce
Posts: 2,441
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?
My question exactly

Originally Posted by edcho View Post
The multiplication is the elite bonus. So only 55,000 RDMs for that 1K.
See that is not clear from the calculation chart and text on the webpage. It'd be great if we could get some real clarity to this point. You're probably right but not clear to me.

Originally Posted by eflyte View Post
Nah, this incentivizes nothing but credit cards, unless you think that buying RDM at 9+ cents per is a good deal.

Chase friendly.
Also a fair point...

Last edited by mh3265a; Jun 10, 14 at 6:08 am Reason: responding to additional quote
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Old Jun 10, 14, 6:08 am
  #22  
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Denver DEN-APA
Programs: AF Platinum, BA Gold Emirates Gold, LH Senator *Gold, AA LT PLT 2mm
Posts: 20,775
Wow, simply wow. I've never actually seen a race to the bottom with only one participant. Yeah Jeff, that'll bring those HVFs back.
SFO777 is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 6:08 am
  #23  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Programs: 1K MMiler, Hertz 5*
Posts: 588
I love the way they announce and "more ways to spend your miles economy plus seating, economy plus subscriptions, checked baggage charges and more on the way" yep more nickel and diming coming............
rosesplus is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 6:10 am
  #24  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K, AS MVP 75K, AA Gold, Hyatt Globalist, Marriott Platinum, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 827
Originally Posted by o mikros View Post
This change hits those of us who simply love travel for travel's sake
I hate these changes, but if you love travel you can still travel for travel's sake.
boat9781 is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 6:11 am
  #25  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Italy
Programs: UA 1k 1MM
Posts: 79
I wonder if this will still include our bonus miles.

Tickets for flights operated by a Star Alliance or MileagePlus partner airline that arent issued by United (ticket numbers that dont start with 016) will still earn award miles based on distance flown and the purchased fare class.
flynspill is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 6:12 am
  #26  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: IAH/SIN
Programs: UA Plat, AA Gold
Posts: 82
So as a Silver I would need to spend almost $3,600 next year to requalify, or spend over $7,000 to get Gold, to which neither level is worth even close to that spend for what you get. I'm sure an additional 'change I'll like' is the removal of complementary E+ for Silver as well next year. I've moved most of my flying over to AA, but being IAH based, SMI/J still has me by the balls on some fights.
richfish13 is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 6:12 am
  #27  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: NYC
Programs: UA 1P (1k ain't what it used to be)
Posts: 382
PQD didn't really affect me, but this will.

As a 1k who flies 95% for personal travel, being 100-110k miles a year on a 10-12k spend this will turn me into a kayaker. This is effectively a 40-50% devaluation of earned mileage, compounded with the devaluation of the mileage chart it is not helpful to retaining my business.

I'm just glad I'm finding out in June so i can direct the remaining 2014 travel elsewhere; it'll be nice to say good bye to EWR.
oblisk is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 6:12 am
  #28  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: U.K.
Programs: UA 1K; QR P; HH D; MR G; IHG SpAmb
Posts: 717
So, would this apply also to UA flights not on 016 stock? And if not, what would be the best way of purchasing such?
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Old Jun 10, 14, 6:12 am
  #29  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: SLC
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 484
Originally Posted by mh3265a View Post
See that is not clear from the calculation chart and text on the webpage. It'd be great if we could get some real clarity to this point. You're probably right but not clear to me.
It's not particularly well worded, but I'm pretty sure this is saying no more class of service or premier bonuses (which makes sense, right, since ticket cost and membership level are both already in the new formula):

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
eflyte is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 6:14 am
  #30  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 5,811
Originally Posted by mh3265a View Post
See that is not clear from the calculation chart and text on the webpage. It'd be great if we could get some real clarity to this point. You're probably right but not clear to me.

Also a fair point...
While UA Insider will probably clarify soon, I'd just look at DL . (I.e. The multiplication factor is the elite bonus but fare class bonuses still count)
edcho is offline  

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