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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 Jun 10, 14, 7:28 am
  #106  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Providence, RI
Programs: AAEXP, BASlv, UAGold, Hyatt Diam, IHG Plt, SPG Plt, HH Diam, MR Plat, CC Gold, Nat ExecElite
Posts: 440
I think this change will hurt United a lot more severely than Delta. I know a lot of elite flyers on both Delta and United. Delta elites fly Delta mostly because they like the product and service and generally feel it's superior to the alternatives out there, and mileage earning is almost secondary to that. United elites fly United because the product and service is bearable, but more so because of the frequent flyer program and greater ability and options to redeem miles (even after the recent devaluation). So they're basically gutting the one thing that I think was their strongest competitive advantage. Big mistake that I think will lead to many more quarters in the red.
KevinInRI is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 7:28 am
  #107  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Texas
Programs: Former 1K turned UA Kettle
Posts: 410
It boggles my mind how the management team can sit around and legitimately think this, combined with all their other recent "enhancements" will be a good move. First they alienate HVFs, and now they want to alienate everyone else besides the once-a-year flyers and manufactured spenders? I just don't get it.
UTex09 is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 7:30 am
  #108  
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Join Date: Jul 2001
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Originally Posted by Renard View Post
Game over. MP is dead. What's next?
Flying UA on MRs and crediting those UA flights to non-UA programs.

Credit card churning and manufactured spend.

And for the crooked using OPM: ripping off their employers, clients and colleagues by gaming things to buy more expensive tickets than otherwise.

That last one may be considered by some to be a window into how an airline has deliberately set up things to try to encourage users or OPM for tickets to engage in fraud/embezzlement/misappropriation.
GUWonder is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 7:30 am
  #109  
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Originally Posted by golfingboy View Post
The customers that got screwed the most here are undoubtedly any elite who buys paid Global First fares.
Someone should ask Tom Stuker what he thinks about this move.
halls120 is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 7:31 am
  #110  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: LAS
Programs: UA 1K (2MM), BA Gold, MH Enrich Platinum
Posts: 1,750
I am a NZ "retired" resident not subject to PQD. I traveled over 100K on *A by March 3, 2014. All my own $. I buy Z,P,V,W Fares 90% of time. Find it hard to use all my GPU's and RPU's as without R inventory I sometimes "buy up" to ensure upgrade. With this new "enhancement" it seems I should wait until July 1 and ask DL to status match. Plan my Jan-Feb 2015 on UA for max miles and then try to enjoy the DL service for balance of 2015. (It has to be better than UA.)
zebranz is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 7:32 am
  #111  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: US
Programs: UA Lifetime Gold, IHG Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 881
I see this as fair. When I pay nearly $1000 to go to SLC and the guy next to me pays $400 and both of us get the same miles, that is not fair. MileagePlus is still far better for redemptions and as a program than DL's. Now the miles will be more valuable. However for international flights, many might prefer to fly other Star carriers as they will get the miles based on distance, assuming the fares are competitive.
hyho61 is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 7:33 am
  #112  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: ANP
Programs: UA Plat, Marriott Plat, HH gold
Posts: 1,376
Originally Posted by GroundStop View Post
Don't forget the positive side of this announcement:
More and better ways to use your miles.
For the fifth year in a row, MileagePlus is ranked #1 in award seat availability among U.S. global carriers*. You already have so many innovative ways to use award miles, from flights with United’s global network to hotel stays to once-in-a-lifetime experiences. And in 2015, you'll have new choices:
•Economy Plus® purchases on upcoming flights
•Economy Plus annual subscriptions
•Checked baggage subscriptions
•And more on the way
This is what really worries me, so will elites stop getting free E+? this is not good
dcsnowwake is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 7:33 am
  #113  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: HPN
Programs: not anymore! I'm FREE!
Posts: 3,338
Originally Posted by fivevsone View Post
I guess I don't quite understand what the driver of this is. Do flight generated miles create such a massive liability on the balance sheet that they need to cut flight mile earning?

Assuming there is a defensible financial reason to take this act, what is it?

Redemptions take up a significant proportion of salable first and business seats?
It's not the liability of the miles that's driving this. That liability can be limited simply by restricting award seat availability, both on UA and on partner airlines (as UA has done in the past).

The driver is very simple: UA wants you to spend more on tickets. If you are going to be loyal to UA, and you want RDMs, this change incentivizes you to spend more.

Of course, UA runs the risk of driving away some customers with this change. But where would you go? AA is very likely to change to a revenue RDM basis, so there will soon be no major US airline to switch to that still has mileage-based RDMs.

Originally Posted by JeredF View Post
Why are they doing this? This drives more point earning to credit card partners, which largely don't have United loyalty -- I can transfer my Chase points to a dozen different programs. I have to assume at this point that the majority of earned points come through partner earning rather than BIS miles, so this doesn't reduce their pool of currency at all.
Chase pays UA $$$ for every Chase point you convert into a United RDM. There's your answer.

When UA can fill its planes with customers paying high fares even without an attractive loyalty program, why should they spend money on an attractive loyalty program? Think about it. It's genius. Rather than making customers happy (which costs money), it is now Chase that has to make customers happy by having a broad range of redemption partners. Because UA is still useful as a redemption partner, it is in a position to bargain up the price per RDM "bought" by Chase. So not only does UA no longer have to spend money to keep customers happy and loyal, but it gets paid by Chase for the few seats it can't sell.

I hate these changes, but I think they are going to drive up UA's profitability despite its race-to-the-bottom product.
snic is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 7:33 am
  #114  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Colorado
Programs: Lifetime UA 1K, Lifetime Hilton Diamond, Lifetime Marriott Bonvoy Titanium
Posts: 1,261
Originally Posted by KevinInRI View Post
I think this change will hurt United a lot more severely than Delta. I know a lot of elite flyers on both Delta and United. Delta elites fly Delta mostly because they like the product and service and generally feel it's superior to the alternatives out there, and mileage earning is almost secondary to that. United elites fly United because the product and service is bearable, but more so because of the frequent flyer program and greater ability and options to redeem miles (even after the recent devaluation). So they're basically gutting the one thing that I think was their strongest competitive advantage. Big mistake that I think will lead to many more quarters in the red.
The biggest difference vs. Delta (beyond their better service) is that unless you are GS on United, you are nothing. Delta values its Diamond fliers and there is nothing above. The ones I know have 90% domestic upgrade rates.

Most of my coworkers are Delta people and they seem very happy with Delta.
bldr1k is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 7:35 am
  #115  
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Originally Posted by hyho61 View Post
I see this as fair. When I pay nearly $1000 to go to SLC and the guy next to me pays $400 and both of us get the same miles, that is not fair. MileagePlus is still far better for redemptions and as a program than DL's. Now the miles will be more valuable. However for international flights, many might prefer to fly other Star carriers as they will get the miles based on distance, assuming the fares are competitive.
Yup, OPMers rejoice. Everyone else just got screwed.

Guaranteed earnings for partners willow further devalue, so that you're not earning 100% unless on full Y.
rankourabu is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 7:35 am
  #116  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Premier Platinum (and falling fast)
Posts: 566
With regards to the 75k cap.........presumably they will be calculating the RDMs earned per flight based off the PQD calculation? (PQD * MP level)....so would be helpful to clarify whether this 75k cap is calculated per segment or per complete ticket.

I know the website says "ticket" but clarity would be helpful

And if they're using the PQD calculation, do BULK fares now earn 0 PQD and 0 RDM?
GroundStop is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 7:36 am
  #117  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 5,811
Originally Posted by bldr1k View Post
The biggest difference vs. Delta (beyond their better service) is that unless you are GS on United, you are nothing. Delta values its Diamond fliers and there is nothing above. The ones I know have 90% domestic upgrade rates.

Most of my coworkers are Delta people and they seem very happy with Delta.
There's Delta 360 (which is technically above Diamond).
edcho is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 7:36 am
  #118  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: YYZ/HKG
Programs: Whatever fleeces my wallet the least
Posts: 178
On March 1, 2015 RDMs Will Be Calculated by Spend, Not Distance, for UA MileagePlus

As a TPAC low fare flyer, it looks like I'll be heading to AA/JL/OneWorld, at least until they copy it too...

It's the end of an era. May as well just buy the cheapest fare. So long United, this is the last nail in the coffin.
vkykam is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 7:37 am
  #119  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: London. Edinburgh, Cornwall
Programs: BA GGL, British Midland Lifetime* Loser
Posts: 7,652
With the market now cornered, you can bet the new combined AAdvantage scheme will be next.
ajamieson is offline  
Old Jun 10, 14, 7:38 am
  #120  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: New York
Programs: UA GS, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,410
People say that this screws people buying international first class because of the 75k limit.

Am I missing something? Let's take the recent example of the BOS-ICN ticket which everyone jumped on for $1700 (normal going price around $7000).

I just plugged it into the calculator, and a global first ticket for this would have gotten a 1K 58,576 miles.

In the new system, a 1K would earn 75000 miles. A general member would earn 35000 miles, a slight decrease from the 41,840 they'd have earned before.

Sure, the 75k limit doesn't provide as much benefit as the 77000 they'd get if there was no limit, but both are still way more than before.

Now, the people who only paid $1700 are definitely screwed, but that's also understandable. But they still get the PQMs.
villox is offline  

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