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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, 7:39 am
  #121  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: DEN
Programs: UA MM 1K; AA MM Gold; HHonors Diamond
Posts: 15,774
I like it. My roughly $700 DEN--MAF round trips will earn me about 7700 RDMs once I'm 1K versus fewer than 2300 now. I tend to spend a lot per ticket on short- and medium-length domestic flights.

Last edited by Bonehead; Jun 10, 14 at 9:29 am
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Old Jun 10, 14, 7:40 am
  #122  
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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.
With this move UA is not making the miles more valuable for customers. It's wishful thinking to believe this UA move is about fairness or making the miles more valuable.
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Old Jun 10, 14, 7:40 am
  #123  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Programs: Marriott Plat, Ua Gold, GE.. Sucker for punishment
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PQMs staying the same?
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Old Jun 10, 14, 7:41 am
  #124  
 
Join Date: Jan 1999
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Originally Posted by snic View Post
When UA can fill its planes with customers paying high fares even without an attractive loyalty program
This assumption is ludicrous. And United is about to find that out. The only way the above works is with an industry leading product.
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Old Jun 10, 14, 7:42 am
  #125  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: ASE
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Posts: 3,149
Yes, these changes are bad. But, don't forget, UA has the 787 and the world's leading network...oh, wait...
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Old Jun 10, 14, 7:42 am
  #126  
 
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Originally Posted by cyclogenesis View Post
PQMs staying the same?
Looks like it.
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Old Jun 10, 14, 7:44 am
  #127  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Yeah.. actually went and read it..

Pfft...
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Old Jun 10, 14, 7:45 am
  #128  
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Originally Posted by villox View Post
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.
How sure is anyone that this calculator is even wholly correct? There may be some surprises by the time this gets implemented in full.
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Old Jun 10, 14, 7:45 am
  #129  
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Originally Posted by villox View Post
Now, the people who only paid $1700 are definitely screwed, but that's also understandable. But they still get the PQMs.
Not necessarily. I never intended to credit any of my four BOS-ICN tickets to UA.
They will go to other *A carriers like A3 or LH and SQ, where I can redeem miles for LH or SQ First up to a year in advance.
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Old Jun 10, 14, 7:46 am
  #130  
 
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The reward chart doesn't match this degradation....

If this is a "Benefit" then the award chart has some absolutely out of insanity redemptions...

If the Award chart went to say "1997" levels of redemption then that's one thing.

I'm almost believing UA hates their customers across the board now. Glad I jumped ship after the PQD insanity*. Customers should speak with their feet.

* After 20 years as a 1K I jumped when a $2K ticket with mixed carriers netted me $800 in PQD's.
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Old Jun 10, 14, 7:47 am
  #131  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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On March 1, 2015 RDMs Will Be Calculated by Spend, Not Distance, for UA MileagePlus

With fares at sky high levels and getting worse through consolidation, I actually think I come out ahead from this due to business travel.
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Old Jun 10, 14, 7:48 am
  #132  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: New York
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ITT (Same with DL):
People who fly on someone else's dime: Yay
People who fly on their own dime: Noooo
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Old Jun 10, 14, 7:49 am
  #133  
 
Join Date: May 2009
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Originally Posted by dcsnowwake View Post
This is what really worries me, so will elites stop getting free E+? this is not good
That's always a possibility . . . but I think all that announcement is referring to is additional ways to spend your RDMs.
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Old Jun 10, 14, 7:49 am
  #134  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: DEN
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Originally Posted by JeredF View Post
This is really disappointing. By my read, flight earning has been devalued by about 50%. I could understand this _or_ the devaluation of international redemption options that happened in February, but together they've reduced the value of United points to me by 75%!
The last revenue UA ticket I flew was a W fare DCA-IAH-NRT-ICN // NRT-ORD-BWI. Base fare + YQ was $1,507.40. Ticket purchased 1 week before travel.

As a Gold (which I expect to be in 2015):

Under 2014 rules: I would have earned 23268 RDMs.

Under 2015 rules: Something like 12060 RDMs.

As a 1K:

Under 2014 rules: I would have earned 31024 RDMs.

Under 2015 rules: Something like 16581 RDMs.

Slightly less than a 50% reduction*.


* Assuming my quick math is correct.


Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
Yup, OPMers rejoice. Everyone else just got screwed.
My above example was OPM. The idea that OPM = expensive ticket is a myth. This change hurts those flying long-distance on nonrefundable Y fares.
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Old Jun 10, 14, 7:50 am
  #135  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Programs: UA Silver, Marriott Platinum/LT Platinum, Hilton Gold
Posts: 5,516
Wow...I'm shocked by this. Not by the change in itself, but by the timing. I can't believe they'd make a change that drives away customers just when the market has noticed this is a problem for them.

Regardless of how this change impacts you personally, I don't see how you can view this as a change that will attract MORE customers. Potentially the short-haul segment warriors will like this, but I think a lot of them have trouble getting to 120 segments. It seems like a long road if you're considering moving your business to UA.

I suspect I'll just about break even on this deal. My flights for work are usually booked a week out, and probably average about 450 PQD. So a flight to NYC which used to get me 2800 RDM now nets 4000+. But the longer flights earn less.

What scares me is the "more to come". I don't think this is over. AA now has a great opportunity to differentiate itself among business travelers.
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