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RDM earning change - based on spend (PQD) - Post 1 March 2015 experiences, thoughts

RDM earning change - based on spend (PQD) - Post 1 March 2015 experiences, thoughts

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Old Dec 15, 15, 7:30 am   -   Wikipost
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Initial announcement thread - 2015 MileagePlus Change - RDMs Will Be Calculated by Spend, Not Distance

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
  • Ticket price is defined as base fare plus carrier-imposed surcharges (PQD)
  • 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)

Multipliers based on Premier status: & (breakeven CPM)
  • x5 General Members -- (20 cpm)
  • x7 Silver -- (17.86 cpm)
  • x8 Gold -- (18.75 cpm)
  • x9 Plat -- (19.44 cpm)
  • x11 1K/GS -- (18.18 cpm)

For example, a 1K would earn 1100 miles for a $100 ticket while a Silver would earn 700 miles for the same ticket.

Note that for itineraries which span the March 1 changeover date, the existing scheme will apply to any segment departing prior to March 1 , the new scheme will apply to the segments departing March 1 or after.

Appears no extra mileage for using a Chase MP card than the standard card mileage earning


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.

As mentioned above, there are more details and a FAQ posted online, and over the next few days we’ll be communicating this information to our members.
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.

Unanswered Questions:

Originally Posted by a9504477 View Post
...Would this apply also to UA flights not on 016 stock? And if not, what would be the best way of purchasing such?
Unknown, but the FAQ indicates that all UA and UAx flights issued by ANY airline would be subjected to the new earning rates. There are exceptions (group tickets, bulk tickets, etc) like "Specialty Tickets" as mentioned below.
Originally Posted by raehl311 View Post
Do elite bonuses still apply to those [specialty] tickets?
It is mentioned in the FAQ: If applicable, Premier bonus award miles will be based on a member’s Premier status and the lower of the distance flown or miles awarded, per the chart above. Basically the bonus miles will be awarded but based on the lower number (i.e. distance flown for higher fares or the % based on fare). A 1K passenger purchasing F-fare from EWR-SFO would get only a 2565 mile bonus while a N-fare would get (50% of 2565) 1283 mile bonus. Still unclear what are the percentage bonus of each premier level but assume that it is the same (100% GS/1K, 75% Plat, 50% Gold, 25% Silver).
Specialty Tickets:
Originally Posted by iloveipods View Post
Specialty tickets that earn award miles in the current program (including, but not limited to consolidator/bulk, group, tour and other tickets where the fare paid is not disclosed on the ticket) will earn award miles based on a percentage of the distance flown and the purchased fare class as of March 1, 2015. Please refer to the chart below for details.

Eligible fare classes
Flight operated by United and United Express
150% - J, C, D, Z, P, F, A
100% - Y, B, M
75% - E, U, H, Q, V, W
50% - S, T, L, K, G, N
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Old Mar 3, 15, 10:08 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2014
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Unhappy RDM earning change - based on spend (PQD) - Post 1 March 2015 experiences, thoughts

I had my first trip on March 1 with the new mileage earnings. I flew just under 5,000 miles and earned just under 1,800 miles into my account. Clearly I didn't read the new mileage award. I was about a purchase a ticket to OGG on United and based on the earning have switched to Alaska. This was a huge WAW moment to me. BTW I am Premier Platinum.
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Old Mar 3, 15, 10:18 pm
  #2  
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OTOH you flew 5000 miles for a pittance.
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Old Mar 3, 15, 10:19 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by Flyer1M View Post
I had my first trip on March 1 with the new mileage earnings. I flew just under 5,000 miles and earned just under 1,800 miles into my account. Clearly I didn't read the new mileage award. I was about a purchase a ticket to OGG on United and based on the earning have switched to Alaska. This was a huge WAW moment to me. BTW I am Premier Platinum.
Reality check for the general public (not just FT'ers) when their March statements cut or they go online to look at their MP account activity.
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Old Mar 3, 15, 10:20 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by mduell View Post
OTOH you flew 5000 miles for a pittance.
The fare was $450 but half was in Feb so the new earnings is based on half the cost.
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Old Mar 3, 15, 10:27 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Flyer1M View Post
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
OTOH you flew 5000 miles for a pittance.
The fare was $450 but half was in Feb so the new earnings is based on half the cost.
at 4.5cpm you were about 1/3 the airline's average RPM.

To have gotten 100% mileage and some sort of elite bonus, would have been equivalent to 1/2 to 2/3 refund if you evaluate miles @ 1.5cpm. This is part of the reason for the change.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Mar 3, 15 at 10:47 pm Reason: included elite bonus
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Old Mar 4, 15, 1:53 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
at 4.5cpm you were about 1/3 the airline's average RPM.

To have gotten 100% mileage and some sort of elite bonus, would have been equivalent to 1/2 to 2/3 refund if you evaluate miles @ 1.5cpm. This is part of the reason for the change.
Too true. At the same time, UA has to offer some inducement to fly on its planes and experience its "service" over that of other carriers. Will E+ suffice now that MP is no longer a strong programme? I suspect it will as long as the economy remains strong and UA continues to shrink relative to other airlines. If either turns, I suspect we'll see UA start scrambling to be friendlier to customers.
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Old Mar 4, 15, 5:08 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
at 4.5cpm you were about 1/3 the airline's average RPM.

To have gotten 100% mileage and some sort of elite bonus, would have been equivalent to 1/2 to 2/3 refund if you evaluate miles @ 1.5cpm. This is part of the reason for the change.
That may be but UA could make things a whole lot less confusing by renaming RDM to 'points' of some kind. As it is one now gets PQM based on distance flown and RDM based on the price paid. Both of these are denominated in 'miles'. I'd venture to say that mst people (who are not as intimately familiar with the nuances of the program as most of us are) will be thoroughly confused by that.
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Old Mar 4, 15, 6:28 am
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My sales team is cleaning up on miles under the NWO. About 80% higher RDM redemptions. Mostly short domestic travel, one week advance fares
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Old Mar 4, 15, 7:43 am
  #9  
 
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Hm... should I be concerned about this? Booked a Flight from SFO-LAX-LHR-LAX-SFO.
First leg miles have posted, but it seems very strange.

SFO-LAX: 1,593 miles
LAX-LHR: 621

Given the fare breakdown below will I get most of the miles once the whole trip has posted? By my calculations I should get $791 x 9 = 7029 miles (PP), but not right if the miles are correct I will barely get 4,426 miles RT.

Fare Breakdown
Airfare: 323.00 USD
U.S. Customs User Fee: 5.50
U.S. Immigration User Fee: 7.00
U.S. APHIS User Fee: 5.00
U.S. Federal Transportation Tax: 35.40
September 11th Security Fee: 11.20
U.K. Air Passenger Duty: 106.60
U.K. Passenger Service Charge: 65.00
International Surcharge: 458.00
U.S. Passenger Facility Charge: 13.50
Per Person Total: 1,030.20 USD
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Old Mar 4, 15, 8:59 am
  #10  
 
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LAX-LHR: 621
quantum mechanically tunneling, I see.

Fare rounds down to 781 USD I think
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Old Mar 4, 15, 9:10 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by LaserSailor View Post
quantum mechanically tunneling, I see.

Fare rounds down to 781 USD I think
I wish I only paid $69 for this flight leg
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Old Mar 4, 15, 10:40 am
  #12  
 
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For anyone that flew on 2/28, keep an eye on the posting date.

I flew IAD-BAH on 2/28 but the miles posted with a date of 3/1, so I only got credited based on the price instead of the distance.

I emailed MP Service Center and they quickly got back to me saying they would change the date back to 2/28 so I would get proper credit.
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Old Mar 4, 15, 11:08 am
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$781 x 9 = 7029, but otherwise your math looks good to me.

Hopefully the outbound and return will be different, and it will all add up. Are they different fare classes? That would definitely explain the assymetry.

Also out of curiosity, what were the PQDs posted on those segments? Is it 9 x PQD = RDM?

BTW, UA says this about how they allocate to each segment:
We use an industry-standard method to determine the portion of the ticket’s base fare and carrier-imposed surcharge value to allocate to each eligible flight segment. This method takes into account both the distance of the flight and the cabin you purchased.
Has anyone been able to come up with the formula, based on what's been posted to their account? It's definitely not just distance, even on a single fare.


Originally Posted by olouie View Post
Hm... should I be concerned about this? Booked a Flight from SFO-LAX-LHR-LAX-SFO.
First leg miles have posted, but it seems very strange.

SFO-LAX: 1,593 miles
LAX-LHR: 621

Given the fare breakdown below will I get most of the miles once the whole trip has posted? By my calculations I should get $791 x 9 = 7029 miles (PP), but not right if the miles are correct I will barely get 4,426 miles RT.

Fare Breakdown
Airfare: 323.00 USD
U.S. Customs User Fee: 5.50
U.S. Immigration User Fee: 7.00
U.S. APHIS User Fee: 5.00
U.S. Federal Transportation Tax: 35.40
September 11th Security Fee: 11.20
U.K. Air Passenger Duty: 106.60
U.K. Passenger Service Charge: 65.00
International Surcharge: 458.00
U.S. Passenger Facility Charge: 13.50
Per Person Total: 1,030.20 USD
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Old Mar 4, 15, 11:25 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,182
Bought two tickets under same confirmation number. Other passenger got correct miles for their Gold status. So looks like some kind of error.
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Old Mar 4, 15, 11:37 am
  #15  
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So I guess the rule of thumb when adding the components up is anything with US or UK (in this case) in front of it does not count as "the fare", everything else is added together (I make it 781 too), ie. 323 + 458 = 781, and in this Platinum case times by 9 ? Is that safe to assume?
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