No love for frequent UAX fliers?

Old Jan 9, 18, 8:55 am
  #1  
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No love for frequent UAX fliers?

I travel weekly for work, and this past year have switched over to United because my job has me frequently in/out of EWR. My flights are almost always short, regional flights on UAX. My elite status has generally been achieved via PQS and not PQM (not the norm, I know). Looking at the 1K requirements for 2018, I would need 120 PQS, meaning that I could fly EVERY week of the year and still not have enough. I plan to move all my personal travel onto United as well, but even with that it seems simply not possible.

Is this just the way it is for regional flyers or am I missing something?
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Old Jan 9, 18, 9:07 am
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I don't quite understand the complaint. 1K status is rare, and it takes lots of flying. Especially on segments.
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Old Jan 9, 18, 9:16 am
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This was my first year where I could have qualified for 1K on segments alone, and I have to say 100 segments is way too many takeoffs and landings! I'd be surprised if a significant number of 1Ks are qualifying this way.
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Old Jan 9, 18, 9:19 am
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Originally Posted by supergabe View Post
This was my first year where I could have qualified for 1K on segments alone, and I have to say 100 segments is way too many takeoffs and landings! I'd be surprised if a significant number of 1Ks are qualifying this way.
186PQS/272KPQM, I met it both ways. Even if I didn't fly first most of the time I still had an actual 126 flights.
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Old Jan 9, 18, 9:22 am
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Does high status really translate into all that much value when you're flying regionally almost exclusively? Sure, you get a few extra RDMs, and even a few freebies all the way up at 1K. But otherwise you're just strapping yourself into a seat for a short while for A->B transport. Don't get me wrong - it's miserable, to be sure. But high status doesn't offer a lot in the way of regional relief in my experience...
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Old Jan 9, 18, 9:28 am
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Yellow handle wrap (huge when in a hurry)
IRROPS handling, particularly hotel for Wx issues (Express flights seem especially vulnerable to cancellations/delays during meltdowns)
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Old Jan 9, 18, 9:31 am
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Originally Posted by AboveTheClouds89 View Post
I travel weekly for work, and this past year have switched over to United because my job has me frequently in/out of EWR. My flights are almost always short, regional flights on UAX. My elite status has generally been achieved via PQS and not PQM (not the norm, I know). Looking at the 1K requirements for 2018, I would need 120 PQS, meaning that I could fly EVERY week of the year and still not have enough. I plan to move all my personal travel onto United as well, but even with that it seems simply not possible.

Is this just the way it is for regional flyers or am I missing something?
You're not missing anything, and it's not limited to UA. AA ExPlat is 120 EQS; DL Diamond is 140 MQS. The reason is simple -- they don't see any need to give a top status to someone who is flying short nonstop segments regularly, because while that passenger is often highly profitable, there's a good chance that they're hub-captive. You're not flying UA because of benefits from MileagePlus -- you're flying them because they have the most nonstop options from Newark. And they know it.

You have a few options if 1K status is meaningful for you. You can add connections, perhaps via a same-day confirmed change (SDC) -- so, if you're flying EWR-RDU, you might be able to fly EWR-IAD-RDU instead. You also get 1.5 PQSs for first class or unrestricted coach fares, if those are an option for you. And, of course, you can do a "segment run" when your schedule permits, once you've got an idea of how many segments you'll need to reach your status goal.

Having said that, the biggest benefit of 1K status in my mind is the ability to earn global upgrades -- but if you're not flying internationally, those certificates may be of limited use. (Even if you do fly internationally, they're hard to use unless you have flexibility in your travel plans). If you're a EWR-based flyer on a typical commuting schedule, you may find it's hard to get upgrades even as a 1K -- and, how much is an upgrade on a short regional flight worth to you anyway? Before shelling out a significant out-of-pocket expense to earn 1K, I'd make sure to review the benefits, and the board threads like "Is it worth it to stretch for 1K?", to make sure it's a good investment for you.

Hope this helps.
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Old Jan 9, 18, 9:35 am
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UX is already United's attempt to lower the costs of operating the airline. How would they be enticed to make status and benefits *better* for elites who fly them?
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Old Jan 9, 18, 9:40 am
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Originally Posted by CCIE_Flyer View Post
Does high status really translate into all that much value when you're flying regionally almost exclusively? Sure, you get a few extra RDMs, and even a few freebies all the way up at 1K. But otherwise you're just strapping yourself into a seat for a short while for A->B transport. Don't get me wrong - it's miserable, to be sure. But high status doesn't offer a lot in the way of regional relief in my experience...
Segment guys have always been the red headed step child, and I should know, as I've been one for many years.
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Old Jan 9, 18, 9:44 am
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Originally Posted by tarheelnj View Post
Yellow handle wrap (huge when in a hurry)
IRROPS handling, particularly hotel for Wx issues (Express flights seem especially vulnerable to cancellations/delays during meltdowns)
^
Goes with IRROPS handling, but 1K line is definitely a life saver.
I'm not a segments flyer but last year my CPU rate was one of the worst ever so I don't know how big that benefit is. Most my CPUs are on short flights anyways. OP said personal flights will get moved to UA as well. Hopefully your personal travel is further away than your business travel. RPUs and GPUs can be useful there.

As for tricks to earning status on PQS, other than booking full fare, you just have to fly more. I'm guessing you have no trouble meeting the PQD requirement.
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Old Jan 9, 18, 9:44 am
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92 segments in 2017, 116k PQM's, and believe me, I feel your pain. Honestly though, I really, really like the E170/175 platforms. Don't even mind the CR7's. Usually score an upgrade on those platforms pretty reliably as a 1K.

I do enough mainline flying in addition to express to get over the PQM threshold... but if you asked me if I'd rather do EWR-DFW on a 737, A320 or E175... I'll take the E175, every single time. Mainline, domestically, isn't all it's cracked up to be.
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Old Jan 9, 18, 9:55 am
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Originally Posted by Miles Ahead View Post
I don't quite understand the complaint. 1K status is rare, and it takes lots of flying. Especially on segments.
Not a complaint per say, as I understand this is just how it is. It's more an observation. While it may be short flights I have to think that flying 40+ weeks a year is still considered "lots of flying". I've had years where 2-3 trips to APAC in business have netted more status than flying 40 weeks a year on UAX!

Originally Posted by CCIE_Flyer View Post
Does high status really translate into all that much value when you're flying regionally almost exclusively? Sure, you get a few extra RDMs, and even a few freebies all the way up at 1K. But otherwise you're just strapping yourself into a seat for a short while for A->B transport. Don't get me wrong - it's miserable, to be sure. But high status doesn't offer a lot in the way of regional relief in my experience...

Group 1 boarding (RJ overhead bins fill up very fast), E+ seats at booking and the assistance when things for wrong (UAX flights get canceled/delayed far more often in my experience). Additionally, I make several personal trips each year to the West Coast and Europe. When I've schlepping myself on/off RJ145s every week the last thing I want to do on a personal flight is sit in the back

Originally Posted by COSPILOT View Post
Segment guys have always been the red headed step child, and I should know, as I've been one for many years.
Great analogy, thanks for the laugh!
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Old Jan 9, 18, 11:03 am
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I feel your pain. 202 EQS last year.

There were a few manufactured segments... when RIC-IAD-ORD-IAD-RIC (my usual run) costs $7 more than RIC-ORD-RIC... I take the extra segments. The value of the extra EQS/EQM is well worth the 45 minute connect and $7. And if there is a mis-connect, I usually get a few bucks in travel vouchers, a hotel and some food vouchers. Helps rack up more Hilton points, if nothing else.

The goal is 3MM lifetime miles, so every 500 mile minimum segment of RIC-IAD is a win.

Barratt
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Old Jan 9, 18, 11:20 am
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Originally Posted by dmurphynj View Post
I do enough mainline flying in addition to express to get over the PQM threshold... but if you asked me if I'd rather do EWR-DFW on a 737, A320 or E175... I'll take the E175, every single time. Mainline, domestically, isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Same, I fly SFO-DFW regularly on UAX. The E175 is my preference if in Y, but if I get upgraded (~50% of the time), I like the A320 seat+hot meal better.
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Old Jan 9, 18, 11:28 am
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It has always seemed hard to me to make 1K without a handful of paid international business class flights each year. Not impossible, just hard. And I think that is who they are trying to capture the loyalty of. (Whether it is working or primarily a function of routes and price is another matter.)
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