**Want to be MM!!

Old Jun 1, 18, 10:25 pm
  #1  
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**Want to be MM!!

NEW to FT and I've read many forums and topics. I realize so many of you have a lot of experience with airlines, travel, and mileage programs. I've begun to travel more and really have a new love affair with air travel. My goal is to reach MM status, as I currently am only 135K lifetime miles with UA. What did you all do to reach that MM status? Was it a lot of personal travel? How often did you travel for work(weekly? Twice a month?). Really interested in stories and I hope to reach MM one day. Thanks!
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Old Jun 1, 18, 10:40 pm
  #2  
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Welcome to FT, Leemo!

Originally Posted by Leemo View Post
What did you all do to reach that MM status?
You'll find a lot of variety on FT. For me, it was 95% personal travel. Flying United was easy when we lived in the San Francisco Bay area - not so much in Vancouver.
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Old Jun 1, 18, 10:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Leemo View Post
NEW to FT and I've read many forums and topics. I realize so many of you have a lot of experience with airlines, travel, and mileage programs. I've begun to travel more and really have a new love affair with air travel. My goal is to reach MM status, as I currently am only 135K lifetime miles with UA. What did you all do to reach that MM status? Was it a lot of personal travel? How often did you travel for work(weekly? Twice a month?). Really interested in stories and I hope to reach MM one day. Thanks!
I'll share my experiences. New to Flyertalk as of 2015/2016, saw all the posts and people giving advice, and joined. My goal is to reach MM status as well and I'm maybe 40% of the way there as of now. It all depends on what you're able to do; my experiences were the following:

Based in the east coast; bi-weekly travel to the west coast for work. Once I hit 1K, the benefits of taking United outweighed trying to take AA/Jetblue/Virgin, so I shifted my personal travel over to United as well. If you're trying to do this all on personal travel, it will take a while, so be prepared for that. Many of us are blessed to have our employers pay for some of our trips, meaning we're not physically paying out of hand ourselves for these trips. I don't travel as much now (aka not bi-weekly), but I do travel enough to hit Gold/Plat for work and I usually take 1-2 trips to hit 1K as I appreciate the benefits.

Everyone's story is different, it's a matter of if you have a deadline to meet MM or not. I will say that you should try and make sure you're not going out of your way to fly United, as many have hinted that United may devalue it's MM benefits. What I mean by that is, fly according to your price and your schedule. If UA is the best option for that and you want to hit MM, then great. If not, then I'd re-evaluate why you're choosing United, especially if you're paying for it out of your own wallet.
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Old Jun 1, 18, 10:46 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by laxmillenial View Post
many have hinted that United may devalue it's (sic) MM benefits.
They did that some time ago when they eliminated the RPU benefit. Pretty much the only real benefit left is Star Alliance Gold.
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Old Jun 1, 18, 10:55 pm
  #5  
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A word of caution @:-)

UA has devalued MM post merger, but remains more generous than AA, the only other program I'm vaguely familiar with.

My friend is AA 4 MM, and all he get is Plat, which is UA Gold equivalent. There is nothing to prevent UA from implementing that in the future. AA grants Gold to their MMs, which is UA Silver equivalent, which quite frankly isn't worth much these days .....

I was lucky enough to fly for work for three years and that UA and CO merged, otherwise I'd be a wannabe ......
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Old Jun 1, 18, 10:55 pm
  #6  
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Welcome to FT!
Originally Posted by Leemo View Post
....My goal is to reach MM status, as I currently am only 135K lifetime miles with UA. What did you all do to reach that MM status? .....
First travel (a lot) on UA, you can only earn UA Lifetime miles traveling on UA / UX operated flights in a paid fare class (does not matter which except for Basic Economy) and credit those flights to UA MP.
For more on the details, see How are "lifetime miles" calculated for MileagePlus? (especially the wiki)

Be aware since this will take 10-15-20 years or more, what it means to be an MMer at that point may be very different than today (as it was different 10 years ago)

To learn more about why UA flyers travel, see The 2018 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread, the first post has links to earlier years
and for the wider FT community, see Who we all are
and of course, UA Million Miler/Multi-Million Miler Roll Call Thread

RESOURCES: Getting Started, Member Tips, Helpful Links, FAQs, and More is a good resource for learning your way around FT
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jun 1, 18 at 11:02 pm Reason: as reminded, BE is non-mileage earning
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Old Jun 1, 18, 10:57 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
First travel on UA, you can only earn UA Lifetime miles traveling on UA / UX operated flights in a paid fare class (does not matter which) and credit those flights to UA MP.
Excepting Basic Economy, which does not accrue status miles or lifetime miles.
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Old Jun 1, 18, 11:14 pm
  #8  
 
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I got my MM status by flying almost weekly for business over 17 years.

Then UA removed some promised benefits for MM.

I avoid UA big time now since I feel cheated.

The only benefit I get now is to use the LH Senator Lounges instead of the LH Business Lounges since I already get lounge access with my international Business and First tickets.

I would not bother getting UA MM status these days.
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Old Jun 1, 18, 11:38 pm
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
A word of caution @:-)

UA has devalued MM post merger, but remains more generous than AA, the only other program I'm vaguely familiar with.

My friend is AA 4 MM, and all he get is Plat, which is UA Gold equivalent. There is nothing to prevent UA from implementing that in the future. AA grants Gold to their MMs, which is UA Silver equivalent, which quite frankly isn't worth much these days .....

I was lucky enough to fly for work for three years and that UA and CO merged, otherwise I'd be a wannabe ......
was that a Kirby thing ?

Originally Posted by Leemo View Post
NEW to FT and I've read many forums and topics. I realize so many of you have a lot of experience with airlines, travel, and mileage programs. I've begun to travel more and really have a new love affair with air travel. My goal is to reach MM status, as I currently am only 135K lifetime miles with UA. What did you all do to reach that MM status? Was it a lot of personal travel? How often did you travel for work(weekly? Twice a month?). Really interested in stories and I hope to reach MM one day. Thanks!
So many different profiles of flyers on this site, loyalists, mega road warriors, hostages and addicts.
As already referenced time on mainline or Xpress is your only way, the rest is up to you

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jun 2, 18 at 1:07 am Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jun 1, 18, 11:47 pm
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
<strong>A word of caution </strong>@:-)<br /><br />UA has devalued MM post merger, but remains more generous than AA, the only other program I'm vaguely familiar with.<br /><br />My friend is AA 4 MM, and all he get is Plat, which is UA Gold equivalent. There is nothing to prevent UA from implementing that in the future. AA grants Gold to their MMs, which is UA Silver equivalent, which quite frankly isn't worth much these days .....<br /><br />I was lucky enough to fly for work for three years and that UA and CO merged, otherwise I'd be a wannabe ......
To be fair, isn't AA MM program vases on RDM or PQM and not BIS miles? Makes the MM tiers a lot easier to get to.

But 4MM for Plat seems stingy
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Old Jun 1, 18, 11:54 pm
  #11  
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As mentioned, many profiles here. I got into the status game "for real" when I started up a cross-country commute for work. 2-4 TCON trips a month in F add up quickly (to PQM anyway). However, I also quickly figured out 1MM is a lot of miles. I dream about being a million miler, being able to share 1K and never worrying about losing Gold (don't let anyone tell you differently, it's an incredibly useful status with E+ at booking, free SDC, and *G). But I dream about it the same way I do about achieving GS; maybe it might happen someday but it's pretty far out of reach at the moment. So I fly *A partners overwater if it's more convenient and "cheat" on UA when it's a lot cheaper. If I get to 1MM, great. If I don't, so be it. But this way I won't feel cheated if they move the goalposts.
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Old Jun 2, 18, 12:03 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by wanderingkev View Post
was that a Kirby thing ?
No. The change to the UA MM program happened during the merger, and is best attributed to Smisek. And AA has never included Executive Platinum (or the new Platinum Pro level) in their MM program. Even with the changes, UA has the best MM program among the US airlines, provided you do most of your flying on the airline in question. The biggest advantage AA's program had was that it counted all miles, including credit-card miles; that's no longer the case. However, AA and DL do both count partner miles flown, whereas UA doesn't.*

OP: People are selling 1MM status a little short; in addition to Star Alliance Gold status, UA Gold includes free E+ at booking, two free pieces of luggage on United flights, a 60% bonus on miles earned, and does provide for the possibility of upgrades on eligible routes, rare as they may be on many routes. In addition, 1MM travelers can share status with another person residing at the same address.

Having said that, I wouldn't make achieving MM status a goal on its own; it's best considered a byproduct of your travel. While United would certainly enjoy getting you to spend a lot of extra money in order to attain "free" benefits, you'll likely do better in the long run by purchasing the benefits you're interested in rather than trying to rush a lifetime status level.

That said, if you're purchasing travel for leisure and you have some flexibility, "how far can I get on United and stay within my budget" isn't an unreasonable question to ask. An economy seat to Singapore can cost less than one to Bangor, but it will get you much further toward MM status (and, incidentally, toward current-year status levels as well. :-)

Hope this helps.

* CO did, so UA members got a corresponding adjustment during the merger to put both programs on the same footing. However, since the merger, only butt-in-seat miles on UA-operated flights count.
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Old Jun 2, 18, 2:16 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Leemo View Post
My goal is to reach MM status,
Why?

And I mean that for real. What benefits are you hoping to get from such? And can you realize them more cost-effectively some other way. I'd bet you can.
Originally Posted by Leemo View Post
I currently am only 135K lifetime miles with UA.
In how long? The long-term "investment" is almost certainly not worthwhile for most travelers these days.
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Old Jun 2, 18, 2:16 am
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by Leemo View Post
NEW to FT and I've read many forums and topics. I realize so many of you have a lot of experience with airlines, travel, and mileage programs. I've begun to travel more and really have a new love affair with air travel. My goal is to reach MM status, as I currently am only 135K lifetime miles with UA. What did you all do to reach that MM status? Was it a lot of personal travel? How often did you travel for work(weekly? Twice a month?). Really interested in stories and I hope to reach MM one day. Thanks!
The real question is... do you want United Million Miler status? It's a big commitment and should not be taken lightly. The requirements of the program are clear you must fly 1 million flight miles in United airlines metal. That means that any bonuses you get for flying in J or F won't count, it's literally how many actual miles you flown with United. And those miles must be flown on a revenue ticket (i.e. no award travel). This means you need to be in a market that United serves, so if you don't live near one of their hubs, or worse aren't domestic (Canada/USA) you simply won't have the opportunity to take many United flights.

I'd recommend you consider the alternatives: Asiana will give Diamond Plus status for life (which is Star Alliance Gold) for merely racking up a half million miles across all Star Alliances partners (i.e. Air Canada, Lufthansa, United, ANA, SwissAir, etc.). Star Alliance Gold is the ultimate prize for many since it means lounge access, priority everything, extra baggage allowance, complimentary operational upgrades on Star Alliance partners and protection from IRROPs incidents for any reason. For many that means you'll get that coveted lifetime status sooner.

I've done the math for myself and determined that million miler on United makes sense for me for a couple reasons. First, United makes it easy to hit Gold status every year - just fly 50,000 revenue miles with any of the "major" Star Alliance partners (i.e. AC, UA, LH/LX, NZ, NH) regardless of fare class and at least 4 times with United and you are set (revenue requirement doesn't apply since I'm a Canuck). Second, I appreciate the United specific benefits of getting Gold : complimentary E+ seating and the (occasional) upgrade when flying domestic. Third, United tends to be the cheapest option for me when travelling internationally and sometimes even domestically (I live near YYZ) which when combined with the Gold benefits makes it a no brainer. Finally, the award availability and lack of fuel surcharges **cough** Aeroplan **cough** make it a valuable rewards program.

Hope that helps.

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Jun 2, 18, 4:34 am
  #15  
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I become a multi-million UA flyer as a by product of flying for work. The only time I set myself a goal was early last year when I knew I was close to 4 MM. I wanted to get it done by the end of last year because I did not want to spend any more money or fly more on UA to requalify for GS than I had to for 2018

I fly because I have to fly or because I have no choice for work reasons. I am happy to stay grounded and leave my lifetime GS benefits unused.

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