Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

Spending pattern if no longer loyal to United brand

Spending pattern if no longer loyal to United brand

Old Nov 10, 19, 3:05 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: SAN
Programs: 1K (since 2008), *G (since 1990), 1MM
Posts: 2,301
Spending pattern if no longer loyal to United brand

Has anyone else changed their buying habits for ticket purchases? I spend my own money (rather than OPM), and my buying habits have changed. I typically know my expected travel for the next twelve months and would have my spreadsheet with PQM, PQD and BIS columns. Set my PQM and PQD targets and as what I considered a good airfare appeared would purchase it. I also fly OALs but do not keep a spreadsheet and purchase the most reasonable PE/J airfares if United did not fly there or United prices were not reasonable (IMO). United got my cash early but I figured this was a reasonable tradeoff for the GPUs I got to use on my trips.

I had foolishly purchased my tickets for two trips next year before the announced changes to attaining 1K but whereas there are more flights I previously would have booked I am no longer doing so as i have no hope of making 1K, Platinum is not inspiring to me and I have *G (1MM).

I am watching the Premium deals FT thread to be ready to pick up my TATL and TPAC flights for next year. Great if UA/*A but OAL will work just as well.

I am still struggling on my domestic flights as I like WN but the return of the MAX is a concern. I have been using my UA miles for domestic trips prior to devaluation of the miles.

I have decided I do not care about any particular airline loyalty program since what I am looking for is the pointy end of the plane.

It got me wondering what other approaches/tactics other FTers are using if they are no longer United loyal after the announced 2020 changes.
Aussienarelle is offline  
Old Nov 10, 19, 3:44 pm
  #2  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: GVA (Greater Vancouver Area)
Programs: DREAD Gold; UA 1.021MM; Bonvoy Au-197; PCC Elite+; CWC Au-197; CCC Elite*; WoH Dis
Posts: 49,689
There's already a long thread that basically covers the same thing.

2020 MP changes — Will you switch loyalty programs? What program will you switch to?
TXJeepGuy likes this.
mahasamatman is offline  
Old Nov 10, 19, 4:18 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: SAN
Programs: 1K (since 2008), *G (since 1990), 1MM
Posts: 2,301
Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
There's already a long thread that basically covers the same thing.

2020 MP changes — Will you switch loyalty programs? What program will you switch to?
Thank you.

I an not interested in loyalty programs. I have decided not to be loyal to any program. It may be there is another thread on FT that talks about strategies. The best I have found so far is the Premium Deal thread.

However, if you think that I am asking about loyalty programs I guess others will too so I obviously did not word my question correctly or have not found the right place to post. Or it may be google flights is now my best friend.
BearX220 and Silver Fox like this.
Aussienarelle is offline  
Old Nov 10, 19, 4:35 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Programs: AC E50K, AS MVPG, Hertz PC, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum, Delta/United Gold
Posts: 2,930
Fly based on best schedule and price. If you are in premium cabin, status would be a secondary consideration anyway..
1P, Silver Fox, SFHokie and 1 others like this.
Repooc17 is online now  
Old Nov 10, 19, 4:47 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SRQ, PDX
Programs: UA 1 MM
Posts: 630
Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
I an not interested in loyalty programs. I have decided not to be loyal to any program.

However, if you think that I am asking about loyalty programs I guess others will too so I obviously did not word my question correctly or have not found the right place to post. Or it may be google flights is now my best friend.
Nothing wrong with your wording. FTers are a fun group.

I crossed the bridge you are now crossing three years ago, as soon as I hit 1MM. Now, I'm in DL, UA and AA "loyalty" (does that really mean what it implies any more?) programs just to use whatever accumulated miles I get from international flights to secure last minute domestic travel (I do multiple TPACS/yr in J.) As a result, I've discovered the differences among the three legacy carriers, as well as their partner airlines. It's been fun.

And the FT Premium Fare Deals is...well, priceless.

Every year UA makes more changes I like to Mileage Plus, it re-validates my decision in 2016.
BearX220, kb1992, halls120 and 3 others like this.
artvandalay is offline  
Old Nov 10, 19, 8:33 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SEA
Programs: UA MP (1K, 1MM)
Posts: 258
Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
Fly based on best schedule and price. If you are in premium cabin, status would be a secondary consideration anyway..
That's my approach moving forward; I'm not going to chase any status but instead fly the best schedule and price combination that allows me to sit up front. I'd like for that to be on United, but if it's not that's ok.

So yes, in a way, this does change my spending pattern and will probably lower my overall spend since I'm not chasing a certain level/number of flights.
SFHokie is offline  
Old Nov 10, 19, 8:37 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Pacific Northwest
Programs: UA 1MM, AS MVP, Bonvoyed Gold, Honors Dia, IHG Plat, ...
Posts: 9,213
Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
Has anyone else changed their buying habits for ticket purchases? I spend my own money (rather than OPM), and my buying habits have changed. I typically know my expected travel for the next twelve months and would have my spreadsheet with PQM, PQD and BIS columns. Set my PQM and PQD targets and as what I considered a good airfare appeared would purchase
One of the liberating changes of becoming a free agent was when I ditched the spreadsheet to track/plan UA travel earnings.

My spend now goes to a variety of carriers. I no longer have GPUs, but I can afford premium economy and sometimes discount J when an award is not an option.
Aussienarelle and WheelsUpGal like this.
notquiteaff is offline  
Old Nov 10, 19, 8:38 pm
  #8  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: GVA (Greater Vancouver Area)
Programs: DREAD Gold; UA 1.021MM; Bonvoy Au-197; PCC Elite+; CWC Au-197; CCC Elite*; WoH Dis
Posts: 49,689
Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
However, if you think that I am asking about loyalty programs I guess others will too
Since you talk about loyalty in the thread subject, and since your OP talks about PQM, PQD, BIS, and the changes to 1K qualification, it sure looks to me like you are more than just a little interested in loyalty programs.

Repooc17 and SFHokie have it right, particularly if you're not interested in loyalty programs. Without those, there's no reason to handle your flights any other way. Free agency is liberating.
WheelsUpGal likes this.
mahasamatman is offline  
Old Nov 10, 19, 9:14 pm
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: SAN
Programs: 1K (since 2008), *G (since 1990), 1MM
Posts: 2,301
Originally Posted by SFHokie View Post
...So yes, in a way, this does change my spending pattern and will probably lower my overall spend since I'm not chasing a certain level/number of flights.
Love that statement.

The irony is not lost on me as I spend my last day in Hong Kong on a PQD trip! A trip I would not have made, but am enjoying seeing parts of Hong Kong such as Lamma Island that I'd not seen when I was last here.

Good to see others are/have adopted similar approach. I was concerned that perhaps I was an outlier.

And yes priceless is the way to describe the Premium Fare Deal thread. Considering some routings that would not normally have been on my radar.
SS255 and narvik like this.
Aussienarelle is offline  
Old Nov 10, 19, 10:27 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Miami, FL
Programs: UA 1MM, AA Gold, Marriott LT Titanium, Hilton ♢, IHG Plat, Hyatt Disc, Radisson Gold, Hertz PC
Posts: 4,567
Originally Posted by artvandalay View Post
Nothing wrong with your wording. FTers are a fun group.

I crossed the bridge you are now crossing three years ago, as soon as I hit 1MM. Now, I'm in DL, UA and AA "loyalty" (does that really mean what it implies any more?) programs just to use whatever accumulated miles I get from international flights to secure last minute domestic travel (I do multiple TPACS/yr in J.) As a result, I've discovered the differences among the three legacy carriers, as well as their partner airlines. It's been fun.

And the FT Premium Fare Deals is...well, priceless.

Every year UA makes more changes I like to Mileage Plus, it re-validates my decision in 2016.
Agreed, this is me too. Hit UA 1mm, and then expanded. I have found it helpful to achieve base status. So I got that for AA recently. Waived close in award fees, pre-booking of better economy seats, and earlier boarding, are three things I think worthy of it. Won't chase higher levels however. So now I'm agnostic to AA/UA... and can fly whichever offers best price/itinerary without worrying about loyalty.
Aussienarelle likes this.
TravelinSperry is offline  
Old Nov 10, 19, 10:33 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Independent! But mostly BKK, BCN, SFO, PDX, SEA...
Programs: Doing it for the lie flat. Kayaker/Google Flighter, CX Silver. Going free agent in 2020
Posts: 995
I’m paying less now for PE, domestic F, discount J, and ELR seating than I ever was to stay loyal to United and chasing 1K. In fact, in 2019 with half a dozen PE trips, 4 J TATL/TPAC trips, a few buy ups to Premium Class and F on AS, and scads of short haul paid F, I still haven’t spent the PQP I’d need to clinch 1K under United’s new earning rules.

So yeah...im good. And if you’re in paid J they’re tryin to take care of you anyway. Free agency is where it’s at.
FiveMileFinal is offline  
Old Nov 11, 19, 5:33 am
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: ORD/MDW
Programs: AA, HH, MR elite. Fly mostly AA/WN/B6.
Posts: 18,940
Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
I am watching the Premium deals FT thread to be ready to pick up my TATL and TPAC flights for next year. Great if UA/*A but OAL will work just as well... I have decided I do not care about any particular airline loyalty program since what I am looking for is the pointy end of the plane.
This is the future. You're thinking right.

Every time the airlines shrink the utility / relevance / value of their FF programs, they create more disloyal free agents. Five or seven years ago I ranked FF factors among the top three influences over my buying behavior; today FF earnings and status are a virtual non-factor for me, behind not only schedule and price but... fleet / equipment assignments, OTP, nuisance fees, boarding process, pitch, and seat comfort. If i earn a smattering of miles, fine, but I'm not going to endure any inconvenience pursuing them.

MP (like other programs) used to perform a sort of anesthetic function, compensating regular customers for coping with United's painful operational and cultural shortcomings. Today the rational coping strategy is to fly the airline best suited for each new trip, whatever the route / cabin / mission.
kb1992, rch4u, notquiteaff and 2 others like this.
BearX220 is offline  
Old Nov 11, 19, 8:04 am
  #13  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: wandering expat
Posts: 41,543
Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
This is the future. You're thinking right.

Every time the airlines shrink the utility / relevance / value of their FF programs, they create more disloyal free agents. Five or seven years ago I ranked FF factors among the top three influences over my buying behavior; today FF earnings and status are a virtual non-factor for me, behind not only schedule and price but... fleet / equipment assignments, OTP, nuisance fees, boarding process, pitch, and seat comfort. If i earn a smattering of miles, fine, but I'm not going to endure any inconvenience pursuing them.

MP (like other programs) used to perform a sort of anesthetic function, compensating regular customers for coping with United's painful operational and cultural shortcomings. Today the rational coping strategy is to fly the airline best suited for each new trip, whatever the route / cabin / mission.
This. x1000. Being a free agent is liberating.
Silver Fox and Aussienarelle like this.
halls120 is offline  
Old Nov 11, 19, 8:43 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Programs: UA 1K MM, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,454
Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
Love that statement.

The irony is not lost on me as I spend my last day in Hong Kong on a PQD trip! A trip I would not have made, but am enjoying seeing parts of Hong Kong such as Lamma Island that I'd not seen when I was last here.

Good to see others are/have adopted similar approach. I was concerned that perhaps I was an outlier.

And yes priceless is the way to describe the Premium Fare Deal thread. Considering some routings that would not normally have been on my radar.
Same for me. I spent last weekend in Taipei on PQD run. I never even thought of going there before but the price was right and PZ availability in both directions.
I actually felt a sad walking around that wonderful (new for me) city knowing this will be the last time I do something so frivolous.
But that’s OK. Time to explore new destinations and not feel held to the Star Alliance route map : )
Silver Fox and Aussienarelle like this.
chavala is offline  
Old Nov 12, 19, 4:47 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SEA
Programs: UA MP (1K, 1MM)
Posts: 258
Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
Love that statement.

The irony is not lost on me as I spend my last day in Hong Kong on a PQD trip! A trip I would not have made, but am enjoying seeing parts of Hong Kong such as Lamma Island that I'd not seen when I was last here.

Good to see others are/have adopted similar approach. I was concerned that perhaps I was an outlier.
I've got a biz trip coming up to Seattle and looks like biz class on Cathay ex-SHA (I live west of Shanghai) roundtrip is < $2400. United wants over $5K for the same dates! EVA and Air Canada are about $1K more than Cathay ... so looks like a great trip is likely in my future on an airline I enjoy flying ... and out of the airport that is closest to my location (instead of the extra 1-1.5 hours it takes to get across Shanghai to PVG).

I say bring it on!
BearX220, narvik, chavala and 1 others like this.
SFHokie is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: