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

The 2020 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread !

The 2020 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread !

Old Dec 24, 19, 9:51 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Programs: UA*Lifetime GS, SQ*PPS, AA*EXP, Hyatt*Globalist
Posts: 11,019
Question The 2020 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread !

We have been having this thread for the last thirteen years for FTers on United Forum to share travel stories on how status were obtained during the year, what are the flying patterns, why we travel, where we have flown to, etc. It is also a place for newcomers to introduce themselves to the Forum, and old timers to share their travel pattern in the past 12 months. Most important of all, tell us about your travel projection for the upcoming 2020 year.

This has been a difficult year! We have experienced further cut-back on the Polaris Products including doing away with wine menu, the introduction of pre-plated entrees, terrible United Club crowding situation at EWR, and "enhancement we hate" on award redemption etc. . However, the biggest impact to most of us is the significant changes to the Mileage Plus program. We will no longer be rewarded for our loyalty to United based on flight activities in 2020. It will be all about $$$$! . Our beloved airlines seemed to be obsessed with meeting Wall Street Bankers' expectations than customer services expectations. How these changes have impacted your 2019 flying on United, and what are the future hold for us?

The links to the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 threads are listed below. It is interesting to go back and reflect on what had changed in our travel patterns over the past 13 years and also how United has changed during the same period.

The 2019 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread!:)

The 2018 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread

The 2017 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread!

The 2016 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread

The 2015 "Who, When, Where, What and How" Thread

The 2014 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread

The 2013 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread

The 2012 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread

The 2011 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread

The 2010 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread

The 2009 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread

The 2008 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread

The 2007 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread

Here we go:

Who: What do you do when you are not on FT? Anything you want to tell FTers about you.
When: When will (did) you make your desired 2020 status?
How: This is a broad category. Include any information on whether you travel for work, personal reasons, MRs, double/triple EQM, M+ Visa EQMs, UA flying, *A flying, $$$ spent to achieve status, how your travel pattern has changed in 2017 from previous years.
Where: Places you have been this year (on your way to your 2020 status).
Why:Why is achieving status/accumulating miles important (or not important) to you? Why do you do Mileage Runs, etc.?
What: What’s your plan to achieve 2021 status, and where will you go? What will likely the change to your UA flying in 2020 versus 2019? Will you jump ship now the Mileage Plus program is no longer loyalty friendly.?

Happy Holidays and Safe Travel Everyone!!

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jun 30, 20 at 8:22 pm Reason: repaired links
UA_Flyer is offline  
Old Dec 24, 19, 10:25 pm
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco & Squaw Valley
Programs: Many, but currently grounded.
Posts: 3,332
Who: I’m an entrepreneur who builds businesses in both the US and China, and sits on the boards of a media company in China and a retailer in the US. I also lead a championship-winning ski team.

When: I’m at a SFO United Club on 12.24 about to earn Platinum status with a quick flight to Vegas arriving in a few hours, I also have Southwest A-list & Companion Pass; I’ll miss requalifying for AS MVP by a couple thousand miles.

How: Most of my UA EQMs have traditionally been in Economy Plus between SFO and HKG/PVG and the occasional NRT/TPE/ICN/SIN. This year included HK, Sin + SH. Also did a lap to LHR for fun and a couple Intra-Europe flights. I’ve earned WN status via segments. On AS it’s been mostly laps to Hawaii and longer domestic flights than WN is practical.

Why: Honestly my relationship with United is complicated. Living in SF they have been the default, but are not really working hard to keep my business. Anecdotally I’ve had a far higher upgrade percentage when I’ve flown AS as a silver Vs UA as a Gold or Platinum. Given all the changes it is quite likely that 2020 will be my last year as a medium tier UA elite and I’ll be silver or lead going forward...Alaska and it’s partners will get more of my business.

What: Next year I aspire to requalify for WN A-list and Companion Pass, and will have to decide whether to go for UA Silver or AS MVP or 75. Right now I’m leaning north, but have yet to make a decision. And...my 400k points until lifetime Gold are enough so that who knows whether that program will exist when I qualify, or will remain after I qualify.
worldwidedreamer is offline  
Old Dec 24, 19, 11:40 pm
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: YYC
Programs: UA 1K, Azul Diamante, Accor Platinum, Marriott Gold, Radisson Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 196
Who: I'm a software engineer who likes travel - from airports and flying to exploring new places. My job has zero need for travel but fortunately it offers a good PTO policy and flexibility to work remotely from time to time.
2019 was practically my first year with any sort of airline status (I achieved UA Gold in early December 2018).

When: August 23 (1K). I started 2019 with the goal of keeping Gold but it changed to 1K as I booked more and more trips and learned about upgrades.

How: I travel for personal reasons only. I try to fly UA as much as possible because I've had great experiences with UA. Being in Canada, I can't avoid AC. I got status booking Y exclusively and upgraded a couple of flights with miles.

Where: Osaka, Tokyo, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok, Sydney, Melbourne, Cancun, Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam, Dubai, Toronto, Sao Paulo, Lisbon.

Why: Status is important to me for benefits like Economy Plus, lounge access, priority lines and upgrades. Travel is a hobby and achieving status feels like a fun game, as silly as it sounds.

What: The new rules had me initially considering other airlines but decided to keep 1K for one, and possibly final, year. 2019 was really fun but not sure if my work situation will stay the same beyond 2021.
Where I'm going in 2020 to keep status: Istanbul, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Moscow, Taipei, Hong Kong, Macau, Tokyo, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Sao Paulo, Busan, Seoul and probably a few more. These are booked and most upgraded with PlusPoints.

Happy Holidays!
leoo is offline  
Old Dec 25, 19, 3:57 am
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: wandering expat
Posts: 44,268
Who: Federal Government Manager and Attorney
When: Flew enough to reach Silver in 2018, but my 1MM status means I'm OK at gold.
How: 34 segments and 32K on *A partners, and zero BIS miles on UA, because I live overseas and DL held the GSA contract during FY19. Now that UA has the contract, expect 16K BIS on United in 2020. Will likely fly 40-50 segments in 2020.
Where: Frankfurt, Hannover, Bergen, Zurich, Madrid, Tirana, Istanbul, Amman, Copenhagen, Vienna, Amsterdam, Brussels, DC, Detroit, Malta, Tallinn.
Why: Being required to fly DL on all my long haul business travel again this past year meant no hope of regaining 1K, but that's OK. Flying as *A Gold on *A partners short haul is still nice, especially when I get to spent time in the LH Senator lounges and the new TK business lounge in IST.

Last edited by halls120; Dec 25, 19 at 8:43 am
halls120 is offline  
Old Dec 25, 19, 6:16 am
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: EWR
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 30
Who: Private equity and real estate investor (invest in and buy companies and RE portfolios.) Left my comfy job doing this to start my own company doing same in Q2 2019. I’ve been UA silver the last few years but will earn platinum this year. My second post on FT after lurking for some time. Happily married for 13 years and have two amazing kids, a 12yo boy and 10yo girl.

When: I’ll get UA platinum when I touch down from ORD=EWR around 10:50am on 12/31/19.

How: travel for work to visit our operating teams, properties, new acquisition opportunities, etc. but also take family leisure trips whenever possible

Where: LAS, SAN, ORD, MSP, HDN, IAH, MIA, ATL, RSW, even DLH and a few others I’m missing. Left a few EQMs out there, as the family went to LHR on BA and CDG on AF.

Why: status is important to me but I’m unsure why. I think it’s because I notice the better treatment I get when I need anything along the way. Airlines run a complicated business, and **** happens, so having status helps get you help.

What: Because my flights are determined by time more importantly than price, I think I may be among the rare winners in the new mileage plus game. EWR is incredibly convenient for me, far more so than ACY, TTN, LGA or JFK, so my flying future is pretty tied to UA anyway. I earned 75% of my PQM after I started my firm, and we are growing fast, so I imagine my status will be 1k next year without attempting to achieve it specifically.
threecap is offline  
Old Dec 25, 19, 7:22 am
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: NYC (Primarily EWR)
Programs: UA 1K / *G; Marriott Bonvoy Gold; ALL Gold; Hertz PC
Posts: 8,116
Who: work in finance at a big bank

When: hit 1K in late October after spending enough money to hit the PQD threshold. I probably would have hit it this summer if not for a travel hiatus due to the birth of our daughter

How: mostly through longhaul leisure trips - one to Europe, two to Asia, and one paid F trip to Hawaii. I had a change in role late last year that has increased my travel for work, but it’s not too frequent and is purely domestic Y - so it has been more helpful (mostly) on the PQD front. This year, almost all of my mileage credit has come from UA. I try not to fly non-UA metal on long hauls because it has helped me greatly for status, although this may certainly change given the program changes being instituted.

Where: hit all 7 UA hubs, lots of domestic stops due to work. It’s all in my signature

Why: customer service + upgrades (I have never had trouble using GPUs in the past). Given the decrease in my leisure travel with an infant, this will help my parents take some nice trips - repaying it forward

What: Platinum is a slam-dunk for me - my FPQPs and PQPs earned in 2020 are enough for that status level alone. I figure I will give it one good shot to make 1K under the new regime; if I fall short, it will give me an idea of whether I should spread out my flying to other airlines (most likely DL) or if 1K is ever within reach again. Travel will be almost exclusively domestic business travel; there will be some leisure trips in there, but only one longhaul trip (to Europe in the summer). I will probably stick with flying UA as MM should happen when I’m still plenty young enough to enjoy the benefits...assuming they don’t change
PsiFighter37 is offline  
Old Dec 25, 19, 8:53 am
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: BOS<>NYC<>BKK
Programs: UA 4.1MM LT-GS; AA1MM; Amtrak S+; MAR LT TITAN; PC Plat; HIL DIA; HYA GLOB
Posts: 3,994
Who: I work in education and weather (separately).
When: I hit 4MM (LT GS) in March. It's been a long haul! EA+CO+UA since the early 80s.
How: Paid international J for business, then use the upgrades for personal travel. In 2019 I did eight TPACs.
Why: The value-added of GS is wonderful. They've been immense help during IRROPS and nice to have the other perks.
What: I should make the PQP for "1K" by spring to get the +Ps. But I'm fortunate that the days of MRs to make status are over. I'll just keep racing to catch up to ua1flyer
AustinWeatherGuy likes this.
wxguy is offline  
Old Dec 25, 19, 9:57 am
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: PWM
Programs: UA Silver
Posts: 966
Goodbye United

Who: Full time grad student with a part time job.
When: Hit PQM (RIP) of 27471 in October and MPE Biz spend of 25k in December.
How: All OOP/leisure travel. Less flexible than prior years due to school so paid a whopping 1785 in PQD. This is 6.50 cpm plus tax, my highest ever. United has essentially tricked us into buying out of BE, which is not chump change; $30 per journey adds up! I took 10 one ways this year so that's an extra $300 they bilked out of me. If we adjust down my PQDs by $300 less the DOT tax, my cpm would have been closer to 5.49.
Where: I did not get to visit any new airports/destinations this year OGG, SAN, SFO, SRQ
Why: I earned status to be one of the gang and have a yearlong project to work towards. I love using premier check in and having access to the elite phone line. With that being said, it's a relief to not have to worry about all this stuff next year.
What: I am boycotting United (and all airlines) in terms of revenue flights going forward. I considered matching/switching to another program but it's such a hassle to stay on the treadmill, especially when I don't have any required travel and I think the writing's on the wall. I used to live across the country from my family so that accounted for 10k miles minimum. Now I'm back home, I have no reason to fly and if I want/need to, I have plenty of miles/points. So I'll try to keep doing one big vacation a year and booking travel for friends and family.
sexykitten7 is offline  
Old Dec 25, 19, 10:29 am
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: YEG
Programs: UA 1K, Marriott Plat
Posts: 674
Who: Fun Govt job based in Canada
When: Made 1K back in August 2019, flew some more in Nov to get to 150 PQM for the extra 2 GPU's, been 1K for 7 years now
How: I fly MR's once every few months to maintain 1K status so I can use GPU's to upgrade me and the wife on trips. This year we upgraded a trip to DEL and it was great. Upgraded a trip to HKG (then to HKT) already for March 2020. I spend about $6000 USD a year all on my own dime, as I have the international waiver.
Where: Several MR's to SIN/HKG this year (in E+ which wasn't as bad as it sounds). Did the Island hopper Eastbound which was amazing. Actual trips to the Canadian East coast (Newfoundland, Nova Scotia), Trip to India, spent a few days in Taiwan, spent a few days in AKL, also went to Cancun for a week (Used RPU's to clear both directions), been a great year for travel.
Why:I love the GPU's (now PP) I love being able to upgrade me and the wife to international business for trips, makes things very enjoyable. I rarely travel domestic USA solely, but am always connecting through DEN or SFO so an occasional CPU is welcomed
What: I already have several trips booked as I want to try to get to MM status in the next 2-2.5 years. I am almost 650K already, I plan to fly 100-150K miles on UA this year to get closer. I hate the changes as it will be very difficult to make status this year without the international waiver. I booked a cheap J fare to MNL on TK I saw in the MR forum which should help a bit. I can see making Plat with a Partner MR in PE, but 1K is going to be tough without some great MR deal in a premium cabin on a star alliance partner. I can do the 54 segments (as a MR for me always involves 6 segments) but the PQP is the tough part. Hoping for some Premium MR deals / mistake fares to help me reach 1K

Last edited by whitethunder; Dec 25, 19 at 10:36 am
whitethunder is offline  
Old Dec 25, 19, 11:17 am
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 30
Who: Software Developer and (hopefully) Budding Real Estate Entrepreneur
When: I had Southwest Companion Pass and then Matched to United Silver.
How: Traveled Weekly on the IAD-BTV/PBG route for SO and then occasional work travel in SAN/JAX/ALB. Work tickets were always expensive so I've got >6k PQD but only 30k PQM. The new changes should affect me pretty positively.
Why: I do voucher running pretty consistently so being the first one called up is important to me. Status helps with that. Economy plus seats are helpful and the reduced mileage awards I used consistently. Otherwise, silver status is pretty useless...LOL.
What: I'll probably stick around because of there aggressive bumping policy. I still fly the most cost effective airline whenever possible. IAD airport also has much better lounges than DCA/BWI. DCA has a better location though. Certainly looking forward to the continued rollout of polaris class.
aWASFlyer is offline  
Old Dec 25, 19, 11:57 am
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Cleveland, OH
Programs: UA-GS 1MM), Hertz Pres Circle, Starriott Titanium)
Posts: 1,845
Who: I work for a large global management consulting firm. Work generally has me traveling overseas, or working from home.

When: I'm a GS / Million miler, I think I passed the requirements for 1K back in March. I hit the spend requirements for GS around September (best guess), and was notified already of 2020 GS status.

How: I travel for work to Europe, and India. On average, I take about one long haul international trip a month, with a smattering of trans-cons and regional flights sprinkled in. Also do the occasional vacations (often on miles, or booked in economy then using upgrades)

Where: CLE, SFO, EWR, IAD, IAH, LHR, PEK, BOM, LIB, SJO, FRA, ATH and probably half a dozen others I've forgotten. Many of these are repeat destinations.

Why: When you spend as much time on the road as I do, GS becomes critical when things goes sideways. I estimate GS saved me 3 travel days this year in avoided delays. Consolidating as much travel as possible to a single airline also lets me gather enough points/status to be able to really enjoy the one "perk" of always being away from my family... getting to use the perks on them.

What: I will try to stick to UA again this year, although the Qatar airways routes are very tempting. My travel may be slowing down a bit this year so not sure if I'll hit the spend to make GS for 2021. We'll see. I will use Flyertalk to be alot smarter about my personal travel spend. Buying tickets vs using miles... then taking more advantage of various GS booking perks.
LordHamster is offline  
Old Dec 25, 19, 12:09 pm
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Chicago
Programs: ,united 1k, HH Diamond,BA gold, Hyatt globalist
Posts: 487
Who: I travel the world, spend time with family, surf- wakeboard etc, and work my day job of trading and an army reservist.
when: I did not make my desired status of 1k because I am now a designated friend for NRSA travel (yes I know this is a touchy subject)
where: Tokyo, Guam, Singapore, Asia in general, and The US
why: status this year was not important thanks to my amazing Standby benefits
what: My goal is to continue to be a designated friends for NRSA benefits and maintain star Gold.
Happy travels
united 1k flyer is offline  
Old Dec 25, 19, 2:17 pm
Join Date: Aug 2017
Programs: AS MVPG, DL Gold, UA Platinum, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Titanium + LT Silver, Hertz PC
Posts: 4,100
Who: I am in Finance
When: throughout the year; UA in November
How: I mainly travel for fun; occasionally for work - generally between east and west coasts of US
Why: Flying is therapeutic for me. Destinations are bonus.
What: No changes in my strategy. As I am based in NYC, I have rows of airlines catering to just about every destination I want/need to go.
Repooc17 is offline  
Old Dec 25, 19, 5:15 pm
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: San Francisco
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 9
Who: I am a PhD student who travels to give talks/attend conferences.
When: I hit 1K in August 2019.
How: I mainly travel for work. Since I'm a student, I don't really have a schedule so I can stay before/after/in the area/a neighboring country for an extra couple of days for vacation. My research is theoretical in nature so I don't technically need to be physically present to work.
South America: BOG, GRU
Oceania: MEL, SYD, AKL, BNE, CNS
Africa: N/A
Why: I enjoy E+ and the fact that my airport experience is mostly pleasant (with things like Global Entry/Precheck/Premier Access).
What: Given the qualification changes for 2020-2021, I think it's highly unlikely I'll focus on United.

Last edited by heegaardfloer; Dec 25, 19 at 5:27 pm Reason: changed "why"
heegaardfloer is offline  
Old Dec 26, 19, 4:28 pm
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: SFO, PVD/BOS, PIT
Programs: UA 1K/1MM ★G, DL Silver, Hilton Diamond,Nexus
Posts: 205
Who: I am a volunteer firefighter (mostly retired from that), work in tech industry.
When: I hit 1K in October after having been Plat last year (was GS years ago). Ended the year with 208,000 miles (a one year record for me). Also hit 1MM this year.
How: Mostly travel work work. Have been based near SFO the past year after living most of my life at PIT. I more than doubled my usual miles going back and forth between the coasts.
Where: Most travel was SFO<->ATL and SFO<->AUS for work. Also, HKG and EDI.
Why: I like E+ and wanted to get 1MM to get *G. Flying out of SFO this year, UA had the best availability.
What: I am moving to PVD/BOS in January, which will likely mean I will fly more on DL; probably evenly split between DL and UA. With the increased dollar requirements, I doubt I could make 1K even if all my travel was on UA. I am planning to go to NZ for vacation. Undecided whether to use miles or buy a ticket on UA or NZ...
droopydog is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: