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Is United going to have twice the number of 1Ks with the new qualification program?

Is United going to have twice the number of 1Ks with the new qualification program?

Old Jan 29, 20, 11:45 am
  #1  
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Is United going to have twice the number of 1Ks with the new qualification program?

Last year I barely made renewal for 1K. (Reached it on segments, fell a couple thou short on miles.) This year... I will probably make the renewal by the end of June. All travel is domestic and since Cleveland hasn't been a hub for a number of years now almost all travel is 2 segments each way.

With one round-trip per week then, the PQF can be reached in just over 3 months. The PQP will take a little longer (company doesn't permit flying first class) but still easily achieved in 6 months. Last year I flew at least 3x per week and again, barely made 1K.

What's going on?
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Old Jan 29, 20, 11:49 am
  #2  
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There’s already a long thread about this. Consensus no.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 12:36 pm
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Business travelers like yourself who can qualify on PQF + PQP or just PQP alone will make 1K easier now, and the new MP can even attract AA or DL business fliers.
Those who relied on PQM + PQD (or just PQM for those with PQD waivers) to qualify and people who won't be able to hit the new PQF requirements (especially living in hub cities) will be heavily gutted.

Which side has more travelers? Only UA knows.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 12:37 pm
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Originally Posted by aquos View Post
Last year I barely made renewal for 1K. (Reached it on segments, fell a couple thou short on miles.) This year... I will probably make the renewal by the end of June. All travel is domestic and since Cleveland hasn't been a hub for a number of years now almost all travel is 2 segments each way.

With one round-trip per week then, the PQF can be reached in just over 3 months. The PQP will take a little longer (company doesn't permit flying first class) but still easily achieved in 6 months. Last year I flew at least 3x per week and again, barely made 1K.

What's going on?
Don't fall into the trap of thinking that everyone has the same flight patterns as you do. As noted, there is a lot of speculation on the new qualifying schema thread. I'm pretty sure UA assumes that there will actually be less 1Ks under the new system.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 12:58 pm
  #5  
 
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The key takeaway for me from these changes is that the UA is purposely changing the profile of 1Ks away from those who fly longer international legs to qualify to those who fly shorter domestic legs. That should also mean fewer upgrades being used on longer international legs, allowing UA to sell the upgrades (or the seats). Further monetization of upgrades for UA and even fewer CPUs for elites.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 1:07 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by lotemblizej View Post
The key takeaway for me from these changes is that the UA is purposely changing the profile of 1Ks away from those who fly longer international legs to qualify to those who fly shorter domestic legs.
I don't think they are purposely trying to do that (although it may have that effect). What they really to change the profile to is people that spend more money vs. those who spend less money.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 1:10 pm
  #7  
 
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I am basically the complete opposite of OP as a hub-based flyer who gets to 1K with regular international business class travel. I will not be sniffing 1K. The tables have turned.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 1:32 pm
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For me personally, I didn't reach 1K qualification last year (I was at 90K PQMs) but I had $30,000 of spend. That spend would have gotten me there. I don't actually care since I'm 1K for life, but the new program makes it easier for me to achieve the 1K qualification.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 1:40 pm
  #9  
 
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my father has enjoyed 1K status for the last 7 or 8 years... he never spent more than $5000 each year. (edit: $4763 in 2019, $3915 in 2018, $5042 in 2017) He uses his German address as his account address. He divides his time equally in the US and Germany.

as a 100% leisure traveler all of his UA or Star Alliance flights were the lowest coach fares on TATL and TPAC nonstop flights.

well.. he still has 1K in 2020, but it's highly doubtful that he'll make 1K for 2021. (obviously)

Last edited by Vangrovsky; Jan 29, 20 at 1:49 pm
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Old Jan 29, 20, 1:53 pm
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Originally Posted by tods27 View Post
Don't fall into the trap of thinking that everyone has the same flight patterns as you do. As noted, there is a lot of speculation on the new qualifying schema thread. I'm pretty sure UA assumes that there will actually be less 1Ks under the new system.
There could be more qualifying from non-hubs and fewer at hubs. It is selective herd thinning for sure.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 1:54 pm
  #11  
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Unless you have access to UA's treasure trove of data and some good predictive software, you don't know anything.

A shift to a spend-based program and some good perks for GS/1K suggest that the goal is to thin not grow the herd. Whether that will happen remains to be seen and may never be seen outside the company.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 2:06 pm
  #12  
 
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I kind of view the new program as United hedging their rewards. Previously, short term goals i.e. 1K via miles also rewarded long term goals i.e. million mile status via miles flown. Now you have to fly more segments for 1K and distance to get MM. It doesnt matter much to me, I am a just short of global service 1K sucker who flies 150K BIS a year and spend about 30K usually. Killing the out of US exceptions for money spent is probably the biggest win for United.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 2:11 pm
  #13  
 
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I think they pretty much tipped their hand on their expectations on the website --

"We expect the total Premier population to grow based on these changes, as we want the program to recognize all of our loyal members. The new program will benefit many members who are limited by the current requirements, such as those who spend more on domestic travel but aren’t meeting the distance or high segment requirements. While Premier status will be accessible to more members overall, members will have to do more to reach 1K status, which will help us preserve the value of the benefits members earn at that level."

The last line in the above strongly implies to me that they expect there will be fewer, not more 1K's, even as the total population of Premiers is expected to grow. They may swoop up a few DL/AA elites as 1K's, but it likely won't offset those who either fall in status or leave completely.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 2:13 pm
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by Collierkr View Post
There could be more qualifying from non-hubs and fewer at hubs. It is selective herd thinning for sure.
United knows exactly how many 1Ks there would have been if they adopted this for 2019. Whether that number is higher or lower, only they know. I'm sure they have some data that will predict 2021 numbers as well, but we will never know.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 2:19 pm
  #15  
 
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Contrary to popular opinion I think the total number of 1ks will rise.
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