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Remember when it was so (relatively) easy to get status?

Remember when it was so (relatively) easy to get status?

Old Nov 27, 2023, 1:14 pm
  #1  
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Remember when it was so (relatively) easy to get status?

Once upon a time, you just needed miles or segments.

Many of us saw that to reach 1K, we needed just five more segments. So we started doing multi connection flights. Voila, we reached it.

Or we needed 687 more miles. So we we fly DEN-LAX-IAD-ORD (rather than DEN-ORD). Voila.

I have 2MM status now, so I don't even try to figure out all the points and spends and miles. It used to be algebra. But now it's calculus to figure out!

Last edited by zrs70; Nov 27, 2023 at 2:33 pm
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Old Nov 27, 2023, 1:22 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by zrs70
It used to be algebra. But now it's calculus to figure out!
I think it's actually much simpler now. All you need to know is how much you spent.
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Old Nov 27, 2023, 1:24 pm
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You're kidding, right? Just get a credit card. It's much easier now which is why elite benefits are going by the wayside.

Massively inflated elite ranks to support United as a bank, not an airline.

-RM
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Old Nov 27, 2023, 1:26 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by RobOnLI
Just get a credit card.
That's a very U.S.-centric answer.
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Old Nov 27, 2023, 2:00 pm
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Easier or more difficult can mean differently when it comes to "Achieving Status" vs "Understanding how to Achieve Status".

It is also quite subjective when flying and spending are both involved.

For example,

A high value flyer who does not fly 100K BIS or 100 segments each year but can spend easily over $24K a year ( assume meeting minimum of 4 segments), It is easier for this person to achieve status and also easier to understand how to earn status. However, under the old system, it would be both difficult for this person to achieve 1K or understand how to calculate and track BIS or number of segments.

A budget conscious flyer who would find the old system easier to understand: simple as OP described. The current system would require the person to monitor fares (backing out taxes and other charges), track segment vs $ spent. How much this person flies (BIS) may still not be enough if the spending does not meet the threshold. In this case, it may be both more difficult to understand and earn.

The above are two extreme examples, There are flyers fall in between. Easier to understand the current system but just don't have the time or $ to make it happen. Others may be challenged to understand the permutations, but fly the minimum and spend enough on tickets and credit cards to achieve status.
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Old Nov 27, 2023, 2:02 pm
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Originally Posted by zrs70
Once upon a time, you just needed miles or segments. Many of us saw that to reach 1K, we needed just five more segments.
The origin of MP, when it was conceived as a reward for loyalty, was the 100,000 Mile Club. Segments nor dollars mattered. No "tiers." Now the MP we once knew and loved is no longer about loyalty, it's about status, something anyone can access with a credit card or two or three.
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Old Nov 27, 2023, 2:11 pm
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I think its real easy now... you buy status (the cabin and perks) for the trips you want, on the airline that works best for you. Everything else is a nice bonus.
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Old Nov 27, 2023, 2:11 pm
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Credit card has nothing to with Status. For 1K You must spend $18000 and fly 54 segments or spend $24000 on United. Credit card has little to do with this.
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Old Nov 27, 2023, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by trk1
Credit card has nothing to with Status. For 1K You must spend $18000 and fly 54 segments or spend $24000 on United. Credit card has little to do with this.
Wrong. United/Chase co-brand credit cards earn PQPs towards status.
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Old Nov 27, 2023, 2:38 pm
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Originally Posted by rch4u
Wrong. United/Chase co-brand credit cards earn PQPs towards status.
True.

Though you'd have to spend a lot more than $18K or $24K to earn status with only credit cards. So if you're on a "budget" you might do well to spend on UA tickets and fly around a bit.
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Old Nov 27, 2023, 2:40 pm
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The difference is different metrics to track. Instead of tracking the number of miles, you now track ticket price spent, plus number of segments as applicable. Both methods would benefit from a spreadsheet, as I do around August/Sept to figure out what's left to requalify.

Originally Posted by artvandalay
The origin of MP, when it was conceived as a reward for loyalty, was the 100,000 Mile Club. Segments nor dollars mattered. No "tiers." Now the MP we once knew and loved is no longer about loyalty, it's about status, something anyone can access with a credit card or two or three.
Not quite true. Until they introduced minimum dollar spend (copying DL), it was 100,000 Elite/Premier qualifying miles or 100 segments for 1K, with bonus PQM/PQS for first/business class fare purchased.

Also, with the per card PQP cap, there is no way to get 24,000 PQP using credit cards alone, unless you have Presidential Plus (which is no longer offered) and personal Club card and Quest, and managed to put $480,000 across the cards, not to mention the 4 UA segments requirement.
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Old Nov 27, 2023, 2:41 pm
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You have to spend half million dollars per year to make 1K using credit cards, by some estimates.

The percentage of US residents to do that kind of spending is so tiny. Maybe 0.01%?

CC spending to inflate 1K ranks is somewhat exaggerated.
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Old Nov 27, 2023, 2:42 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by RobOnLI
You're kidding, right? Just get a credit card. It's much easier now which is why elite benefits are going by the wayside.

Massively inflated elite ranks to support United as a bank, not an airline.

-RM
There are really on two difference between this year and next.

A smaller quickstart bonus meaning it will be harder for some

Removed 15K PQP cap, meaning those spending more than $360K on their cards with less then Gold travel, could get status (a very tiny population doing little travel). Hardly a massively inflated elite ranks

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Nov 27, 2023 at 2:48 pm
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Old Nov 27, 2023, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by UA_Flyer
Easier or more difficult can mean differently when it comes to "Achieving Status" vs "Understanding how to Achieve Status".

It is also quite subjective when flying and spending are both involved.

For example,

A high value flyer who does not fly 100K BIS or 100 segments each year but can spend easily over $24K a year ( assume meeting minimum of 4 segments), It is easier for this person to achieve status and also easier to understand how to earn status. However, under the old system, it would be both difficult for this person to achieve 1K or understand how to calculate and track BIS or number of segments.

A budget conscious flyer who would find the old system easier to understand: simple as OP described. The current system would require the person to monitor fares (backing out taxes and other charges), track segment vs $ spent. How much this person flies (BIS) may still not be enough if the spending does not meet the threshold. In this case, it may be both more difficult to understand and earn.

The above are two extreme examples, There are flyers fall in between. Easier to understand the current system but just don't have the time or $ to make it happen. Others may be challenged to understand the permutations, but fly the minimum and spend enough on tickets and credit cards to achieve status.
This. The idea that not all of your spending counts towards the PQPs is the hardest part for people to understand, in my estimation. The old "I paid $500 for this ticket, why do I only get 340 PQPs" issue. I've always felt it would be much easier for the airlines to just use total spend instead of the "base fare" model. You can just adjust the thresholds if they feel like it would inflate the number of elites. Then it would be really easy to calculate for everyone. I know, there are likely problems with that system as well....

As for tracking, no need for a spreadsheet, you can just use the trackers that they have on the website (at least as long as you don't want to audit their numbers). The harder part is figuring out which flight you need to take to get X PQPs when you are chasing status.

I find that since they went to spend based, I don't spend anywhere near enough to chase status (it helps that I did my 1MM)
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Old Nov 27, 2023, 3:39 pm
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Originally Posted by tods27

I find that since they went to spend based, I don't spend anywhere near enough to chase status (it helps that I did my 1MM)
Quite. Plus, living outside the USA, technically I am not eligible for one of their credit cards. UA has effectively abandoned its overseas elites - Im not sure if that was the plan but it is the result.
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