United Duplicates Delta’s Revenue Based Mileage Earning System For 2015

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United has once again duplicated a flyer unfriendly move initiated by Delta and will move to a revenue based fare structure effective 03/01/15.

United’s CEO Jeff Smisek has once again shown that he’s not one to ever miss an opportunity to match an unfriendly move made by Delta (though he never copies the good).  He seems to think he can deliver all of the cuts that Delta does without improving the actual product as Delta has done.  And this is all a copy-paste of what Delta already announced for 2015.

I doubt it will be too long before AA mAAtches, but boy they will get a lot of new frequent flyers if they don’t.

-Base members will earn 5 miles per dollar, Silvers will earn 7, Golds will earn 8, Platinums will earn 9, and 1K and GS members will earn 11.  Just like with Delta, there is a limit of 75K miles that you can earn per ticket, so if you are flying on an ultra-expensive ticket be sure to book it as 2 one-ways.

-Miles are earned on base airfare and fuel surcharges. They are not earned on taxes.

-Revenue based earning will apply for all United flights when credited to the United program.

-Revenue based earning will apply for all partner flights when the ticket is issued by United and the flight are credited to the United program.

-Mileage based earning will apply to partner flights when the ticket is issued by partner airlines and when the flight is credited to the United program.

-I’d presume that United flights credited to partner airlines will still earn miles based on the distance flown.

-Currently a non-elite flying round-trip between JFK and Los Angeles on a $300+tax ticket earns 4,950 miles.  Come 2015 and that flight will earn a paltry 1,500 miles.  A silver elite currently earns 6,188 miles but come 2015 and they will earn 2,100 miles. A gold elite currently earns 7,425 miles but come 2015 and they will earn 2,400 miles. A platinum elite currently earns 8,663 miles but come 2015 and they will earn 2,700 miles. A 1K elite currently earns 9,900 miles but come 2015 and they will earn 3,300 miles.

-Elite status will continue to be earned based on mileage actually flown.

-In early 2015, you will have the ability to use miles for new options such as Economy Plus one-time purchases, Economy Plus subscriptions and checked baggage subscriptions.

-Miles earned from credit card spending will remain unchanged. If anything they become more valuable as there will be fewer miles in the system earned from actual flights.

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25 Comments on "United Duplicates Delta’s Revenue Based Mileage Earning System For 2015"

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yossi

American will surely follow

Tizzy tez

Oy vey

Oren

It’s good if you take a lot of expensive short haul flights

Glasshalffull

@ Dan: while this move is likely to be I wildly unpopular with consumer travelers the silver lining is that it does offer massive benefits for many business road warriors. In fact, on my NY to TX itineraries where I earn 3,500 miles today, I’ll earn 3-5x that under this new system. Frankly, I’m an AA loyalist but will now consider switching programs on account of this change. I realize I’m in the minority here but folks like me control the overwhelming majority of airline ticket spend (I’ve have one way flights that cost up to $15,000) so we are benefitting with this new regime.

Nathan

White this is not good news in any sense, is any travel hacker flying anymore to accrue a whole bunch of redeemable miles? Sure, there are very attractive bonuses for doing so, but there are many more frequent fliers taking mileage runs to accrue status, not redeemable miles. That is not changing.

Yes, it sucks to miss out on some sweet spots, but isn’t it possible to make that up with credit card spend and sign up bonuses?

Also, this makes Southwest attractive by comparison for those coach fliers just looking for the best price.

Dan

@yossi:
Probably.

@Oren:
Exactly what they want you to do.

@Glasshalffull:
A 1K “business road warrior” currently earns 5,600 miles for flying from Houston-Newark and back.

His ticket will have to be above ~$550 with tax to do better in the new system.

If your one-way flight are costing that much you should be using miles instead of paying 😀

@Nathan:
Well this pretty much kills the mileage run.

But like I said “-Miles earned from credit card spending will remain unchanged. If anything they become more valuable as there will be fewer miles in the system earned from actual flights.”

Glasshalffull

@ Dan: company pays!!!

Sfuzzi

It sure makes sense from a business perspective. Even as an impacted consumer I ca see how they can’t afford to give me over 10k in miles for $130 flight to beiijing. The mileage run hackers will be the most impacted.

Dan

@Glasshalffull:
Understood, still a waste of resources though.

@Sfuzzi:
The airlines are all making record profits (aside from woefully mismanaged United).
This is just another way to jack those up at the expense of their customers.

Andrew

Is this going to effect award redemptions in any way? Or just miles earned on paid tickets?

Dan

@Andrew:
For now it just effects paid tickets.

Neil

Like Dan said, if you’re mostly an MS’r, this might be a good thing, as long as the redemption rates hold.

srulky

#unitedunfriendly

M

Sad. all airlines are mistreating us. can we as a consumer support only those who are nicer to us?

any suggestions how to complain about an airline who at the gate deceived pax into an “upgrade” only to discover on a 14 hr flight it was the worst seat, no recline etc?

letter to airline received “if you didnt pay for your pre selected seat, we dont need to compensate, sometimes we need to make changes to accomodate others bla bla bla”.

pax trusted gate agent, didnt suspect what was about to come.

disgrace.

BAD MOVE AIR CANADA

Ari

Not surprising.
As the mileage games become more popular more airlines will do this.
Look for dollar based redemptions (a-la southwest and JetBlue) next.

Bernie

at the other side… travelers will earn less miles therefore the miles value will become more valuable.

Moko

How many points will it cost to fly for example round trip NY – LA? With the new 2015 award system?

Motti

Sad, for many of us, for most of us.

Any suggestions how to complain about an airline who at the gate deceived pax (not chicken pox, you know, I’m using the right lingo, w/out [that means “without”] punctuation), so back to the pax, who was deceived into into an “comment” only to discover that it was a completely off-topic question totally not related etc?

Letter to editor received “if you didnt pay for your pre selected seat, we dont need to compensate, sometimes we need to make changes to accomodate others bla bla bla”.

pax (by this time pax might be a disease) trusted someone, expecting that everyone to listen to them, didnt suspect what was about to come.

disgrace

BAD MOVE. I NEEDED TO AIR THIS OUT

Motti

My next invention: CAPTCHA to block off topic comments

Rangersin4

@Dan
Under this new scheme, assuming gaining status and the $ needing to be spent to get there is not worth it anymore, can you now calculate the cutoff $ amount where it becomes more advantageous to simply use miles for an award ticket rather than cash?

yuneeq

“Just like with Delta, there is a limit of 75K miles that you can earn per ticket, so if you are flying on an ultra-expensive ticket be sure to book it as 2 one-ways.”

You’re talking about revenue tickets, not award tickets. 2 one way revenue tickets will cost a lot more than a regular round trip ticket, so the amount of miles that you’ll be earning above the 75k has to be worth the extra that you’ll be paying for 2 one ways.

Dan

@Moko:
It’s not changing.

@Rangersin4:
Probably about 1.5cpm.

@yuneeq:
No, on high end tickets that would earn 75K+ there is no premium to book one-way.

That restriction is only on discounted tickets.

Sholom

Would it make sense to switch to a SA partner (say Air Canada)? They likely match status to begin, but even if not, you can get all benefits of Premier Access if you are a Gold member on a partner as well. And on Air Canada (or Lufthansa), you will still get distance based mileage. You may not get regional upgrades – but at least Gold and premier status and of course full mileage credit. What do you think?

danfan

Elite status will continue to be earned based on mileage actually flown. so, I don’t understand what this is all about?

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