PQM rates cut for premium fares on some partners

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Wandering Aramean, Jan 2, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Wandering Aramean
    • Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    As a bit of a happy new year to MileagePlus members United has cut the PQM earning rates on 8 partners covering roughly 60 fare buckets.Here are the ones I'm aware of:

    Thai Airways: J, P, U, Y, Z, A, B, C, D,F
    Singapore Air: R, S, Y, Z, A, C, D, F, J, P
    TAP Air Portugal: B, C, D, J, Y, Z
    TAM: A, C, D, F, J , Y, Z
    LOT: A, B, C, D, P, Y, Z
    Croatia Airlines: A, B, C, D, F, Y, Z
    EgyptAir: A, B, C, D, F, J, Y, Z
    South African Airways: J, C, D, Z, Y, B, M, H K, S, Q

    I also would swear I saw changes to the NZ rates but those appear to be reverted now.

    ETA: And the NZ page is showing 100% again:
    Air New Zealand: A, B, C, D, E, J, O, U,Y, Z

    Also,
    Avianca: C, D, J
    Asiana: A, B, C, D, F, J, Y, Z
    cvsara, 8MiHi, ClarkyBoy and 4 others like this.
  2. LIH Prem
    • Original Member

    LIH Prem Gold Member

    -1 on the no advance notice.
    Pat89339 and JLSocks like this.
  3. mht_flyer
    • Original Member

    mht_flyer Gold Member

    Thanks for the summary. If this sticks, disappointing for sure...
    Pat89339 likes this.
  4. Wandering Aramean
    • Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Looks like Avianca and Asiana are affected, too.
  5. UA Insider
    • Original Member

    UA Insider Official Representative

    Partner PQM/PQS Update

    Hi Everyone, I’m sorry we are late to post on this particular topic. Typically, we would have given you a heads up on a change like this, and I apologize for that.

    This past week, on Jan. 1, we adjusted the Premier qualifying mile (PQM) and Premier qualifying segment (PQS) accrual percentages for certain premium cabin and full-fare economy class fares on select Star Alliance member carriers. Before going into the specifics of the change, I’d like to offer some background on it. In March 2012, when we migrated to a single system, we unintentionally increased PQM and PQS earnings for some of our partners to our former OnePass levels, instead of taking them to their intended MileagePlus levels.

    While these higher earning levels remained in effect for the remainder of 2012, we are now reinstating the PQM/PQS earning rates for the following carriers and fare classes to 100% as of Jan. 1, 2013:
    • Air New Zealand (NZ): A, B, C, D, E, J, O, U,Y, Z
    • Asiana (OZ): A, B, C, D, F, J, Y, Z
    • Croatia Airlines (OU): A, B, C, D, F, Y, Z
    • Egyptair (MS): A, B, C, D, F, J, Y, Z
    • LOT (LO): A, C, D, P, Z
    • Singapore (SQ): A, C, D, F, J, P, R, S, Y, Z
    • South African (SA): B, C, D, H, J, K, M, Q, S, Y, Z
    • TAM (JJ): A, B, C, D, F, J , Y, Z
    • TAP (TP): B, C, D, J, Y, Z
    • THAI (TG): A, B, C, D, F, J, P, U, Y, Z
    • Turkish (TK): C, D
    We realize that some of you booked flights on these partners prior to Jan. 1 and were expecting the higher PQM/PQS earnings. In this particular case, given the circumstances, we will honor the higher rates regardless of your travel date. There are a few complexities involved with posting miles at the higher rates, so please bear with us. Specifically, if you booked your ticket through United, we will proactively adjust amounts after their initial posting (typically within a few days of when the original flight is credited). However, if you booked through someone other than United (like another airline or travel agency), you will have to contact the MileagePlus Service Center after your miles have initially posted in order to make the adjustment.

    Also, worth noting, there are still several Star Alliance partners which earn 150% PQM/PQS on select fares, including Copa (CM), Air Canada (AC), ANA (NH), Austrian (OS), Brussels (SN), Lufthansa (LH), SAS (SK), SWISS (LX) and US Airways (US).

    Thanks for the opportunity to share these details. Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Shannon Kelly
    Director, Customer Insights
    United Airlines
    NYCUA1K, LETTERBOY, 8MiHi and 6 others like this.
  6. Wandering Aramean
    • Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Thanks for the response and the rather unexpected willingness to honor for previously booked trips. I have one where that actually gets me a few thousand extra PQMs so I'm happy to have that option.
  7. Golden Toque

    Golden Toque Gold Member

    Would be interesting to be involved in the decision-making process to know how and or why a PQM increased or didn't change inadvertently, and then 9 months later the intended reduction went into effect without notice. Seems there was, is still a lot to be worked out at the new UA!

    But that doesn't take away from a good service recovery...
  8. Wandering Aramean
    • Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    It is only sortof good service recovery. Let us not forget that the long-term impact here is still that scores of fares now earn fewer PQMs. Honoring previously purchased is very nice and I appreciate it, but the net result is still quite negative IMO.
  9. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

    Avianca/Taca has some reduced mileage-earning fares within their own LifeMiles program, so it wouldn't surprise me at all to see those reduced earning rates reflected on other *A program passengers. Shannon didn't mention them, however, so maybe they remain an option for me when booking SJO-DFW or other final destinations where I can avoid the losing upgrade battle of SJO-IAH/IAH-SJO for connections.

    Stopping at San Salvador also means avoiding the post-customs bag recheck and nightmare security checkpoint for international connections through IAH. I have read here that said point was actually designed as a security check point. The design is a train wreck, IMO, made even worse by AirServ, the company contracted to guide traffic through the poorly designed lanes - among other airport services. "Serv" has no legitimate place in their name with their complacent, lazy, rude employees making many a trip through IAH unpleasantly memorable.
  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

    Thanks for the official announcement and the details. Better late than never or, worse, deafening silence on such an important change for some people. ;)

    In general this change affects me very little because I fly exclusively with UA (focused on reaching MM!). I just redeem heavily with SQ, TG, and CA, as I have been for the last 3 weeks, and moderately with LH...but this is the 'output' side of things, which is not affected.
  11. rbphilip

    rbphilip Active Member


    Shannon - thanks for the heads-up. I have a specific question. I have Air NZ Premium Economy seats booked throu Air New Zealand for flights in Feb & March.

    One consideration in booking those flights was, in fact, the 150% PQM, but I have no screen-capture or other "proof" that my A and O class flights on Air NZ earned 150% PQM/PQS. Is there any way to confirm this and get my documentation in line so that it is easier for the United rep when I phone in March as you've suggested we do?

    Thanks! And thanks to United for doing the right thing!
  12. Bay Pisco Shark
    • Original Member

    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

    Unexpected willingness? More like reliance on specific T&C at the time of booking. I would expect no less.
  13. Wandering Aramean
    • Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    The T&C of the MileagePlus program explicitly state that earning is based on the rates on the day of travel. You might expect otherwise but that doesn't mean it is correct.
  14. Bay Pisco Shark
    • Original Member

    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

    It is fair to expect otherwise, as the T&C basically say that the airline can make us bend over and they provide us with nothing more than a fist, but we know the T&C and the reliance arguments, no matter what the T&C might say. Selling you a ticket that contains, i.e., 20% of your PQMs for the next year's status, and then not delivering on that (which was part of your reliance on the fare decision, or choice of airline decision), is unethical, and no different than any other "after purchase" continuing service type of contract, such as we're not going to honor a warranty, or whatever. Making changes effective for future purchases? Fine - disappointing, but fine.

    I seriously cannot imagine that if UA decided that anything under a B fare earned 10% PQMs that we'd all say "oh they changed the T&C before travel on 50K miles of travel I've already purchased, so we'll just thank them and send roses."
    gabrielgsp and autolycus like this.
  15. autolycus

    autolycus Gold Member

    I'm gonna side with Bay Pisco Shark on this one. If they didn't honor the 150% on previously-booked tickets, they'd be galloping rapidly toward at least the threat of a class-action detrimental reliance lawsuit.
    HaveMilesWillTravel likes this.
  16. Wandering Aramean
    • Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    They (United and OALs) have changed the earning rates several times in the past and previously purchased tickets were not crediting at the prior rates. I'm not saying that people were happy about it but it also didn't elicit lawsuits or the like. The companies got away with it just fine.
    autolycus likes this.
  17. tommy777
    • Original Member

    tommy777 Co-founder

    Well, I guess the Mileage Plus didn't get the memo on this. 2 Thai flights posted this week and when I called to get the PQMs adjusted, I was told to pound sand.

    I know UA Insider will take care of this, but wanted to post as an FYI
    DIG/R_1K and Wandering Aramean like this.
  18. secretsea18
    • Original Member

    secretsea18 Gold Member

    What class of service did you fly and what rate did they post?
  19. Wandering Aramean
    • Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Yeah...I'm holding off on calling in to get my C fares on TG fixed based on a number of people reporting that it wasn't being adjusted. My C flights posted at 100% PQMs.
  20. secretsea18
    • Original Member

    secretsea18 Gold Member

    I have a flight on ANA for NRT -MNL next month that says 70% PQM for a V fare ON MP it lists the fare on the earning chart at 100% PQM. Took a screen shot to have for them to correct my acct if I don't earn full PQM for it.
  21. Wandering Aramean
    • Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Don't worry about the erroneous details on the reservations details page. That data sucks for partners.
  22. Canadi>n
    • Original Member

    Canadi>n Silver Member

    Having been caught in the LH K-fare fiasco two years ago I am pleased we are being given a "grandfathering" on tickets booked before the change. I am waiting on several SAA flights flown earlier this month, booked in K last year (as UA code shares) when that booking class was earning 150%.

    What I find curious is why most airlines are being reduced, and a few not. My understanding is that it is the airline we fly that buys MP miles from UA, so it has little to do with UA (other than reducing what it gets paid for a reduced number of miles from these purchases). This suggests that a number of STAR partners have banded together to cut their liability to UA and its MP members. I find it outrageous that carriers that sell premium class cabins at a rather high mark-up are no longer prepared to fork out a few extra dollars to UA to purchase 25% or 50% more miles and that this is aimed only at UA/MP.

    I've checked the earnings charts for these same airlines in AC's Aeroplan program as well as Aegean's and find almost all are still offering the COS EQM bonus mileage. Strikes me as curious. Can anyone explain why the different treatment?
  23. Canadi>n
    • Original Member

    Canadi>n Silver Member

    I am fully expecting this to happen on those SAA flights, so when sending in copies of ticket, screen shot (to verify 150%) and boarding passes, I also printed off the post here from Shannon (with URL link) hoping the MP folks will finally get the memo!
  24. Wandering Aramean
    • Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Those being reduced are the non-Joint Venture carriers. The company is choosing to not incent such travel. Sucks for the customer.
  25. tommy777
    • Original Member

    tommy777 Co-founder

    C and D, posted 100%
    Wandering Aramean likes this.

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