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Merger Update: 2012 MileagePlus Program Details

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by UA Insider, Sep 21, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. UA Insider
    • Original Member

    UA Insider Official Representative

    Hi Everyone, today we’re going to give you a look at our 2012 MileagePlus program. Although many of my front line co-workers have begun the process of training, this is a lengthy process and not everyone will have completed their briefings at the time of this posting. Please be sensitive to this, as there’s no easy way to get everyone on the same page at the same time. There’s a lot to take in, but here are the top dozen things worth noting:
    1. New vocabulary. First, here’s some new nomenclature: The term Premier will live on but in a new context. It will replace the term “Elite”. With that will come some new three-letter acronyms:

      • PQM & PQS: Premier Qualifying Mile & Segment (formerly EQM/EQS)
      • CPU: Complimentary Premier Upgrade (formerly UDU and EUA)
      • RPU: Regional Premier Upgrade (formerly CR1 and RU)
      • GPU: Global Premier Upgrade (formerly SWU)
    2. New tiers and qualification requirements. Heard any good rumors lately? Here are our new Premier tiers – all of which will have a minimum requirement of 4 paid flights on United, Continental and/or Copa:

      • Premier Silver: 25K PQM or 30 PQS
      • Premier Gold: 50K PQM or 60 PQS
      • Premier Platinum: 75K PQM or 90 PQS
      • Premier 1K: 100K PQM or 120 PQS
      • Global Services: Invitation only
    3. Bonus Award mile changes. Here are the changes we’re making to premier and fare class bonuses:

      Premier bonuses:
      • Premier Silver: 25% bonus miles (no change)
      • Premier Gold: 50% bonus miles
      • Premier Platinum: 75% bonus miles
      • Premier 1K and Global Services: 100% bonus miles (no change)

      Fare Class bonuses for United/Continental:​
      • Full-fare Economy Class (Y/B) fares: +25% bonus miles
      • Discounted Business Class (Z/P) fares: +50% bonus miles
      • Full-fare Business Class (J/C/D) fares: +75% bonus miles
      • 2-Cabin First Class (F/A) fares: +75% bonus miles
      • 3-Cabin First Class (F/A) fares: +150% bonus miles
    4. New CPU geography for United, Continental and Copa.Our rationale for offering CPUs will almost entirely be based on how the premium cabin of the flight is marketed. Simply put - markets where the premium product is predominantly our domestic standard will be eligible for CPUs, and all others will not. Based on our current network, this is how our CPU program shakes out geographically:
      • Mainland U.S. (except p.s. markets JFK-LAX/SFO), Alaska and Canada
      • Hawaii (California to/from Hawaii, plus any other market operating with a domestic premium product, such as Chicago-Honolulu)
      • Mexico/Caribbean/Central America
      • Northern South America (except New York-Lima)
      • Southern South America (Copa flights only)
      • Asia/Oceania (except transpacific, Honolulu-Guam, Tokyo-Singapore/Bangkok nonstops)
      RPUs will be eligible in these same markets plus our p.s. and all Mainland U.S.-Hawaii markets.​
    5. Instant upgrades for full-fare Economy Class fares. Premier members traveling on certain full-fare Economy Class fares will be eligible for an instant upgrade as early as ticketing. Specifically, all premier members will be eligible for instant upgrades from Y and B fares, and Premier 1K members will additionally enjoy instant upgrades from M class fares. Y fares will instantly upgrade using last-seat availability. B and M fares will have expanded upgrade availability, but it won’t always be down to the last seat.
    6. New CPU clearance windows. CPUs will begin processing automatically starting at 120 hours for Global Services, 96 hours for Premier 1K, 72 hours for Premier Platinum, 48 hours for Premier Gold and on the day of departure for Premier Silver.
    7. New CPU hierarchy. Our CPU/airport standby upgrade hierarchy will be as follows:

      • Global Services
      • Y/B/M instant upgrades that weren’t confirmed in advance (sorted by fare class then premier tier)
      • Paid upgrades (i.e. GPUs, RPUs and mileage upgrades) sorted by status, fare class, and date of waitlist
      • All remaining premier customers by status, then fare class
    8. Companion CPUs for all Premiers. Premiers at all levels will be able to extend their CPUs to one travel companion in the same reservation, including in the advance clearance window and with Y/B/M instant upgrades. This will happen automatically when the Premier reservation includes a single companion. In cases where there are more than two people in the reservation, or where the companion is in a separate reservation, the companion upgrade may be designated at the airport.
    9. Economy Plus access at check-in for Premier Silver, improved access for all other levels. To ensure we have better seating options for our top premier levels, advance complimentary access to Economy Plus will be limited to Premier Gold members and higher plus one companion (Premier Platinums and above may have up to 8 companions). Premier Silvers and one companion will continue to enjoy complimentary space-available access to Economy Plus starting at 24 hours before departure.
    10. Baggage changes for Premier Silver. The complimentary baggage allowance for Premier Silver and Star Alliance Silver members will be reduced to 1 complimentary checked bag weighing up to 50 lbs.
    11. Aligned mileage expiration policy. Miles will expire if your account is left inactive for 18 months. Our definition of activity will be very easy to meet for earning or redemption in thousands of ways. This includes something as simple as a magazine subscription redemption – which can be had for as little as 400 miles.
    12. New lifetime benefits. Big changes here, and we think you’ll agree this is the most generous lifetime program in the world. The following will take effect next spring (so please hold tight until then):

      • Continental and United lifetime earnings will be combined. You all guessed that much, but the key will be how we do it. Continental’s lifetime earnings have been EQM-based, and United’s have been based on actual flight miles. Starting in 2012, the program will be based on actual flight miles, however, we will make a one-time adjustment on the United side to boost everyone’s lifetime earnings to EQMs dating back to the beginning of the program
      • Lifetime premier benefits for 1 million miles = Premier Gold, 2 million = Premier Platinum, 3 million = Premier 1K, 4 million = Global Services
      • Million milers will be able to designate a spouse or significant other to always have the same premier tier as them (this includes when the million miler member earns a higher tier). The spousal premier benefits will be identical as the member, except they will not include RPUs and GPUs. This spousal benefit will replace the one-time and annual upgrade gifts, and hopefully you’ll agree this is a better deal
      • Continental’s Infinite Elite members (the limited few of you that earned this back in the early 90’s) will be grandfathered in and given lifetime Premier 1K status, but without the GPUs. We hope you’ll agree this is a generous resolution
    One final note is timing. As most of you know, our Elite program year typically begins in February. In the case of 2012, most of the new program benefits and features, including the new Premier tiers, will be effective when we migrate to a single technology system late in the first quarter. Some changes, such as CPU geography may come sooner, but for now, the expectation we’d like to set for all new Premier tiers and associated benefits will be late first quarter 2012. We’ll be sharing more details, including the exact effective date, in the coming months.

    Our website has been updated with all the details. In the coming month, we’ll be filling in more blanks, such as extension of the current Elite year and how the overall account transition will occur.

    Thanks as always for your feedback, and we look forward to answering your questions.

    Scott O’Leary
    Managing Director, Customer Solutions
    United Airlines
  2. Mackieman
    • Original Member

    Mackieman Gold Member

    Thanks for the update, Scott. While most of the changes make sense, for me personally, it is a major bummer to see that Silvers lose the ability to select E+ at booking. I'm sure most folks (especially those of a higher status) don't care, but that was the single biggest draw of my loyalty (meager though it may be) to the company. Not sure what the next step is. :(
  3. J.Edward
    • Original Member

    J.Edward Silver Member

    Thanks -- very glad to see a strong MM program remain!
  4. CGK
    • Original Member

    CGK Gold Member

    Thanks for the update, Scott.
    Travelsavant likes this.
  5. Wandering Aramean
    • Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    The MM program update is, by far, the most compelling offering out there. Wow. Just wow.

    Quite surprised to see HNL-GUM ineligible for CPU given the equipment in use but I'll get over it.

    Overall not a horrible set of changes, though I reserve the right to further review and change my mind. :p
    bdraco and jetsetr like this.
  6. rggale
    • Original Member

    rggale Gold Member

    Great job Scott & team. You guys put a lot of thought & effort into this program and it seems as though everyone's needs were considered in the design.

    The only thing that I wish was different is the ability to earn 150% PQM/PQS and regular miles on Y/B fares!
    Travelsavant likes this.
  7. Jimgotkp
    • Original Member

    Jimgotkp Gold Member

    Looks like people that are at or near 4MM are excited for Lifetime Global Services!
    Travelsavant and CrazyMonkey like this.
  8. snod08
    • Original Member

    snod08 Gold Member

    Great news!! Makes good sense to retain UA 1K for years to come!
    Travelsavant likes this.
  9. snod08
    • Original Member

    snod08 Gold Member

    This seems to be pretty incredible indeed! I am sure there must be quite a few who might get 4MM with the merged EQMs!
    Travelsavant likes this.
  10. FlyingFree
    • Original Member

    FlyingFree Gold Member

    Really appreciate the update...thanks! Also relieved to know that a week from today, somewhere over the Pacific between SEA and NRT, I will become a UA/CO million miler and lifetime Premiere Gold!
  11. unityofsaints

    unityofsaints Active Member

    Fantastic to see Gold as the MM benefit - a major reason to keep on flying United!
    Golfingboy, OnTehWings and FlyingFree like this.
  12. Misplaced Texan
    • Original Member

    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

    Very cool update and lots of things to like here. :thumbsup:

    The sky was, apparently, not falling after all. :rolleyes:
  13. colpuck
    • Original Member

    colpuck Gold Member

    the changes are meh. I don't like the decrease in bonus miles, though with all the CC pimping that chase and UA have been doing it is not a surprise.
    Travelsavant, icurhere2 and Tenmoc like this.
  14. tommy777
    • Original Member

    tommy777 Co-founder

    What a devaluation of the MM program! GS is now obtainable at 4MM?? Holy smokes, I just flew by a million miles without doing nothing and I've only flown UA since moving to the US in 2006.

    Good luck getting those upgrades in the future...
    Jubileesmom, Travelsavant and Tenmoc like this.
  15. harvson3

    harvson3 Silver Member

    Thanks for the update.

    As a soon-to-be Silver on CO, I'm disappointed by the loss of one checked bag and the 24-hour window. I fear that the latter may just lock me out of E+ seats on busy routes/days. I'm disappointed because this isn't a matter of aligning incongruent CO and UA details; it's just a step to increase revenue off baggage fees and paid upgrades. So it goes.
    Jubileesmom, Travelsavant and sobore like this.
  16. HeathrowGuy
    • Original Member

    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

    New program looks quite nice. I have just one point of contention. Any particular rationale for slashing the elite bonus miles earned by Gold and Platinum members? In the program most comparable to MileagePlus (Delta SkyMiles), the elite bonus mile structure is:

    Silver 25%
    Gold 100%
    Platinum 100%
    Diamond 125%
  17. Hartmann
    • Original Member

    Hartmann Gold Member

    It will be interesting to see if IAH-LIM gets changed to non-CPU as the ghetto birds are converted to lie-flats. My guess is that it will go non-CPU.

    Anyway, overall the changes are fine with me.
    Travelsavant likes this.
  18. mundosurfer
    • Original Member

    mundosurfer Gold Member

    Once the MM changes are implemented for actual flight miles, will it only be actual flight miles on UACO, or will partner flights still apply?
    Travelsavant likes this.
  19. HeathrowGuy
    • Original Member

    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

    Only actual miles on UACO + Copa will count as actual flight miles -- an interesting move given that the carriers are trying to move to "metal neutrality" with their joint venture partners. So the metal won't be neutral at all from a FFP standpoint.
    Travelsavant likes this.
  20. legalalien
    • Original Member

    legalalien Gold Member

    "Compensation for Global Entry application fee" for Platinum and 1k is an interesting perk.

    Other than that, MM changes, and no mention of revenue minimums, the new program matches what's been discussed endlessly on this and other forums.

    Oh, and SWUs are still only valid for W and up - unlike what has been discussed.
    Scottrick and Travelsavant like this.
  21. 7Continents
    • Original Member

    7Continents Silver Member

    This further pushes the 25k-49,999k fliers away. I understand that with a bigger population, we probably mean less in the long run, but it means silvers get: Pay for same day confirm, pay for same day stand by, pay for second bag, no access to E+ until T-24, CPU's on flights with mostly empty planes only.....:(
  22. hulagrrl210
    • Original Member

    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

    The new silver is an insult! Not thrilled about the cut in bonus miles for gold and the new platinum either!
  23. JohnDeere19
    • Original Member

    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

    I love the lifetime status at UA...far more compelling now as a younger flyer to switch travel to UA/CO vs. AA. I worry that some of the lower status people, however, may jump ship to AA.
    Travelsavant and Tenmoc like this.
  24. avflyer
    • Original Member

    avflyer Silver Member

    So as I understand it, any miles I have flown on say, Air Canada or US Air in the past will now be added to my lifetime miles total?
    Travelsavant likes this.
  25. canucklehead
    • Original Member

    canucklehead Gold Member

    Thanks Scott (+ Shannon and UA team)! It was a pleasure meeting you at SMD3!

    Thank you for this announcement.

    Some interesting changes to the program. Wonder how long it will take me to get 4M PQMs! :D

    A couple of questions, how will RPUs be awarded, 2 per quarter for 1Ks or 2 at 75K and every 25K after that. And are 1Ks getting 6 GPUs at 100 000K.

    I take it on the day' of flight waitlist, for CPU RPU=GPU=paid upgrades, and not GPU before RPU before paid upgrade.
    Travelsavant likes this.

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