Staring a possible bankruptcy in the face, United has pulled out a targeted bonus-mile offer that is sure to help fill seats this fall.
The offer: select Premier members who fly on United or United Express through Dec. 15 will earn bonus miles for their first eight roundtrips. The first roundtrip will earn a bonus of 5,000 miles and each subsequent roundtrip will see the bonus increase by 1,000 miles (i.e., roundtrip #2 earns a 6,000-mile bonus, roundtrip #3 = 7,000 miles … roundtrip #8 = 12,000 bonus miles), for a total of 68,000 bonus miles if all eight roundtrips are completed.
And that’s not all. Once the Premier member completes eight roundtrips, United will give 25,000 miles to another Mileage Plus member of the Premier member’s choosing. The only stipulation is that the eight roundtrips must be booked in fare classes F, P, C, Y, B or M and a minimum $500 roundtrip fare purchase is required (and yes, we checked … you cannot “gift” yourself).
The trick, of course, is to get selected. If you’ve been selected, you will receive the offer in the mail. If you have not received the offer and you are a Premier member, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to give Mileage Plus customer service a call at (800) 421-4655 and ask about your chances of getting on the selection list.
This has all the makings of a win-win promotion – targeted Premier members get to earn big bonus miles and gift a roundtrip Saver Award to a friend or family member and United attracts the higher yield traffic that it so desperately needs. If this promotion proves a success, and there’s every reason to believe it will, expect to see other programs follow with similar promotions this fall.