MileagePlus Changes Effect Premier Benefits
United recently announced a series of small changes to the MileagePlus program that will impact elite members of the program.
Effective April 15, 2015 the status of an elite member will no longer extend to others when an elite member books an award ticket for another traveler. Premier travel benefits will be based on the Premier status of the traveler when traveling on award tickets on United and United Express operated flights. With this change family members and spouses traveling on award tickets will not have access to Economy Plus seating (or Premier priority travel services such as priority check-in and priority boarding) unless the elite member is also traveling on award miles on the same reservation. For more information on changes to Premier award travel benefits, click HERE.
Effective Feb. 1, 2015, Premier Gold elite members will no longer get a third checked bag for free and United will no longer offer a payment code to cover the cost of Global Entry Fees for Platinum, 1K and Global Services members. Eligible elite members may continue to request a payment code through Jan. 31, 2015. For more information on changes to checked bag fees click HERE and read more on Global Entry compensation HERE.
Also effective Feb. 1, 2015, elite members will be charged a cash co-pay when using miles to upgrade on United’s premium service routes from New York (JFK ) to Los Angeles (LAX) and New York (JFK) to San Francisco (SFO). These routes were already excluded from complimentary elite upgrades, so now in addition to the miles required for an upgrade, elite members will pay a cash co-pay ranging from $75-$250 each way depending on the fare class. For more information on the changes to upgrades, click HERE.
INSIDE|Point: These small changes might add up to a significant loss for some members of MileagePlus. United recently raised the qualification requirements for Premier status and program benefits for Premier members seem to be on the decline. What do you think? Do these program changes make MileagePlus less attractive? Share your comments below.