Award Miles: Sad reality...

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by SnowDogDad, May 3, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. SnowDogDad

    SnowDogDad Silver Member

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    I'm betting there are a few dozen threads on this so I apologize for starting a new one... the new reality of flying United..... 4,856 actual miles flown.... 3,190 actual award miles credited to my account. And, I'm a 1K.
     
  2. radonc1951

    radonc1951 Gold Member

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    There has been.
    For the "low profit" (in UA's eyes) flyer, the devaluation in RDUs is going to be dramatic. However, it appears that this is the way that airlines loyalty programs are trending. It is now no different than hotel programs in that the amount you spend determines the number of RDUs you earn. Fortunately, your EQMs don't rely yet on spend (although status levels do).

    That being said, if you are still earning 1K status, that means you are spending in 2015 a minimum of $12,000 which translates into at least 132,000 RDUs. I know that isn't the 200000 that use to be earned (at a minimum) but the program is now going for those elusive "high spenders".

    Airline flying has changed over the years, and so have loyalty programs. And it hasn't been for the better.
     
  3. Garp74

    Garp74 Gold Member

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    On the other hand ...

    You spent $290 (base fare) to fly across the country and back (or the equivalent). You got a ton of value, as a consumer, and STILL got rewarded with some frequent flyer miles. In a vacuum, that's really not a bad deal, is it? :)
     
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  4. SnowDogDad

    SnowDogDad Silver Member

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    Quite true... But, it was a contract fare for work travel. So, my employer got the value. And I spent 17 hours (including a 5.5 hour equipment delay) trying to get home. For me it is partially about value but also the fact that I just don't enjoy flying much, so fewer award mile just kinda adds insult to injury. :-(
     
  5. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Life is full of choices. Whenever possible, I avoid travel on UA and DL. At least for the time being, AA has not similarly changed to a regressive award miles system. This forum and TOBB are among the few places where you can kvetch about what UA has become. Complaining to UA at this point is an exercise in futility.
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Shouldn't you be happy that you got a good cheap fare on a legacy carrier on which you have status?
     
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  7. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    "The food is terrible! And such small portions!"

    (UA is just trying to save you from doing more flying... :p)
     
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  8. Dublin_rfk

    Dublin_rfk Gold Member

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    On the bright side. Smaller portions makes keeping to a diet easier.:rolleyes:
     
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  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    The food was terrible last year, too. But now I don't even get that discount anymore that they offered last year.

    Has anyone done the calculation to figure out how much of a price hike the RDM changes represent when assuming a conservative valuation of the miles?
     
  10. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Such a generalized calculation is not possible in a meaningful way, only per-case evaluation. Some tickets give more miles, others tge same, more give less. Plus the redemption changed pretty significantly.
     
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  11. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Sure, but I could do such a calculation for my travel, based on my flights last year. I know what I paid, what I earned, and I can calculate what I would have earned under this year's scheme. Then assume a 2 cent value and I can calculate the price hike (I assume) or reduction. Or use this year's flights and calculate what the earnings would have been under last year's scheme.

    I am just too lazy to do that. And that fact that so far this year I have earned 1440 RDM with two segments on United might have something to do with that ;)

    But I still think it would be interesting to know, even if it differs from person to person. Think of it as boiling the griping down to a single number.
     
  12. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    There is no one number. Everyone is different.

    When delta switched, based on previous year mqds I'd have pretty much earned the same.
     
  13. radonc1951

    radonc1951 Gold Member

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    One could do a basic calculation based on the # of miles they flew last year and their EQD spend.
    I had an EQD spend of around $26000 for about 102,000 miles. Using my 1K status, 11*26000 would give me 286000 RDUs for the year.
    I think that this would have been a wash as far as either program is concerned..

    I can say that high spenders have to be careful when paying for those expensive F tickets since MP does limit RDUs to 75000 per ticket ( about $6818/ticket).

    It is a wacko system.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
  14. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    I haven't paid that much attention, as I am largely a captive audience,
    but wouldn't it be 11 ppd x $26000 = a fairly puny number?
     
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  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I get that. And I said that.
     
  16. radonc1951

    radonc1951 Gold Member

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    You are correct (and I did edit my post :oops:). But as I added, the $26000 cannot be spent all on one ticket :rolleyes::eek::mad:
     
  17. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    The rationale for UA copying DL's RBS is supposedly reward high spending customers. However, the cap of 75,000 miles per ticket penalizes the high spending C or F international flyers whom may spend $6000-$15000 on their tickets. It also awards far fewer RDMs to many international flyers in Y whom may be buying mid range priced tickets.
     
  18. Desidivo

    Desidivo Silver Member

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    Simple. Change your behavior. For me, I now fly UA mostly domestically. My international flights are now on mostly Asian airlines. I usually get better service for a lower cost. Last year, I selected UA even when it was more expensive. Now most of my business class travel is on other carriers. In my case, I have been very happy with this change and have found a few airlines that I now prefer.

    In short, do what is right for you. Figure out if loyalty to UA is worth it and adjust based on what value you get. UA made a calculation that they would loose some people like me but end up with higher revenues. Only time will tell if this is the correct decision.
     
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  19. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    It's quite a contrast how United awards mies compared to American keeping the distance based RDM scheme and offering a plethora of RDM & EQM bonus offers to elites as well as general Aadvantage members.
     
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