Economy travelers lose BIG TIME under the new system!

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by trobb49, Jun 11, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. trobb49

    trobb49 Silver Member

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    UA-2015_compared.jpg View attachment 57448 Here's an analysis of old vs new, based on the current fares for a trip from EWR to HNL in November of this year. This assumes that there will be no more bonuses based on your MP status. The info supplied by UA has been completely silent on this issue, most likely because they don't want us to know the complete truth. (I hope I'm wrong....)
    View attachment 57447
     
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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    The multiplier is your status bonus.
     
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  3. davef139

    davef139 Gold Member

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    I don't think you realize how bias'ed this calculation is.
     
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  4. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    This is a great illustration of how the devalued RDM earnings scheme is providing fewer benefits to both United elites and general customers.
     
  5. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    That's on top of the fact that sitting for 9924 r/t miles in UA Economy must be pretty unpleasant to begin with.:eek:
     
  6. davef139

    davef139 Gold Member

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    Well in calculating some of my own numbers I figured I would do some research. Your bias for this posting comes at you pick one if not the longest domestic flight possible.
    Now here are a few things to consider, UA's avg stage length for Mainline is 1919 miles and regional is 553 miles, a far stretch from using the very top end of your numbers.

    Now comparing your data, I pulled fares and see TLPE14ZN is $877.31, granted this helps your calculations but you didn't even investigate the fares properly. Checking ITA the base fare is $827.55 with the other $80 in taxes which will not count.

    If you want to be more realistic you shouldn't be looking at the longest or shortest. flights but places in between. Now a decent short haul route which gets mainline and regional traffic you should be comparing is something like ORD-MSP, throwing LAX/JFK into the mix might be a decent comparison, but the fares are skewed upwards as its a premium traffic route.

    If you want to do the top end let us take a look at the bottom end, MKE/ORD (67mi) Nov 1-8 is $146RT, so that lowly general member gets 730 RDM vs the old system of 134.

    I loaded fares for ORD/MSP SAA21AKN for the July 4th time period, the base fare is $113OW, that is a win mileage wise for any elite rank.

    I find LAX/SFO too skewed on data due to extremely high competition and the premium traffic figured in due to connecting international passengers.
     
  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Perhaps someone (Seth?) would like to create a greasemonkey script that adds a "Devaluation Value" to united.com for flight searches. Calculate the earnings under the old and the new scheme and display the difference. For extreme cases add some nice icons such as

    [​IMG]

    (Or perhaps we should challenge united to add this as a standard feature, so people can see how the new earnings scheme impacts them)
     
  8. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Does not one gets a minimum 500 RDM flown? So in your example above, Current system ($146 - 67 miles) gets 1,000 minimum RDM before Elite Bonus while new system nets 730 miles.
     
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  9. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    What UA (and DL) know is that many economy class pax either don't have or don't know or care about FF plans and their "benefits". So they'll just book tix at the lowest fares or easiest routing and fly.

    One current example: A friend of my wife, from Belfast, just returned yesterday from a RT on UA, BFS-EWR-LAS on an inexpensive package trip. She had flown UA earlier this year on a BFS-EWR RT for a week in NYC, and for both trips didn't know, or care about joining UA's MP for the miles accumulation for later trips. While she isn't one of the millions of FF plan members in all the airlines, there are probably just as many non-members who just fly to get somewhere at the lowest fares and easiest connections. And the airlines know of that.

    (We'll have to have a talk with her about joining a program next time we speak).
     
  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The OP's choice of what to model is no more biased than or is as biased as your wanting that s/he pick shorter range trips to model. I, for example, would consider EWR-HNL a mid-range trip that would be representative. There is no mystery here at all, however. Long-haul trips in economy get hit big. Short trips not so much but it would require so many such trips to earn enough RDMs for a decent redemption that in the end even cheap short-range trips get hit. The only winners are high spenders, be it on short-range or long-haul travel. Period.
     
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  11. trobb49

    trobb49 Silver Member

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    Some of the earlier comments pointed out that my 'analysis' was biased, and I suppose it was to some extent, but I live in Japan which is even further away from EWR than HNL. People are right when they say that the new system works out more favorably for shorter distances. See the comparison below based on a r/t fight between ORD and DEN.

    As others have mentioned, there is an increase in the miles accrued, particularly for the higher fare classes. There is little reason, however, to pay $200 more for a higher fare just to get more miles. Those same $200 could get you perhaps 10,000 miles if you directly purchased them at 2¢ per mile (or whatever 'good deal' you find).
    [​IMG]
     
  12. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The above took the words right out my mouth. Who would pay ~$500 to fly from DEN to ORD just to get more RDMs, when there are tickets for about half that price? And you make an other excellent point: why buy a more expensive ticket simply to get RDMs when one could purchase a lot more RDMs with the savings from getting the cheapest ticket? Any way one looks at these changes, it is tough to see a single positive for anyone who isn't already able to afford expensive tickets. If that was UA's goal, then mission accomplished, but let's not pretend, as UA (right out of DL's playbook) has been trying to spin this monstrosity, that they have added or will be adding "new ways to use your miles for more choices and more value, to make the frequent flyer program with the best award availability* even better." It is outright insulting...:mad:
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
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  13. Phorever

    Phorever Silver Member

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    I fly 60-70 segments per year and most of them are: ord-msp, ord-cmh, ord-stl etc. my average flight cost is probably about $300 round trip. The new system will actually work great for me.
     
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  14. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    For the specific market you've shown, yes, the earning will be less (even with some of the errors in your analysis). But that's a single market, not all "economy travelers" and suggesting otherwise is worse than the bad data you started with.

    The second set of charts is more reasonable.

    And the assumption that people are purposefully paying more for miles is silly. People are paying more for ticket flexibility, because they are buying last-minute or because they need a specific schedule.
     
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  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Would it not make sense to model based on averages? Average stage length, average number of segments per trip and average fare can all be found if one desires.

    Or, even better, do the calculations based on personal circumstances and not pretend that your personal numbers apply to everyone else.
     
  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    The latter is the only thing that makes sense for me, and I did just that in the other thread by picking a couple of routes that are common/representative for my travel pattern. If I had too much time at my hands, I would go through my flight history off the last few years, but... it is what it is, and it really doesn't change my post-MM plans.
     
  17. festdave

    festdave Silver Member

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    I realize that a big complaint is the number of miles one potentially gets for specific routes under the old and new system. I also realize that the Premier Bonus for RDMs gets subsumed in the 5-7-8-9-11/$ earning rates. But am I miscalculating that the effective Premier Bonus is going UP ?!?

    "Bonus" RDMs per Status Level, compared to General Members:
    STATUS OLD NEW CALC
    Base 0% 0%
    Silver 25% 40% =(7-5)/5
    Gold 50% 60% =(8-5)/5
    Platinum 75% 80% =(9-5)/5
    1K 100% 120% =(11-5)/5
     
  18. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I hadn't calculated the actual percentages, but yes, I did notice that 11x for 1K vs 5x for GM is more than the 100% bonus of today.
     
  19. snod08
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    snod08 Gold Member

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    But aren't both of your posts not taking in to account that today we earn based on miles flown.?
    Next year we will earn RDM's based on $ value.

    So, the long-haul W-fare flyers will make way less than they used to?
     
  20. trobb49

    trobb49 Silver Member

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    Here is a do-it-yourself comparison sheet. Look up the R/T fares and O/W distance for up to 4 fare classes, and plug them into the light green squares, replacing my figures with your own. The rest will be done for you.
    Milepoint apparently doesn't allow Excel files to be uploaded, so I've placed it on my university server. (Updated from the original)
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
  21. snod08
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    snod08 Gold Member

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    thanks for this.
    In the top column do we enter round-trip fares or one-way fares?
     
  22. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Nope...holding status gets you a bigger bonus. And if you also fly on high fares then that bonus is on a higher base number. If you fly on low fares the bonus is on a lower base number. But the bonus is higher either way.
     
  23. trobb49

    trobb49 Silver Member

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    Good question. Thanks! Enter the R/T fares (But the O/W distance.) I've edited the posting to reflect this now.
     
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  24. festdave

    festdave Silver Member

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    No, you're right. Overall RDM earning may well go down for some flying patterns. But I guess I was trying to find something positive, which is that at least the Premier bonuses are better. Echo in post #22.
     
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  25. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    The posts you quoted were simply looking at the bonus percentage elite flyers receive compared to general members. The absolute number of miles may very well go down drastically for a given route (but more so for the GM than the 1K then).

    And no, it's not really a major incentive for me anymore to aim for higher status than the Gold status I have as a MM flyer.

    Maybe a bit surprising that United (and Delta?) don't seem to spin it as an enhancement for elites, though. Perhaps I just missed it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
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