European Mileage Plus Members

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by mechteach, Feb 7, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. mechteach
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    mechteach Silver Member

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    I'm curious to hear about the experiences of UA MP members who live in Europe. Why did you choose MP? Do you encounter any difficulties in maintaining your status (for example, with earning restrictions on intra-European fares)?

    I have a selfish reason for asking - I've been 1K on UA for a few years now, and I have been quite happy with that program and status level (I was CP and PP on US before). However, it now looks like I will be moving to London during the middle of this year, and will be staying over in the UK for at least 1 full year (maybe more). I'd like to maintain 1K, since I will be moving back to the U.S., but I want to know what pitfalls/roadblocks/etc. might pop up.
     
  2. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    I'd chosen UA MP because they give 100% on cheaper *A TATL flights, where LH or BD give only 50%.
     
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  3. mechteach
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    mechteach Silver Member

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    Thanks! That's a helpful data point.
     
  4. cgrooms
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    cgrooms Silver Member

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    I lived in Athens, Greece as a UA 1K for two years, earning the bulk of those miles on LH and TG. Knowing that at some point in the future I'd move back to the States I never thought twice about switching to another Star Alliance program. I can't say I ever ran into a reason why this was a bad choice. LH treated me like a king when I was on their metal given my 1K status. I'm now commuting between Europe and Florida every month and plan on staying MP. Will finally get my 1K back again :) Good luck with the move. See you at a London Meet Up one day maybe.
     
  5. lhrsfo
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    lhrsfo Silver Member

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    MP really is the best *A program if you are Europe based and have connections with the US. UA is far more generous at awarding miles on cheaper fares than the other Europe based airlines. Having said that, maintaining 1K is quite tricky unless you are flying a lot to the USA. The real issue from London is that there are so many countries which you cannot reach nonstop on *A: for example, if your business takes you to Paris or Rome or Madrid or Amsterdam (I've chosen main business capitals there), you are out of luck - and there's no way you would want to do connecting flights for a day trip. So, in my experience, the bulk of the mileage earning flying is to the USA.

    One tip - don't change your MP credit card address to a UK one - that will complicate matters enormously for mileage earning.
     
  6. mechteach
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    mechteach Silver Member

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    Thanks for all of the helpful advice. I am a little worried about hitting the 100k level this year, with the move and the lack of mileage earning options within Europe. I know that I'll hit at least 75k, though, which might be worth the push for an extra 25k.
     
  7. jason8612
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    jason8612 Gold Member

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    I agree with the above posters. I'm based in Poland the last 6 years and have been a 1K for the last few years. I stick with UA as they are just better than the European based options (LH). better status levels, less miles for award tickets, etc. And including since I have USA flights, those SWU and 100% earning EQM do make a difference. If your based in London, i wouldn't see it as too big of a problem as there are (or were) UA to the USA or ones that I booked via mainland europe for those extra few EQMs
     
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  8. jupper
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    jupper Silver Member

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    Well, something that might sweeten it in the future: Contintal OnePass has special provisions for Europe based members. How much of that remains is yet to be seen, but in 2010 Gold or higher (50k EQM and up) got a complimentary club membership, plus you can also qualify based on the number of (CO metal) transatlantic flights (5 for Silver, 10 for Gold, 15 for Platinum IIRC)...

    Star Alliance wise, with BMI being cut into pieces your routes from London will be "interesting", a lot of direct flights have gone and you'll probably be going via FRA/MUC a lot. UA MP offers better earnings on lower LH Y fares...

    As for earnings, I've found that there can be quite a lot of nice fares from the EU to the USA, often with interesting routing options (AMS-IAH-SEA r/t for about EUR 450 is a nice deal).
     
  9. lhrsfo
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    lhrsfo Silver Member

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    I think, for the OP, it comes down to trying accurately to forecast her travel patterns whilst she is in London - where she'll be flying, how often and in what fare classes. If a good part of her travel is to the USA, then I would imagine that MP will remain the preferred choice. If most of her travel will be elsewhere, then BA would be the airline of choice, either through BA's program itself, or through AA's program (and that choice depends upon the fare classes that she'll be flying).
     
  10. MarkUK
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    MarkUK Milepoint Guide

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    One way to get a reasonable credit to UA in Europe is to fly Swiss rather than LH. 100% credit on Y B G H K L M
    Q S T U V W fares.
     
  11. cvarming
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    cvarming Silver Member

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    You have to be really careful here. It is not UA MP that awards the miles, it is the operating carrier. Depending on the fare buckets you fly, you will find a lot of strange multiplies applied to your miles. If you don't fly discounted economy then you will typically get all the miles from A to B, or some nice fixed amount for intra-european flights. On discounted economy you will find %50 earnings on LH and LX, but for slightly different fare buckets, and 25% for SK. I don't remember the rest, but I usually get 75 miles on SK for my intra-european flights. *A earnings in Europe is a jungle, and you will soon familiarize yourself with UA's earning sheet:

    http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,1177,00.html

    And remember, earnings can be as bad as 0%.

    For short haul flights you often have to look at the earnings on the operating carrier for you segment (fixed, distance based, etc) and apply the fare bucket multiplier from UA's web site.
     

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