Hitting 1K early in the year not such a good idea anymore

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by trobb49, Sep 1, 2012.  |  Print Topic

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How would you avoid hitting 1K too early in the year?

Poll closed Sep 15, 2012.
  1. Fly a different airline.

    9.5%
  2. Fly the same itinerary as a codeshare.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Delay my travel.

    23.8%
  4. Just forfeit the unusd GPUs.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Give the unused GPUs away.

    14.3%
  6. Not my concern. I'd never reach 1K anyway.

    4.8%
  7. We should ask UA to revert to their old policy.

    61.9%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. trobb49

    trobb49 Silver Member

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    One new 'feature' of the current MileagePlus program is that you are issued your six 'Global Premier Upgrades' as soon as you hit 100,000 miles. Since they are only valid for one year, that means that the upgrades that I received on 31 August 2012 need to be used by 31 August 2013. Formerly, the default was to receive your SWUs when the new year began, and if you wanted them earlier you simply had to request them. I suppose this strategy helps the UA bottom line since more members will end up forfeiting their unused GPUs.

    So, what could I have done? Obviously, if I've gotta fly, I've gotta fly. Perhaps I should have purchased the same itinerary through a codeshare using a different Star Alliance FF program membership, but these are often more expensive. Any other ideas?

    Could we petition UA to give us back our choice?
     
  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Last year I tried to time it so my last flight in late Dec would push me over the treshhold, but irregular operations with a route change and rebook in full Y or C in late November screwed that up :(
     
  3. ClarkyBoy
    Original Member

    ClarkyBoy Silver Member

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    thinking hard to give my miles to other FF because of this until i know i need the SWU - it makes no sense unless you are sure you would hit 1K again next year.
     
  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    By the way, welcome to MP, trobb49!
     
  5. kwai
    Original Member

    kwai Gold Member

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    I'm looking to pull my FF# from a domestic UA itin where I'm already upgraded using certs. This will effectively leave me about 3K shy of 1K for the duration until I petition for retroactive flight credit.

    This plan could go down the drain if some upcoming long hauls are rebooked due to IRROPs.
     
  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I don't mind getting them sooner. I use them so getting them later wouldn't do too much for me.
     
  7. mht_flyer
    Original Member

    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    And this option should be on the poll above.. It's missing out for the fact that many people are fine with this policy and use the GPUs when and how the program issues them.
     
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  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Personally, I think GPUs should have the same lifespan as the rest of the 1K benefits. I understand to some degree why UA is limiting their lifespan to 12 months, but I don't think it's a customer friendly policy and they control, to some degree at least, the number that can actually be redeemed.
     
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  9. trobb49

    trobb49 Silver Member

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    Is there a way to add options to an existing poll? I did want to put in an 'other' write-in option, at least, but this poll function is pretty anemic.
     
  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    This would be a "problem" only if you have no choice but to fly a lot as part of your work, otherwise it would simply be a matter of timing your trips to accumulate the PQMs at a rate that will allow you to make 1K at the end of the year. In the past, I timed my trips in such a way that I always made 1K on my last long-haul trip to Asia. This year will be different because I had two especially long trips early in the year (MEL and PEK) so that I will hit 1K in mid-November, which ain't too bad. I have been at 74K PQM for a while now, avoiding any long trip so as not to make Premier Platinum and get the RPUs too early. In short, my approach every year, which is not presented as one of the choices, is to completely map out my travel at the beginning of the year based on conferences that I usually attend, and then mix in a number of long-haul trips, as necessary, to ensure that I will not be short and have to do MRs like crazy at the end of the year to requalify. The result has been that I plan one long-haul trip to Asia at the end of the year, which I usually pay for, rather than redeem, to get the PQMs on outbound to requalify, except for one time when I had already requalified and redeemed to experience what it's like to fly F on a TPAC. Therefore, my approach is closer to the choice of "delaying", but I do not "delay" so much as I "time" my trips...
     
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  11. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    @NYCUA1K - Most are flying to 1K status because of need, not often having the flexibility of scheduling with this issue in mind. You are fortunate to have such flexibility. Mine is a mix.

    I'm going to hit it in October this year, but my crystal ball is not working, so I have no idea when (or even if) I will hit it next year. I think that's probably the case for most people.

    When a customer issue arises, I can't tell them to wait a couple of months so as not to mess up my RPU/GPU planning. Not if I want to keep that customer. ;)
     
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  12. 2wheels

    2wheels Silver Member

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    It's also only a problem this year. I've traditionally hit 1K in October, and going forward, I think I will continue to do that. That means the GPUs and RPUs that I earn in October will expire next October, so I'll only be adjusting the expiry date of them by a few months, nothing else. Getting them sooner, and using them sooner.
     
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  13. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Quite right. My situation is clearly different because of the added flexibility. When duty calls, timing oneself for 1K goes out the window...:)
     
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  14. kwai
    Original Member

    kwai Gold Member

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    Back a few years ago, when status expired on Feb 28, the SWUs were expiring at the end of January. Then status expiration was moved up to Jan 31. Now the SWUs are moved up also. Baby steps to oblivion.
     
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  15. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    The simple solution is to revert to the previous policy of depositing the SWUs-GPUs in January of the year following qualifying activity. For those whom need their SWUs sooner, United could allow the option to request an early SWU deposit policy, as they did previously. This creates a customer friendly solution for everyone: those whom need their SWUs early can get them via early deposit, and those whom want them with a later expiration date receive them this way as well.
     
  16. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    The best bet would to be valid through the expiration of the tier. -- I.e if 1k today, SWUs good until last day of Jan 2014... This is the only benefit of 1k that's not.
     
  17. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Yeah... You really hit on something here. Made me think, "I know how to make more money. Give our customers LESS!"

    Now my business is far too competitive to actually think like that, but if I were Smisek, I might be tempted to think, "Where else are they going to go?" It's not like there is some super customer-friendly competition out there, and now nobody has all the destinations UA offers. This thought process, however, is short sighted. Competition always arises as the result of gaps left open by existing providers. There are an abundance of gaps in today's airline service environment.

    While conditions may not be alluring to potentially competitive investors right now, the cheese is always moving. Airline customers have a very long life-value, and we also have very long memories. WHEN a real competitor shows up, I'll be giving them serious consideration.

    Before the merger, I belonged to Continental, and I read many United customers here who felt the same loyalty. Had they continued the outstanding customer service that they each had prior to the merger, my loyalty would have been strengthened. I was upset with many things that happened during the first 60 days post 3/3, but I figured they were going to be worked out. The technical, IT parts are being resolved, but the company's greed has gone over the top. I'm a fan of greed. It makes me work harder, but similar to the Laffer Curve of taxation, too much greed has diminishing returns, and that's what I see in the future of this new airline. And it IS new. It has only cosmetic resemblance to its two combined parts.
     
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  18. kwai
    Original Member

    kwai Gold Member

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    The problem with the Laffer Curve is there are no set coordinates. In regards to Jeffie Boy's airline he'll only know he missed the mark when it's too late.
     
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  19. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    I do the "Delay my Travel" technique. I've got bupkis everywhere else, so now I aim to hit 100k on UA in December. The downside to this is that I usually don't bother booking beyond 100k, since it only hurts my upgrade deposits.
     
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  20. AZjohn

    AZjohn Silver Member

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    See, and this is what has always struck me as...umm...just dumb I guess.

    Why in the world would any company take an incentive away from their customers that would result in them spending less $ to your company? Why would anyone with just a little common sense know there are flyers out there that are putting off hitting 100K until later in the year, differing the miles to their competition????

    I won't make a blanket statement that AA is better, but I most certainly will say they do their SWU's a lot better (get them as soon as you hit 100K and don't expire until Feb the year after the next, period, easy and done)
     
  21. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I agree.
    But not this part.

    The company wants you to focus all your spend on them. If you hit 100K in August then you should be able to hit 150K by the end of the year and get more certs. They aren't looking to force you to delay; they're encouraging you to keep earning by offering more certs if you fly more, not penalizing you for only flying 100K and then quitting.

    I'm only mostly serious about this. If you look at it from the "pace" perspective then it does make some sense that there's no point in delaying the process. And there are certainly reasons to keep flying after 100K rather than to abruptly shift to a different program. There are also reasons to shift, but if you're the company you would probably not focus on those.

    As for AA having better GPUs, I like that you get more and that they have no fare restrictions. And they're great if one of the few destinations they serve works for you. But the limited number of destinations is a challenge for me.
     
  22. AZjohn

    AZjohn Silver Member

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    Well, speaking for myself personally and reading many other posts, I qualified for 1K last year at the end of December (you might remember?). This was on purpose and could have hit 100K in early October but knew my SWU's would expire the following Oct which would have screwed me for Holiday travel this Nov and Dec.

    So, for me (and other posts I read) UA lost out on 2 months of travel from me because of their change in policy. And really, how does this encourage additional flying (unless you are going for 150 or 200K by EOY) if you hit 100k Q3-Q4? Might be your idea it works for you, but had the reverse effect for me and can't understand your logic.
     
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  23. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The logic is that continuing to fly at the same pace likely means more rewards (RPUs or GPUS) and also that you continue to reap the benefits of the program. If you have a hard limit on flying of 100K miles and you choose to front-load the year then pause before finishing then I suppose that's one type of customer. But if you're flying 10-15k/month for 8 months then it isn't all that unreasonable for them to think that you'd continue like that rather than abruptly stop.

    I'd bet that their analytic data suggests that more consistent flight patterns are much more common than folks stopping for 3 months then topping off their account.
     
  24. AZjohn

    AZjohn Silver Member

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    I personally avg 120K a year and I don't pay for C/F and use SWU's. Guess I'm one of those low life over-intitled crap customers :rolleyes:
    Should we bet on that???:p
     
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  25. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    For the last four or five years I have basically made 1K a stretch goal and reached it each year one way or another. Rarely (1 time) have I gone beyond 120k EQM. 95% of my travel is self-funded for leisure travel and doesn't follow a particular pattern, though I do tend to have one or two international trips at the end of the year to take advantage of the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas). And I don't really see it as beneficial to me or UA if the SWUs expire before my XMas trip as it forces me to either use miles, fly on a competitor, or sit in coach.

    Well, it may be a moot point for me anyway as this year the 1K stretch goal might be a bit too much of a stretch, and I am thinking of just stopping at 75,001 EQMs. I would miss the GPUs next year, but the money I don't spend on extra (more or less unnecessary) travel this year I can perhaps dedicate to co-pays. Or I can just make next year a burn year after reaching 50k EQM.
     
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