How much revenue did UA lose by changing the expir. of ug's?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by estnet, Nov 10, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Now the UA has gone back (partially - still decreased CR-1's) to expiration of ug's to the "old" system I wonder how much money (and loyalty) they lost in the interim.
    For me at least xk and total loss of faith and probably much more loss to them for next year as I will book all my revenue travel on AA (where I have experienced much better treatment).
    Thoughts?
     
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  2. Mackieman
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    Mackieman Gold Member

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    Since none of us have any internal data on UA ops, I would surmise that no one outside of the company really knows.




    But surely that won't stand in the way of rumor and wild speculation.
     
  3. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    I don't get why people say UA has "gone back". You now get 6 SWUs as soon as you qualify and they're valid for at least 13 months. In the old system, you were lucky if you could beg for 1 or 2, and they'd expire 12 months from when you got them. Otherwise, you got your SWUs the first of the following year. This beats the old system hands down.

    I'm driving all of my spend to UA next year. I've gotten more upgrades in 2012 than I got in 2011 as a 1K and they've got the best route network out of SFO. It's a no brainer.
     
  4. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Ditto but now that I'm ATL based I need to reevaluate my UG chances next year since UA flies mostly Express into/out of ATL.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
  5. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Was actually interested in an "informal survey" rather than an actual figure (which I'm sure is internal confidential and probably unknowable anyway ;))
     
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  6. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    I'll play along.

    The answer is none. Not one penny.

    I flew UA just as much on the 365 day upgrade scheme as I would have under the old calendar year scheme as I will under whatever the new thing is.

    So there's a data point, for whatever it's worth.

    Sent from a place using a fruit thing.
     
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  7. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Ditto. I never really got the whining or "strategically planning when I'd hit 1K" stuff. If UA gives me 12, 18, 2, 1, whatever number of months to use them, I'll find a way to use them. Sure, the longer expiration is fine. I realize that the new way of issuing them was different from how PMUA did it. I was a 1K back then too, so I used to get the old UA SWUs and CR-1s. It wasn't a big deal to me when it changed to the CO way of issuing them. Honestly, I'd rather have them sooner than later, without having to call and ask for a favor. But that's just me. I was happy with how they were doing it, and of course now I'm happier with the longer expiration period on them. I'm glad UA made the change, but if they hadn't it wouldn't have cost them one penny of revenue from me. And, outside of these forums, the vast majority of their elites probably fall into that camp as well. You'd be surprised how many of elite members in any frequent travel program really have no clue how this stuff works. Just this week I've had a 1K member ask me if he needed to redeem one or two RPUs for one-way travel on ORD-IAH-LAX. I doubt he even noticed there was a change this year to how upgrades were deposited and their expiration dates.
     
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  8. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    Somewhat tangentially related -- I have held off on discretionary trips through the rest of this year since I've hit my EQM goal for the year. The lack of EQM rollover beyond each 25k tier means that once I hit my goals, I'm done for the year and will defer stuff till January or February.
     
  9. radonc1951

    radonc1951 Gold Member

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    So will I. I agree that UA will not lose a cent. For those of us who monitor use, the "force to use" date is just moved by the several months of the change. We will still use the certs. For those who do not monitor such things, it will not make a difference as well. They will expire, only at a later date.

    For those who move their business to another airline, it won't make any difference either since they won't earn any certs.;)
     
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  10. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Do you fly enough on those other airlines to get elite status with them?

    Sent from the heart of Redneckistan
     
  11. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    No, I didn't put the miles on other airlines; I just didn't spend it/fly it.
     
  12. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    None from me. I don't change my plans or carriers because of when upgrades expire.
     
  13. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    But I didn't. So by the same metric as applied above they didn't lose any money, right?? ;)

    I'm sure there was some revenue which moved around because of the policy. I don't know that it was enough to drive the policy change, but there were definitely some people who changed their plans because of the policy.
     
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  14. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I bet UA has no idea either.
     
  15. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Speculators shouldn't overlook the revenue gained from the shorter expiry. Some pax actually pay to sit in a premium cabin (gasp), but use upgrades to cut costs when available.

    The only time I've used my DL SWUs in the last four years was when Z inventory was available (swu category) on a flight I would had otherwise bought j (going to syd). That upgrade cost DL +/- $5,000 in revenue they otherwise would have gotten from me had my coupons expired. :)

    I know I'm in the minority...but I'm not alone.
     
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  16. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Love the "fruit thing". Thanks for adding to my informal survey - sure there are lots of answers
     
  17. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    I wonder how many of the people who didn't change their plans have their tickets paid for vs paid for themselves (I pay for all my own).

    Part of my displeasure is broken promises (I paid a lot of money and worked hard to get lifetime status that was supposed to give me benefits that were taken away), part is that I have to plan carefully and for me the longer expiration allows for better use in my case. AA (at least for now) offers a lot more to me as someone who loves to travel (and ug) but can't pay top dollar.
     
  18. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    I know you're not alone - and you're a more valuable customer than I am, but there are a lot of us who fill up seats that would otherwise go empty and add (?valuable) revenue that the airline would otherwise not obtain.
    Perhaps I'm just cynical, but after all the takeaways it just seems to me that there was a reason they backtracked (and my suspicion was lost revenue) - but it's just my own idea ;)
     
  19. AZjohn

    AZjohn Silver Member

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    My own personal data point:

    The newUA lost about $2.5K from me in Q4 of 2011 with me changing airlines so I would hit 1K Dec 29 assuring that I could use my SWU's over 2012 x-mas holidays (which I am).

    This year, my switch to AA mid year had very little to do with the SWU's expiration policy, but rather other issues that I don't need to get into on this thread.
     
  20. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Knowing that my RPUGPU lifespan is longer may actually cause me to purchase a front cabin ticket at times when I don't feel the odds are good of making the upgrade. If the expiration date were closer, I would be far more likely to roll the dice and try to use one.

    The goodwill factor is valuable to them, too. After all we went through earlier this year, it's about time they did something customer-favorable. My loyalty to UA was definitely questionable after some of the ridiculous, uncompensated inconveniences I experienced starting on 3/3/12. I haven't forgotten how much they inconvenienced me without seeming to care, but their recent service and this extension of an earned benefit is making me feel better about not jumping ship.
     
  21. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    UA lost a little on my changed flight habits. Not much, but there was an empty domestic seat going somewhere that I would have filled.

    Cheers -
     
  22. Wandering Aramean
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    Was it empty or filled by someone else??
     
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  23. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    I suspect a lot of people choose their primary airline based on criteria other than the issuing and expiration schedule of SWUs. Route map, service quality, upgrades in general, overall mileage program, fare eligibility for SWUs, number of SWUs, etc. would all rank a whole lot higher for me! Most of these considerations would come into play regardless of who pays for the ticket.

    I'd wager that you're a lot more on the margin than you think you are. Most business was not affected by the change.

    Then again, I just returned from a weekend run to IST where I sat next to or across the aisle from no less than 5 people taking advantage of a cheap fare to do the same thing, chatted with another in line, and ran into another (who I first encountered when seated next to while flying a special fare to WAW a year ago) at my hotel eating breakfast. Another few people mentioned being on the same flight on TOBB but I did not encounter them. It's incredible at times just how much we all end up driven to the same place.

    Obviously UA decided it was worth changing course - whether due to cost issues with managing different expirations, perceived loss of business/revenue, or other factors. Long term, I doubt it's a huge impact.

    I'd imagine that any customers that were "lost" due to the change were people like you already bitter for other reasons.

    Given flexibility in schedule, a desire to leverage SWUs internationally, and acceptable fares and route coverage from your origin and to your destinations, AA probably makes more sense for you anyway. No fare restrictions on SWUs is a significant bonus.

    On the lifetime side of things, I still don't understand the hubbub on that. UA's lifetime program's core benefit remained the same (50k status) and regional upgrades were traded for a partner status match. It'd be nice if they'd offered the choice I suppose, but for the majority of people the partner match is likely more valuable. If you want a weak lifetime program, look at some other airlines...
     
  24. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    On the lifetime side of things, I still don't understand the hubbub on that. UA's lifetime program's core benefit remained the same (50k status) and regional upgrades were traded for a partner status match. It'd be nice if they'd offered the choice I suppose, but for the majority of people the partner match is likely more valuable. If you want a weak lifetime program, look at some other airlines...[/quote]

    No I don't agree - taking away regionals (earned) is a small blow since I don't consider domestic F worth much anyway BUT going from a promise of 100% bonus redeemable miles to 50% or75% is a big blow (IMHO).
     
  25. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    NO. Do *not* start this debate again in a thread that has nothing to do with MM status.
    :mad:
     
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