Just 2,050 miles away from gold in United Milage Plus

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by miles&me, Dec 20, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. miles&me

    miles&me New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    This past year I have flown quite a few miles and I am within 2,050 miles of getting Gold status in United's Mileage Plus.

    I understand the qualifying period ends, and I have to start again at zero on January 1 to reach gold qualifying status next year, and because I'm so close to gold, you must understand my disappointment.

    Do you have any tips for how I can do that? I considered purchasing the necessary accelerating miles (together with booking my next flight on January), but they are quite pricy.

    Thanks in advance for your kind advice.

    Regards,

    Levy
     
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  2. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    There is really no black market for premier accelerating miles (PAM) and UA is probably being doubly vigilant at this time of the year to make sure they do not get scammed by folks who are just short of making status. Depending on the rate that you are being offered for PAMs, things may not be that bad. In this other thread on the same topic, two rates are being offered: 21 cents/PAM or 42 cents/PAM. So, you are looking at spending $400-$800 to purchase 2K PAMs. Depending on where you live and if you have the time, you could also do a MR (e.g., a TCON) with that kind of money to get 2K PQMs. Then the next logical question, which only you can answer, is: "Is Premier Gold worth that much to you?"
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014
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  3. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    My guess is a mileage run is about the only option. My guess is the cheapest day to do this would be on Christmas day with such short notice.
     
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  4. SnowDogDad

    SnowDogDad Silver Member

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    I'm assuming that you did reach the spending limit for Gold already, so you just need the miles. Buying elite qualification miles is pricey. Probably more than actually making a 2,000+ mile mileage run. If you are looking to hit Gold to give yourself a bit of extra priority in the upgrade queue, base your decision on how much you think you will fly next year. I'm a 1K and just about every flight I have been on this year I have either been upgraded bare the skin of my teeth or not at all. Seems like upgrade seats are becoming fewer and farther between.
     
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  5. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    If you already meet the PQD requirement through spend or waiver (mandatory!) and if are planning to fly many times next year and if you anticipate checking 2 bags regularly and if you will generally have a companion, finally if you will be flying international itineraries and expect to use the Star Alliance Lounges; then going for Gold may be worth the effort, otherwise it won't really change your life.
    Thats a lot of ifs and you should think about how each affects you. $400+ for PAMs or MR makes sense if you answered yes to most of the if questions (especially the first one).
    Gold does get you most of the best perks you can have in economy, so it is a reasonable status level to strive for. It does not get you many upgrades into the Premium Cabins any more.
    While some think Silver is only a bit better than having the right credit card, knowing its rules and perks (up to 8 people can get a free bag if they are on your PNR!) can make for better experiences.
     
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  6. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Other significant *G status perks that are usually understated compared to *G lounge access, which I am now enjoying traveling with *A carriers in Asia that almost always have filled Y but empty premium cabins, are:
    • Priority Airport Check-in: Star Alliance Gold Status allows you to check-in through the Priority check-in counters. With shorter queues checking-in, you can get to the lounge a little sooner.
    I arrived to board a CA flight from MNL to PEK yesterday and found the general (Y) check-in line to be extremely long. I inquired about a *G check-in queue and it was point out to me: Just one person was in it. I just waltzed to it, under the gaze of those who'd been in the long Y queue for a while, and within minutes I was done checking in.
    • Priority Boarding: There's no need to rush out of the lounge anymore. With priority boarding you can enjoy the freedom of boarding at your convenience along with First and Business Class passengers.
    This *G benefit was not as significant for me this time because I already had an award ticket to travel in business class, but one can envision a situation in which it would be super great to board early in order to get overhead storage and to avoid a long Y line during boarding.

    When I arrived in PEK, I had a 2-hr wait for my connecting flight, so the usually mentioned *G benefit (*G lounge access) came in handy. This was a CA lounge that was arranged to accommodate both their First class and Business class passengers, with the latter lounge also serving as their *G lounge. I then found out something that might be of interest to folks who can also enter lounges with Priority Pass. I asked the desk agent to which of the two lounges would PP give me access and she said to the First class lounge. Cool and a no-brainer. I told her I wanted to access the First class lounge using PP.

    For folks who frequently travel internationally, *G would be worth the extra MR or cash to reach. For my travel pattern, I would not hesitate to pay the $400-$800 either to do the MR or purchase the 2K PAMs needed as in this case to make *G.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2014
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  7. Nitroxprt

    Nitroxprt Silver Member

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    I am with you there, I qualified for MP Platinum (Sept 2014) this year and have been upgraded twice on numerous domestic flights, but most of my flights are on CRJ's with no "first class" seats anyway. I find that traveling off peak days has improved my upgrade chances significantly, however flying through major hubs, ORD, IAH, LAX there are just too may ahead of me. Oh well I am happy to get a aisle exit and thrilled when the center seat is empty!!
     
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