Mileage Plus and OnePass award chart changes – Eff. Jun. 15, 2011

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by UA Insider, Mar 16, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. UA Insider
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    UA Insider Official Representative

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    Hi Everyone, I know many of you saw this coming, and here it is. As part of the United-Continental merger, we’re making some changes to the United Mileage Plus and Continental OnePass® award charts to make them consistent across both programs. These changes become effective June 15, 2011.

    Here are the highlights of what will be changing:


    Domestic award trips less than 700 miles each way will cost less. OnePass members have enjoyed this benefit, and now Mileage Plus members can, too. This means it’ll cost less miles for domestic award trips that are less than 700 miles each way. On the OnePass side, this will be an adjustment from the current 750 miles each way.


    One Way awards. A new benefit for OnePass members. This is something Mileage Plus members currently enjoy, and starting Jun. 15th OnePass members will too. Saver/SaverPass and Standard/EasyPass awards will be available one way on United, Continental and our partners for exactly half of the roundtrip amount. Enjoy!


    We’re aligning our geography. The region definitions for both programs were already similar, except in a handful of areas. In Latin America, for example, we’ll be adopting the more granular regional definition used by OnePass. In addition, we’ll no longer have countries that straddle multiple regions, such as Turkey, Egypt and the Micronesian network.


    Some travel award amounts are changing. While there are more increases than decreases, the balance isn’t too far off, considering the rate at which certain awards are redeemed. In most cases there are trade-offs. For example, the Saver Business Class amounts between the U.S. and Europe, Japan, North Asia, South Asia will decrease by 5K miles, while the Economy Class amounts between the U.S. and Europe, Southern South America will increase by 5K miles.


    Some Mileage Plus Upgrade Award and Star Alliance™ Upgrade Award requirements will also change. There are a fair amount of changes here. Some mileage amounts will increase, as will many copays. On the bright side, Elite members will remain exempt from copays on most domestic mileage upgrade awards. Put another way: if you’re an elite member, and the itinerary is eligible for a complimentary Elite upgrade, then the copay doesn’t apply.

    How do the updates affect my travel?
    The price of your award will be based on the award chart that’s in effect on the date you redeem your award, regardless of the date of travel. For awards redeemed prior to Jun. 15th, the current award requirements will apply. For redemptions on or after Jun. 15th, the new award requirements will apply.

    For more details including links to the charts themselves, see our Mileage Plus and OnePass landing pages on the topic.

    I’m sure there are plenty of questions to follow, and will do my best to stay on top of them. Fire away…

    Scott O'Leary
    Managing Director, Customer Solutions
    United Airlines
     
  2. COFlyerCLE
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    COFlyerCLE Gold Member

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    Thanks, Scott! It's always good to get the heads-up from you. :)
     
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  3. RichardInSF
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    RichardInSF Silver Member

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    Can we see specifics so that we can decide for ourselves? Excuse me for being a bit jaded, but I have seen far too many program "enhancements" to trust sweeping statements!
     
  4. Tarpie
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    Tarpie Silver Member

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    UA Insider provided a link to the details in the original post.
     
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  5. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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  6. RichardInSF
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    RichardInSF Silver Member

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    Thanks, I missed that. Looking at the award charts, it is really hard to compare. The number of rows and columns increased from 13 to 17 and the order of some existing columns was re-arranged, presumably to make comparisons more difficult, which is not a good sign. It's worth comparing column by column and row by row to see the precise differences but that strikes me as it will take an hour or so -- might try tonight if someone hasn't beaten me to it!
     
  7. Mackieman
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    Mackieman Gold Member

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    There is some data in the thread on FT in the UA forum that should help.
     
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  8. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Thanks for the heads up. Have not had a chance to look in detail, but the flights I am normally interested in did not appear to change.
     
  9. thetenken
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    thetenken Silver Member

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    From what I can see, upgrade prices just went through the roof!
     
  10. tjtenor4
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    tjtenor4 Gold Member

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    If that means an overall increase in available NF / NC / R space, I am A-OK with that. I'd much rather pay more for an upgrade and actually get it than pay less and miss it at the gate (well then I guess I'd be paying zero, but you get the point).
     
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  11. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    At least it's nice to get advance notice on changes such as this. Seems to be a much more honest way of introducing changes instead of the "Gotcha" type changes that some other airlines do.
     
  12. bmg42000
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    bmg42000 Gold Member

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    I am happy about the one way award's coming to Continental.
     
  13. benolaa
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    benolaa Gold Member

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    Its about time!![​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  14. jswong
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    jswong Gold Member

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    For the routes I might redeem on the awards chart is not too different and in some cases a little better

    For upgrades things are not so good. I mostly upgrade B fares from SYD to either the US or Europe. The Upgrade cost has doubled SYD-US and also doubled US-Europe. However, the upgrade cost from SYD to Europe via the US has only gone from 30 to 35K

    What I am unclear about is stopovers. In past MUA charts the upgrade (SYD-SFO-LHR) has required 2 separate awards. In the current chart it is not an issue as upgrading eg SYD-SFO has been 15K and then SFO-LHR 10K which is cheaper than the combined SYD-LHR so separating them out has been an advantage. In the previous MUA chart the cost was 15K for SYD-SFO and another 15K SFO-LHR and the combined SYD-LHR was 30K so made no difference. With the upcoming chart it is much cheaper to upgrade SYD-LHR at 35K rather than 50K for both segments. If stopovers are allowed on a SYD-LHR MUA then I have no problem with the new rates

    In the end I mostly use SWU's so I will be fine but I think for those with 1P status and below will do less well

    Jeff
     
  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Looks like things are OK on the regular award side - coach goes up and biz goes down in a few regions but biz is where it is at anyways so that's OK with me.

    The upgrade award changes are obscene. North America to South America is $1200 + 70K points + base fare of $1200-1500. Or you could just redeem 100K points. Nuts.
     
  16. cordray2643
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    cordray2643 Silver Member

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  17. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Indeed, the upgrade chart changes are in some cases really brutal. In recent years the benefit of paying for tickets and using miles to upgrade has been eviscerated as a strategy equal to or better than redeeming awards. I do get that it makes sense when you're flying full fare on someone else's dime. And you may get stuck on someone else's dime in discount coach and decide you just can't take it and are willing to go crazy prices out of pocket to avoid the fate. But geez.

    The days where the advice of upgrades being the best use of miles are really long past.

    Plus the upgrade chart is much much much more complex than before, I mean nine different categories for each region pair. I have to magnify the chart to 400% in Acrobat just to read it.

    The award chart changes themselves, though, very much ho hum and I'm not displeased at all, even leaving aside that they could have been much worse!
     
  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    More detailed but not more complicated IMO. At least compared to the old CO charts where there were countries in different regions and other annoyances like that which made figuring out the actual costs of awards harder. That said, it did work to our advantage from time to time so maybe this is bad. But at least we know what it is supposed to be.
     
  19. beaubo
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    beaubo Silver Member

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    The gravy train of the early and mid 2000 has essentially evaporated.

    If I did not already have a built-up stash of miles and status, I would have no interest in
    entering the mileage game.

    IMHO, the value proposition has essentially boiled down to redeeming international Business Class
    'Saver' awards based on earning
    'cost-free' miles:
    * credit card spend that you would have to do anyway; assuming paying off full balance monthly
    * mileage earning from flight spend that you would have to do anyway; typically sub-100% earning fares
    * free mileage bonuses that you earn from elite status; 25-100% based on elite level
    * credit card signup bonuses
    'low-cost' miles:
    * purchasing miles during occasional mileage or airline mall sales; anything under 2.2 cents per mile
    * mileage runs; anything under 2.2 cents per mile (RDM)
    * transfer bonuses

    'Cost-Free' miles are very much dependent on:
    * boosting credit card spend through being a business owner...which is a pretty limited cohort of people.
    * mandatory flight spend can be restricted by company policy or personal financial resources by fare basis (discount fares less than 100% earning) or class of service (no F or J eliminates extra 50-100% bonuses), so mileage earning can be dampened.
    * only so many rich credit card offers and ability to get accepted; and maintain good credit record

    'Low Cost' miles are totally dependent on sporadic buy product/get mega-miles promotions, transfer bonuses and mileage run fare sales and the totally unpredictable mistake fares which have varying degrees of cost per mile potential; only few options have realistic/convenient timing, routing, cost per mile.

    And while UA/CO haven't swallowed the YQ (fuel surcharge) Kool-Aid yet, at least brace yourself for the potential of $400+ (even $1000+ using BA) fuel surcharges that are killing award redemption value of European FFPs.

    So, to generate the 100-120K intl. J 'Saver' award, being a major BIS (butt in seat) road warrior is the obvious path. But, for the rest of us, cost-free and low-cost earning opportunities to supplement our balances are increasingly yielding fewer miles and with fewer opportunities.

    Unless there are just crazy opportunities (like US Air Track It Back where I got after tax miles at .0065 per mile) or 50% Promo Awards with AF/KL or seasonal award sales like Etihad 50% off and currently 25% off, then
    I am in burn only mode.
     
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  20. jason8612
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    jason8612 Gold Member

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    interesting. europe awards went down a bit but B upgrades doubled...
     
  21. FrequentlyFlying
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    FrequentlyFlying Silver Member

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  22. Mackieman
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    Mackieman Gold Member

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    And here it is for easy reference.

    [​IMG]
    Credits: FrequentlyFlying
     
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  23. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    The biggest change that will effect me as a 1P and without any CR1s is the change in the North America upgrades for ps flights. They got bumped from 15K to 20K if you are on a cheap coach fare. So for a third more miles I can get the same deteriorating product in C starting in June. [​IMG]

    The Hawaii and Mexico upgrades are outrageous too (for 2-class planes) though at least there is UDU.
     
  24. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Agreed, though there was no way the CO levels were going to last. They were, by FAR, the best deal out there in *A for a RTW award. Of course, booking with a series of one-way BD awards including stopovers is likely still cheaper, but that's a discussion for a different forum...
     
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  25. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    This is the change I feared most... I was hoping they would at least modify the RTW award to levels between the old CO level and the old UA level... 180K in Y, 250K in C, and 325K in F or something like that :(

    This is by far the biggest devaluation in this change IMO... However, I am glad that they did not change the award redemption rates much like what DL did...

    At least we got until June 15 to book an RTW award in the premium cabin :D
     

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