New to MileagePlus and have questions

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by dhoward26, Feb 12, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. I recently took a job with a company that requires me to travel from Las Vegas to places all over the country every week. I signed up for the UA Mileage plus program and have a few questions. I'm sure they've been asked/answered on here but I couldn't find what I'm looking for in a search.

    1) My first flight was from Vegas to Fresno. It only shows I have 516 points. How do people reach 75,000 or more with flying in a year? I fly to North Carolina next week.
    2) Are there miles that I'm not seeing that I should be aware of?
    3) Do I get mileage credit for the purchase price of the ticket?
    4) How long could it take to reach the 1k status if I'm flying to different spots in the country (round-trip) each week?

    Thank you for your help. I'm just trying to understand the process and would like some benefits of traveling so frequently.

    D
     
  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP

    A good start is to try to read the online information posted by UA about its FF program. You should also look for any general FAQ or beginner threads in the UA forum here on MP. Unfortunately for you, everything is in a state of flux due to the merger but the good news is that you will not need to unlearn anything about your program. Since you will be traveling extensively for work, ask if your company's travel office can sponsor you for comp initial status with UA or a status challenge. (I am assuming from your post that you do not have status in another airline FF program that could be the basis for requesting a status match.)
     
  3. TheTravelAbstract

    TheTravelAbstract Silver Member

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    Welcome to MP!
    I am not a frequent flyer just somebody who collects their miles. So take all of this advice with a grain of salt.

    1) They fly international. They fly almost everyday of the year. They do mileage runs to earn more. Crazy out-of-the way routing to earn more miles per flight. There will be route mile bonus promotions people take advantage of and pair it with Mileage runs and routing.

    2) You can earn RDM miles from Credit Cards and some even get you elite qualifying miles.

    3) Do you have the United Explorer or Continental OnePass card? You do get mileage credit but it is not elite qualifying credit.

    4) That is entirely too vague. What destinations are you flying to? Calculate that here.
    What class fare are you traveling in? Depending on your fare class you may earn bonus miles and elite qualifying points.Look at this site.

    I hope this helped but I will let the real frequent flyers and longtime elitists help you out from here.

    Good Luck.
     
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  4. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    Also make sure you only fly in one alliance. For domestic flight, fly only UA/CO or US and credit them all to Mileageplus
     
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  5. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    The OP should also read and learn the rules for his or her new company's travel policy. There may be a required or preferred airline. Can tickets be paid with any credit card or does the corporate travel office buy tickets? is there a required business credit card for travel expenses? More generally, what are the rules and standards regarding what can be reimbursed?
     
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  6. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Regarding 75000 miles
    If you really fly every week, 75000 is "only" around 1450 miles a week. Using your NC example, Charlotte is 1913 miles from Las Vegas, so nonstop flights both ways means over 3800 miles flown, well in excess of that figure. As an elite you will get a minimum of 500 miles per segment (on some airlines everyone earns 500 mile minimums), so even the puddle jump to fresno would be 1000 miles. Connecting itineraries would be a minumum of 2000 miles per roundtrip.

    There's just a big difference between flying occasionally and flying weekly.

    Are you going to be flying mostly United, or a lot of US Airways? US has many more destinations out of Las Vegas.
     
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  7. I have a company credit card through a local bank that I use for everything during my trips. I'm sticking to UA for travel as the company doesn't care what airline I use, only that the ticket is reasonably priced. I book my trips 2-3 weeks in advance as well so this cuts down on costs a little. My trip next week is through U.S. Airways though, so I'm going to see if I can have that credited over to UA. I'm traveling economy class to keep ticket prices down.

    An idea of my travel schedule is as follows:

    Next week - North Carolina
    Week after - Florida
    Week after - Wisconsin
    Week after - Washington
    Week after - Oregon
    Week after - California
    Week after - Florida

    I don't understand how you can sign up for a credit card and receive 40,000 bonus miles, yet I make one flight and receive only 516. Just seams like there is a huge discrepancy there.
     
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  8. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Well, in all fairness it was 2 flights, and short ones at that.

    With flying you're basically getting a small discount, in the form of miles, on a service historically provided at either a small profit or a loss in a very competitive industry.

    With credit cards, you're being given a sizeable up-front bonus to induce you to get the card, spend on it (generating transaction fees for the issuer), maybe pay some interest, and provide the issuer with the ability to target some marketing at you.
     
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  9. One more question on this. I'm sure I will reach the 1k status via segments traveled before the end of the year. At the start of next year, will I lose this status and have to start all over again? Or is it once I reach it I keep it as long as I'm traveling? The UA faq says it starts over every year, so I'm more or less curious if this is a true statement or not or if there is something I'm missing.

    Thank you,
     
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  10. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Good through the rest of this year, all of 2013, and into early 2014.

    You qualify this year for next year's program.
     
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  11. cvarming
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    cvarming Silver Member

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    When you earn status in one year you can enjoy that status until the end of the following year, so you will be 1K while re-qualifying for the next cycle.
     
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  12. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    If you earn elite status during 2011, it will be good until early 2013. At the start of 2012, your qualification miles will reset to 0, and you'll begin working on re-qualifying for status through early 2014. If you fail to re-qualify during 2012, then you'll lose your status in early 2013.

    If you'd like to have "SkyMiles" removed from the title of this thread, just click on "Report" in your first post above in order to ask the milepoint administrators to change it.

    Which airlines will you really be flying more often? US Airways or UA/CO?
     
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  13. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    Actually you can get more than 40000 from a credit card. But credit card miles very rarely get you status. For that you have to fly on flights that you pay for.
     
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  14. Just sent the report up. Thanks for the suggestion.

    I'm not sure if I'm going to be flying US or UA more. I didn't realize that there are more US Air flights out of Vegas than any other airline so it might be best to go with that program instead. I created an account with both to see which I liked better. Next week is only my second flight with my new job so I figured I could use a couple of flights on airlines to see what I like best. I have always flown United or Alaska in the past for personal and military trips...but never actually signed up for a Frequent Flyer program. Should have, but I didn't.

    Thank you guys for the answer on the retaining flyer status through the following years.
     
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  15. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    Another factor is that most airlines give bonus miles to their elite status members. As a general rule, the higher your elite status, the more bonus miles you get. 1K members get a 100% bonus on all redeemable miles earned from flights.

    There's lots of good reading in the United Airlines User Guide | Help Desk wiki pages.
     
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  16. cvsara
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    cvsara Gold Member

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    I'd probably suggest the UAL FF program. While US has as many, if not more, flights in and out of LAS, UA has more worldwide. US is a member of Star Alliance, and flights on US can be credited to a UAL account. So while US might seem to be the better choice, for your business connections, when it comes time for vacation/getaway flights, I think UAL would be a good place to be sitting. Just my 2¢ worth.
     
  17. cvarming
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    cvarming Silver Member

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    And awards issued by UA are more flexible than awards issued by US. For instance UA allows double open jaw, one way for half the price, stop-overs in each direction, etc.
     
  18. autolycus

    autolycus Gold Member

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    I agree that UA is the better route for redeemable miles, but if the OP has a good chance to get elite status, don't the elite benefits outweigh the differences in redemption options?
    I've never been an airline elite, and certainly don't know the odds of getting upgrades, etc. out of LAS on UA vs. US, but it would seem to be that that's a pretty important consideration if the OP is going to end up flying US a lot.
     
  19. cvsara
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    cvsara Gold Member

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    I only fly in and out of LAS, for an occasional business related show, but more often for "fun" Most of the persons on the flights are mature persons, handle pullers, if you will. I usually don't have a problem with upgrades, even when waitlisted from LAS. A lot of visitors, that want to get in and out on the cheap. I really can't answer about US, I try to avoid them when I can. Worse case on UA is E+ for an elite. Out of LAS, usually not a problem getting into F.
     
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  20. MSPeconomist
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    I think upgrades are a strong argument for making your primary FF program the airline that you fly most often domestically. If the OP will mostly fly US out of LAS, crediting mainly to UA means free bags on US and international lounge access, but no chance of an upgrade except when on UA/CO metal.
     
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  21. cvsara
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    cvsara Gold Member

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    I agree with you. Worldwide and domestic on UA has to be a much better experience for an elite, no matter where on the elite pecking order he would be. It sounds like 1K is well within reach, and that is where I wish I were. But UA, for me, works well, even within the USA. If I was based in LAS, I'd fly UA or US, gain status on UA, and then try to make my reservations for business and especially for vacations/getaway on UA. Sitting on OGG right now, and I think there is a darn good chance at F outta here. Was here at Christmas on a real good fare, (No reason to burn miles,when buying was a good value, and the wife and I had F on 6 segments from the midwest. Well, I did, and gave her my F seat from SFO to OGG and I took my E+ seat. Heck, the FA brought me a glass of Champagne, cuz I was such a nice guy. But I'm still waiting for the bride to get out of 2E and bring me a couple Jack and waters.
    So my suggestion, get status on UA and US and use that status on UA.
     
  22. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Just a reminder for emphasis: *A *Gold status, including being an elite on US, will not get you into E+ seats on UA.
     
  23. Jslo
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    Jslo Gold Member

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    Here is a quick question: in the old UA star alliance miles counted for eqms, right? My question is will star alliance miles count for PQMs in the new UA? I have been digging for an answer and not found it yet.
     
  24. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    My guess is yes, but it's curious that there's no documentation regarding this yet. To switch to requiring only UA/CO miles or perhaps those from a small subset of *A partners would really undercut the alliance.
     
  25. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Just one other thing, don't forget about hotel programs. Try and stay at one chain as much as possible to rack up their points.
     
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