Newbie Chasing United Million Miler Status...advice needed

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by ckmendels, Jun 18, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. ckmendels

    ckmendels New Member

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    Question from a newbie on this board, looking for some United guidance: I am 85k lifetime flight miles short of MM status, I do not travel nearly as heavily as I once did and at this pace it will take me 3-4 years to get the necessary 85k flight miles. Q. What is the best/most effective way to get the necessary miles to hit a million. Assuming none of the Premier Accelerator awards count toward lifetime miles? Other ideas? Thanks for your responses.
     
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  2. radonc1951

    radonc1951 Gold Member

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    While my MM status helps my wife, it is only because of my 1K status that she gets any of the real benefits of elite status. The benefits of MM status by itself is really pretty minimal and can be matched for the most part by obtaining the UA credit card.

    However, if you don't fly UA very much, what is the status worth? Lifetime gold is better than bupkis but not by much. The Gold level has been degraded to the point that other than E+ seating, the rare domestic upgrade and some earlier boarding (which can be gotten with the credit card), there is not much else.

    On the other hand, if you are a constant 1K, your SO who gets the MM status benefits match will love you because they get your status. It is IMO, the only reason to go for MM status. (Unless you are young and shooting for 2MM status :eek:, but I won't go there). :p.

    So the bottom line is don't go out of your way to earn the final 85K miles. By the time you do, there may no longer be a MM status :oops:
     
  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    So your current "natural" status is at best Silver?

    Your only way to accelerate your MM progress is by flying more miles with your butt in seat of United metal. So if you don't have travel on other airlines that you could shift over to UA without a lot of extra expense or other inconvenience, that would presumably mean flying that is "unnecessary" and thus spend that is "unnecessary". How much are you willing to spend on that MM status? And how much value do you think you will get out of it?

    As radonc1951 said, you can get a lot of the UA Gold benefits with the help of a credit card... or perhaps selectively spending some dollars when you really want the benefit (e.g., lounge access when it matters via a day pass, or E+ at booking when you have a flight where it's making a difference).

    I *am* a UA MM flyer. Have been for about 18 months. I recently moved and am no longer in a UA dominated hub city. So far this year I have acquired < 2000 PQM on UA, and my one award flight purchased with UA miles was in LH C, so *G status didn't really give me anything. About three years ago I was about as far away from MM as you are now, and I "coasted" into the finish line just as the mileage plus program and my life/location were about to change. I didn't really accelerate my spend on UA to get to the MM finish line (but I did occasionally fly a few extra trips on UA to reach/maintain 1K status over the years).
     
  4. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    I don't know of any tricks. The only path to MM is sitting in a tin can for several days of your life.

    We've had some similar questions on the UA forum here. My advice: don't sweat it. Specifically, don't take on extra expense or time in tin cans to get MM status a few months earlier. If you're not traveling enough to get the MM status, you're not traveling enough to benefit (much) from it, either. You'll get there eventually.

    If you do want to push it, the advice is much the same as classic (before the gutting of mile earning) mileage-run advice: take unusually bizarre/long routings, adding extra segments at every opportunity. e.g. rather than fly non-stop LAX-IAD, route LAX-SFO-BOS-IAD for 3704 PQM each way. From almost anywhere, routing transcons via IAH usually adds some miles. If you're going west coast-Europe, route via IAD or EWR for extra miles. Hawai'i and Alaska trips earn all kinds of PQMs without paying extra for immigration/customs fees. BOS-IAH-SFO-ANC is over 5200 miles one-way and can be had for $213 one-way, sometimes even less. Even BOS-IAH-ANC is over 4,800 miles.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2015
  5. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    You're right, Premier Accelerator miles don't count toward lifetime miles. These days the only thing that does is regular BIS miles on United.

    I presume you either did not have Continental miles, or that any miles you earned on Continental have already been added to your United MM totals. If so, as mentioned above, you'll need to fly the needed miles.

    I am also a United MM flyer, and have a different view of the MM lifetime Gold status than those expressed above. In my particular case, I think it's worth it even though I no longer fly United except by exception, having switched almost all my travel to AA. Here's why:

    I fully agree that United Million Miler Gold is nowhere as great as it used to be -- no automatic upgrade certificates, etc., but it is still Star Alliance Gold and that gets you some benefits on other Star Alliance carriers, including free lounge access, it also gives you a leg up on complimentary upgrades and better seating while flying on United, and finally, don't discount the benefits to the person whom you designate as your MM companion, who also gets Star Gold status (and thus lounge access and a chance of upgrades when she/he is not flying with you. If you travel internationally, all of that can be very valuable.

    Good luck.
     
  6. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    Do you have MM status with AA?I'm at 245,000 Miles on AA and doubt I ever get there if flying miles is all that count.
     
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  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    The OP seems to be looking for ways to get it faster than through "natural" flying. So the question then is, how much extra is MM worth in $$ and time (longer routings, MRs)? Ultimately only the OP can decide that, of course. I personally wouldn't spend, say, an extra $2000 and several weekends to get to MM. Those $$$ buy a lot of travel benefits a la carte. (As I mentioned earlier, I did spend extra $$$ and time to earn GPUs and double RDMs a few years ago).
     
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  8. Zomby Woof

    Zomby Woof Silver Member

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    As lifetime Gold w/1MM status, in addition to E+ seating at booking you can book exit row for more leg room. At least for now, you get comped for Marriott Gold Status. Also, you get star alliance airline lounge access for international flights.
     
  9. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    I like and appreciate my MM status. Is it worth doing crazy MRs to get MM status? No.
    Is it worth long trips to distant lands you've always wanted to go to? Absolutely. Mostly for the visit to distant lands you've wanted to go to.
    The trip is more than the status.
     
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  10. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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  11. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    The other thing to consider here is that I don't think United has any plans to radically change this benefit anytime soon. While anything is possible with a company that doesn't appear to have good leadership, I think it's safe to say that if it takes you a few years to get your 85K miles, it's unlikely they make changes in that time period to move the goal posts.
     
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  12. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    I do, but I got most of the miles back when all AA miles counted toward MM status, not just BIS miles.
     
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  13. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    OH BIS miles only count.

    gee I only fly coach unless company send me international which is not often anymore.
     
  14. Budov1

    Budov1 Silver Member

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    What are the benefits of 2MM over 1MM status ?
     
  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Platinum instead of Gold.
     
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  16. misman
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    misman Gold Member

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    BIS=Butt-In-Seat, not biz.
     
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  17. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    Flying to get 85k more miles really isn't that difficult or expensive. One can usually find reasonable flights to India, Dubai and other places that provide a lot of miles if sitting in coach is not a problem. If sitting in coach is not workable, there are usually flights with upgrade capabilities that can be found. Four or five trips will take care of the remaining 85k.
     
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  18. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    85k miles???
    Confused. Thanks for butt-in-seat....not acclimated with lingo!
    I'm at 245,000 miles.....to get to 1 Million is 850,000(850k)!!!!!!


    Seems like that might take over 40 flights at a cost of $5,000 per flight!
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  19. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    Actually only (?) 755K, but I get your point. It took me slightly over 20 years to do it, myself.

    I think the reference to 85K came from the OP's question, which is probably what marcwint55 was responding to.
     
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  20. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    Thanks, read OP post now understand.

    Yeah, even with BIS....a new term for me.,..the cost of paying for each flight for be several hundred thousand dollars to get to MM if you need 850K miles.

    I flew to Europe recently on AA in economy and it was tight...almost every seat full and I say in the middle in 3-3-3 row configuration. Never done that before!
    But I'm hearing even AA MM isn't so great anymore either.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
  21. Pizzaman
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    Lifetime Gold on AA is what you get for 1MM BIS miles on AA, unless you generated miles prior to the changes a few years ago. I'd rank UA Lifetime status at 1MM more rewarding than AA. At 2MM, I'd probably take AA's LT status, though I'd have to think about it a bit.
     
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  22. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    BIS=Butt in seat
    BOS???

    I'm late to the party have only 245,000 miles so 1 MM or 2MM will never to reachable for me.
     
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  23. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    Damn auto-correct.
     
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  24. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    Thanks for trying as I rarely guess the acronym right!!

    Are you one of the co-founders of MP?

    I believe Mr. randy owes me a beer from Seahawks CRUSHING his Broncos in 2014 Superbowl!

    I believe Randy Peterson is on the run with the Clinton Correctional inmates so he won't pay up!
     
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  25. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    Several hundred thousand dollars? Not in my world. Keep in mind that "good" mile/status-run fares are now maybe $.04-.05 per flown mile. If you can do all of your 750k miles at those fares, you're looking at $30-45k. Even at $.10/mile, that's only $75k.

    And not all of that flying will be in the back. Once you get PP or 1K, you'll get some decent domestic upgrades. And 1K's get GPUs. Of course, GPU's are only good on W fares and higher, which drives the cost up, but Continental's BizFirst seats are quite civilized.
     
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