Pretend you could design MP/OP 2.0...would you prefer an a la carte program?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Misplaced Texan, Mar 22, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    Just doing some late night brainstorming here in response to Smisek's apparent comment today about "not your grandfather's frequent flyer program."

    So here's the question for the group:
    Would you prefer more of an a la carte approach to elite benefits as aeroplan and Delta rather than the "everyone gets the same benefits" approach that CO and UA have historically used?

    If it meant fewer total "items" of benefits, but more of the benefits that matter most to you, would you still prefer an a la carte system?

    What if they moved to an "elite points" system where those points could be used for various items including international upgrades (with extra points allowing upgrades on the lowest fares as is the case in aeroplan) rather than the current cert based system?

    What if you could also use your "elite points" to buy benefits like domestic lounge access, a companion pass (like WN), or maybe even could/would need to burn some "elite points" to get UDU/EUA enabled for your account?

    To me this might make an interesting program that might have fewer "paper" benefits but which also relied less on "breakage" to achieve balance. Instead they could allow customization to individual needs in exchange for less empty "stuff."

    Please note, this is totally a "what if" kind of thread based on nothing but a late hour and too much imagination. I have no information to suggest that any of what I describe above would ever happen. But, as a thought experiment I'd be interested in how other CO/UA flyers would feel about it if it did...
  2. EWR764
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    EWR764 Silver Member

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    I expect the elite tiers to begin to transition toward a more revenue-driven model, perhaps adding an additional pathway to status based purely on annual spend, or including a revenue component in the status level calculus.
  3. ande777emt
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    ande777emt Gold Member

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    Basically what you're describing is the NH policy of upgrade points. They can be used on Int'l C or F upgrades and domestic lounge access among other things. The only downside with NH upgrade points is they are very restrictive and it's pretty much limited to you're immediate family and no friends brother-in-laws etc.

    Of course If they go to an NH like system, I wouldn't mind getting 400 EQM just for boarding my flight (NH gives 400 premium points, their variant of EQM, just for boarding).

    As far as I'm concerned, I prefer the current UA/CO way of doing things and IMHO I feel NH is a little stingy with upgrade points and their usage requirements.

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