Screwed out of PQMs, now what?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by CescoAiel, Jun 24, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. CescoAiel

    CescoAiel Silver Member

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    So, I'm posting to see if any of the more experiences experts have any bright ideas...

    I am flying on UA from Europe to the US with the family this summer for vacation.

    I planned my work-related travel to be on *A as much as possible, so I would get sufficient PQMs (50k) to make gold before our vacation mid July.
    The vacation tix are booked on miles through UA, but a number of flight (including the first one, unfortunately) are on partners, like Canadian and Lufthansa...

    When I was planning my trips, I made sure to use full partners, so the miles flown would be valid PQMs for MileagePlus...
    Alas, what I did not know at the time is that some ticket classes *do* give PQMs on the airline you fly, but *not* when you use a partner's program.
    Examples of these classes are "K" for Lufthansa and "Q" for Singapore... When I found out I was missing about 6000 miles for a flight from the US back to AMS, I asked Lufthansa why, but they never did give me an answer on that.
    Only many weeks later they told me I had to go to Mileageplus directly, who were able to tell me about the "K" class issue...
    Unfortunately at that time it was too late for me to verify and change my flight from AMS-SIN-SYD on Singapore... As a result I will also be missing those 10000+ miles.

    End result is that I'll be at almost 41k miles, instead of the planned 56k+ miles, and thus a little over 9k miles short for Gold status before my vacation begins.

    I am aware of the promo they have until 29 June to buy PQMs, but I do not have the $1600 required to purchase 10k PQMs. Our vacation budget is tight as it is (esp. as we'll have to pay for some luggage now I don't have gold!), so no room for that!

    I would love to know if anyone has any ideas on how to still achieve gold status in time for my vacation, given that I cannot afford a lot of money to make it happen, and have little time left?

    Any (workable, realistic) suggestions will be appreciated! :(

    (What makes the hurt even worse is knowing I have a ticket in credit for work from AMS to SJC that we'll need to use this year, meaning I *will* eventually get those miles, but only *after* my vacation! I spent more time away the first 6 months than at home, and all of that for naught, because of this stupid juggliing of classes and PQMs)

    Thanks for reading!
     
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  2. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    They're all getting worse and worse on earning miles on partner flights. Rules keep changing, and if we don't keep up with them, we're out of luck.

    I fly SkyTeam, and the EU partners have all spun off most of their inter-europe segments to non-SkyTeam wholly owned LCC subsidiaries. As a result I'm loosing 1000 to 1300 qualifying miles on each TATL round trip. To make it worse, it can be difficult to determine when booking whether a segment is mainline or not- you have to really dig in and look closely for that, and still it can be missed.
     
  3. CescoAiel

    CescoAiel Silver Member

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    That is one of many reasons I stopped flying SkyTeam... That and the fact that status doesn't mean anything on SkyTeam, and KLM/AF only ever upgrades if Economy is severely overbooked...
     
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  4. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    Call SQ before your upcoming flights with them and ask if they will allow you to upfare to a 100% mileage earning fare class w/o being charged a change fee only the difference in fare.
     
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  5. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    What star gold benefits do you need/value for your vacation? Where and in what class of service are you going? What is the ala carte price to just buy most of the benefits?

    Screwed is a bit strong of language. I don't think the rules changed you just never checked them.
     
  6. CescoAiel

    CescoAiel Silver Member

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    I can't! I already flew that leg before I found out... That ship has left the harbour 2 weeks ago! :(
    I only have a flight back from London left and that's it... And that will net me 1k miles total...
     
  7. CescoAiel

    CescoAiel Silver Member

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    Maybe, maybe not... I'm just so frustrated right now...
    I did check the rules, I was just not aware of the fact that some fare classes *will* accrue PQMs on the airline itself, but not in partner programs, and even UA admits those which do or don't change... It depends on the partner airline, they say, so they cannot do anything about it, they say...

    Because some of the legs, including the first one (which means a lot of the UA Silver 'perks' are lost to me, since the entire itinerary is decided by the first leg's airline's rules), aren't on UA, I'll only have *A Silver, which means practically nothing at all.

    Things I value/need: Economy Plus, priority boarding, increased luggage allowance, to name a few... And that is several hundreds of dollars for a family of 4!
     
  8. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Are you packing the kitchen sink? What's your itiberary and how many bags do you really need? Are many of the long legs on united?
     
  9. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    You are right *A Silver gets little on *A Partners. I know of no way to get around your problem short of flying more or buying PQMs. Do not buy PQMs on their most recent offer (16c per mile!) If you have a reservation on UA, the PQM offer for that reservation may be much less and give you more.
    The MP rules for each airline can be accessed from here: http://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/mileageplus/premier/staralliance.aspx. If you click on the airline button on the right, it will give you the MP rules for that airline. But each airline has its own rules for how it values status so go to their website to see if they give you a free bag for an international flight. E+ and Priority boarding probably won't happen.
    Premier Silver on UA metal gets you a checkable bag per person up to 8 travelers on the same PNR. You and a companion get to try to move up to E+ at check-in. Your entire family would get Boarding Group 2 which is the same as Gold gets if they board with you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
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  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    After strategizing about what it would take for me to make 1K this year, I found out that I would need to do the equivalent of a round-trip TPAC to make it. Lacking both the time and a good reason to take such a trip, I decided that purchasing premier-accelerating miles (PAMs) seemed like the most viable solution. I looked at the offers to purchase PAMs that are associated with trips that I've already booked and found one that would sell me 15K PAMs @ 9 cents/mile. I immediately jumped on it because I was almost sure that I would probably not see PAMs sell for less than 10cpm for the rest of the year...
     
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  11. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    I agree this is likely the lowest we'll see. I've been seeing 10-11 cents on my itineraries and I'm not a buyer there. But, everyone has a threshold. :)
     
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  12. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It means you're not desperate...yet. From here on PAMs will only get more expensive, just around the time that folks begin to realize that they might not make elite status on BIS miles alone and may need some quick PAMs.

    Yup, everyone has a threshold and mine has always been <10 cpm, which one can get only during the first half of the year; that's also my "buy by" gauge...
     
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  13. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    There does seem to be a Summer price increase. However, I have seen late summer sales in prior years with sub 10 cent PAMs including RDMs showing up in late August, but never in September or later.
     

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