Trial Preferred

Discussion in 'US Airways | Dividend Miles' started by MaryDarling, Jan 5, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. MaryDarling

    MaryDarling Silver Member

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    (Whoops -- that subject line was supposed to be "Trial Preferred" -- anyone know how to fix it?:confused:)

    Most of you likely know this already, but I just spoke with an informed Dividend Miles agent (not always easy to come by) and learned the following:

    1. If you do the trial preferred program, at the end of the 90 days you will receive the highest status you earned. In other words, if you sign up for a Silver trial but then fly 30K miles in 90 days, you will receive CP status for the remainder of the year.

    2. The difference in challenge price is because, for the 90 days of the trial, you will have the status you pay for. So, for 90 days, I will be US Airways Silver. If I want a higher status during that time, I will have to pay the higher challenge price. After the challenge, however, I will have whatever status I earned.

    3. The agent said I should wait until the day before, or even the day of, my flight to sign up for the trial preferred program. First, because it maximizes the 90 day window. Secondly, because you will still be eligible for upgrades on your flight that day -- you'll just need to ask the gate agent to re-enter your DM# and it will reflect your new status.

    Again, my apologies if this feature of the program was well known, but it was new information to me, and I wanted to pass it along.
     
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  2. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Shouldn't you sign up the first day of when upgrades at your challenge level are processed for your first flight? In other words, if you wait to sign up for the challenge on the day of travel, all of the upgrades could have already been given out for your flight, Including to FF who would have lower priority than you would at the status you are purchasing for the trial?
     
  3. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    You could, but it may make sense for some folks to maximize their 90 day window, even if that means they have to forego a shot at an upgrade on their first flight. An extra 2-4 days could make a difference!
     
  4. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    Is this trial preferred thing open to anyone? Reason I ask is that US sent me
    an e-mail saying that I had earned the "special dividend" of being able to
    nominate one person for a 90-day trial preferred membership.

    If indeed it's even a little bit special, I'll be happy to sponsor someone for one.
     
  5. John777

    John777 Silver Member

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    That's interesting. What preferred level are you and what trial preferred level are they offering for you to nominate?
     
  6. violist
    Original Member

    violist Gold Member

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    I'm plat, but the offer is to give someone silver for 90 days.
    Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
     
  7. javacodeguy

    javacodeguy Gold Member

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    It's open to anyone who is not already a Preferred DM member. Why doesn't it make sense?

    You give the person DM Silver Preferred for 90 days and if they fly certain amounts during that 90 days they can maintain silver until 2/2013 or if they fly even more they can get gold, plat or chairman.
     
  8. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    It doesn't make sense because it seems to be the same kind of offer
    they used to give anyone at all for the asking.

    Edited to add: someone has requested this, so maybe it is worth
    something to him.
     
  9. Ibby23

    Ibby23 Active Member

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    I'm about to complete my trail run (as a Silver). A couple of things to note:

    - The trail preferred program is open to anyone who is not already a preferred and was not a preferred in the prior 12 months. This is so you don't try to do a quick 90 day segment or mileage run to get elite status every year.
    - If you buy silver, from day 1 you are treated like a silver. But, if you hit the challenge marks for a higher rate, you'll earn that higher rate, straight away.
    - Remember - it's only on US metal (mainline and express). No codeshares, no partners, nothing
    - You will receive and qualify at a 500 mile segment minimum during your trial. This can be important for those of us who tend to fly shorter routes.
    - No cabin or class of service bonus miles are calculated. None.

    I bought and "qualified" for silver in one trip - go to Europe (anyone who goes to Europe should do a trail preferred). I flew BOS-PHL-LHR-PHL-BOS. That's 500 + 3546 + 3546 + 500. Easy.
     
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  10. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    It's a benefit for you to give someone trial Silver status, because otherwise that person would have to pay $200 for that trial status.
     
    javacodeguy likes this.
  11. I'm about to finish a Gold Trial. I bought the Gold Trial because of international travel and it was more than worth it.

    There have been conflicting reports from US agents about whether a rule was tweaked so that you only qualify for the trial you were given or bought. In the past, you could buy a Silver Trial, fly the higher-tier requirements in 90 days, and get the higher tier. This is my only complaint with US Airways so far: there seems to be some inconsistent information out there about Trials.

    If elites can gift Silver Trials, that's actually pretty cool. It's a good program (the Trial program, that is) that has officially converted me from UA (where I was headed for a 2P year) to US, where I can keep *G.

    And I'm 7 for 7 on domestic upgrades so far as a Gold, including two this coming weekend that cleared today. :)

    One other potential system glitch: I had to call US Airways and have them manually clear my first domestic upgrade. Later segments all processed normally.
     
  12. MaryDarling

    MaryDarling Silver Member

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    I've just signed up for the Silver program, trusting (perhaps foolishly) that I will receive the status I earn during the 90 days, which I expect to be Chairman's.

    I knew I had six transcon flights in the next 90 days, so I did a lot of research to figure out how to maximize that mileage. I'm already Platinum on AA, and wanted to get elite status on a Star Alliance carrier. Since I already had 100K US Airways miles, and they flew into DCA, I eventually decided to go with US. Being able to pay for Silver and get CP was a major part of that, so I'll try to get something in writing to pin down that I'll earn what I fly, not what I buy.
     
  13. mileflyer

    mileflyer Active Member

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    It's been great reading eveyone's comments on Trial Prefered.. I've been considering signing up for Silver, but I'm having trouble committing to US Airways. DCA is my home airport (live in the District), so I end up flying US fairly often. I don't currently have status, but would easily make *S this year if I don't scatter my miles like I have in the past (noob)..

    Any pointers or gotchas would be appreciated.
     
  14. mustang183

    mustang183 Silver Member

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    I'll take your nomination to Silver if you haven't used it already! ;) I just swiched over to US since Southwest discontinued there PVD & BOS to PHL routes :(

    I have a few cross country flights coming up and I was considering buying the Silver Trial.
     
  15. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    Sorry - it was claimed a couple weeks ago.
     
  16. mustang183

    mustang183 Silver Member

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    No big deal, I'm planning buying the trial but it would have been nice to save the $200!
     
  17. mileflyer

    mileflyer Active Member

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    One trans-con this month with US, and another already booked on UA next month, so I didn't think Trial Preferred would be a good fit after all. Figured that I'd have to wait it out and *earn* my status later this year.

    However, with an F still up for sale, I called reservations ahead of the check-in window to see what the "Go Upgrade" would be. It was $225 for just one leg!!

    So I broke down and bought the Silver trial.. In the queue for F, but otherwise confirmed 10C (which makes me think everyone else was already upgraded!!). Wish me luck!

    (edited to fix horrible grammar :) )
     
  18. Jeanne23

    Jeanne23 Silver Member

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    How did it turn out? Are you almost to Silver anyway with that one trip?
     
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  19. mileflyer

    mileflyer Active Member

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    It turned out great! I was upgraded on three of four legs between Washington and San Diego. That trip got me >5000 PQM towards the 7500 needed to keep Silver for the rest of the year, and I have another 1000 PQM coming with a trip next week. I should hit 25K by July, but, IMHO, the Trial was definitely worth it. If nothing else, I'll use the *S benefit in March for a checked bag on my "spring vacation" w/United.
     
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  20. MaryDarling

    MaryDarling Silver Member

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    I'm through my first month of the trial, and already received an e-mail confirming that I've reached Silver status for the rest of the year. I also just got upgraded on both legs from OAK to ABQ; we'll see if my luck holds on the return.

    With two more transcons booked for March, I'm a lock to make Platinum, and might be within striking distance for Chairman's. Is it worth making a push to get Chairman's, or is the bump in status not worth all that much?
     
  21. chz2215

    chz2215 Silver Member

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    I am chairmans after 3 yrs of platinum and am enjoying the difference. Missed 1 upgrade ytd. I think it is worth striving for but I'm based in PHX so this is my best option by far.
     
  22. John777

    John777 Silver Member

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    How was your upgrade rate as a platinum? I'm doing a trial, and will hit gold. Trying to decide if the push for platinum is worth it.
     
  23. chz2215

    chz2215 Silver Member

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    90% on flights out of PHX to destinations not CLT & PHL. 70% through CLT and 0 for 5 through PHL in 2011. I think Plat is a big step up from gold as far as upgrade rate.
     
  24. MaryDarling

    MaryDarling Silver Member

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    I'm happy to say that, having paid $200 for a silver trial preferred, I've managed to attain Chairman's status during the trial (and with two weeks to spare!).

    Also, the status was updated within 48 hours of the qualifying flight, which was great. (During that trip I also qualified for Starwood Platinum, but they're saying it will take at least a week for my new status to be posted to my account.)

    It's been a lot of travel this month, but it's all paid off!
     
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  25. John777

    John777 Silver Member

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    Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but I am one segment from Gold and want to ensure that I get there. I'm seeing some UA fares (codeshare, operated by US) that are a bit better than buying through US. As these flights are operated by US (but sold by UA), will they count toward my segment count for Trial Preferred?

    Thanks in advance!
     

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