UA Partner Award Changes

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by Steven Schwartz, Nov 1, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Well, I read this on the blogs four hours ago and I'm shocked there's not a thread about this yet on MP. That's also upsetting, but not as much as the partner award changes coming from UA.

    We've been blessed. Timing was impeccable up to now. We've flown First Class on Lufthansa, Swiss, BA, UA, Thai and Cathay Pacific. But this change, which I see as a new paradigm for all the airlines, is extremely bad news. No matter how many credit cards you sign up for and how savvy you are, pick one of these aspirational awards and most can't afford it. The rest would use almost all of their miles. Game over.

    For the last year, we've been considering buying a second home in Florida. At 65 years of age, traveling with 2 carry-ons, two suitcases and golf clubs has gotten old! Still looking forward to our trip to Southern France, Paris and Berlin next Spring but my sense is it may be a swan song. May be time to chuck it all and enjoy going from NJ to Florida.

    If, as I believe, the sale and promotion of points/miles is a major income source for airlines and hotels, they may have killed the goose that laid the golden egg. Those of us who have been at it for a few years will probably be talking, in the years ahead, of the good old days. I guess we should have known this was coming as the accumulation of miles became so easy. But I have to wonder what their next act is.

    Sad day.
     
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  2. delff128

    delff128 Silver Member

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    There is another thread over in the United forum.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  3. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    Very sad to think about it. Going to use as many miles as possible next year. Many great trips already planned. Thankfully I am a US flyer and have some more time to enjoy a very generous (in comparison) redemption. It's sad to see this happen, but will make do. I'm planning to start having kids in about 2 years. A nice opportunity to see the world before settling down and redeeming coach awards to Disney.
     
  4. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    JetsettingEric, take a close look at the US award chart. I'll bet you a drink in the US lounge that similar changes are also coming to the US awards program, to say nothing of the other "majors". The greatest pain in the coming UA mile requirement changes are in the long-haul overseas trips in bc/fc. I've scoped out travel to Paris and other major European cities from the East Coast in US bc/fc, and saw that US requires 162,500 miles each way for many available travel days. This is worse than the UA changes! :(
    Newscience
     
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  5. Desidivo

    Desidivo Silver Member

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    Figure I would post here also:

    I am at 175K this year on UA and was planning on getting to 200K. I already have started at looking to see if I can plan the remaining flights on another airline (but I will have to fly more then 25K). I am lucky that I live between EWR and PHL so I have a choice. It is time for me to take a hard look and see if I am stuck or do I really have choices. The reason I bring this up, is that we may need to bring up deregulation of the airline industry for 2016 elections. If we have fewer and fewer choices, this is just the start. Prices will go up much higher and rewards get devalued even more.

    One last idea to bring up incase UA is reading. If liability of the free miles from credit cards are the main issue, then they should charge fewer FF miles for awards travel the higher level you are. If you are GS then get 30% discount fore miles needed, 1K 20% discount, Plats 10%, Gold 5%. This rewards the loyal flyers while devaluing miles for those who only fly occaionaly.
     
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  6. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    Newscience - you are missing the gems of the US Award chart. I'm sure changes are coming, so i'm earning and then burning.

    Both US and UA have access to the same availability, but the website interface on US sucks.
    The saver rate from US to Europe is 100k in business round trip. If you see a trip that you can book on ua.com at the low rate, chances are you can book it by calling into US.

    However, you can fly from US to Asia with a stop in Europe for 90k in business.

    One of my favorite resumptions was from India to Thailand in business on Thai that I took last year.
    30k miles roundtrip in J. 35k miles roundtrip in F (no F on the route i took)
    using UA miles: 120k miles in J and 220k miles in F, with UA's F award costing more than 6x the number of miles of the US award.
     
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  7. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Jetsetting Eric,
    Your advice is much appreciated! By all means, please continue to share your experience regarding the "sweet spots" on the charts, whether from US or other majors.
    Obviously, the US website is hurting. Perhaps it will change for the better with the US-AA merger. Earlier this year I called US to try to use my miles to upgrade with partner airline flights, and I don't wish my experiences on anyone. :( My multiple calls were quickly transferred to the "Philippines Office of USAirlines"! Since they couldn't help at all, my persistent calls paid off when I finally was able to speak with a stateside USAirlines supervisor who could tell me what could and couldn't be done.
    As for the travel from on US from USA-Europe-Thailand, it sounds like the trip of a lifetime! But if I only want to get to Europe, can I then not use the follow-on flight to Thailand? ;)
    Cheers, Newscience
     
  8. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Two things:

    North America-North Asia with Europe stopover is 90,000 US miles in business class. Thailand is in South Asia on US's charts. So that would be 120K miles.

    Also, since Europe is going to be a stopover on either the outbound or the inbound, you would be stranded far away from home were you to not take your Asia flights. You don't get to go USA-Europe-USA-Thailand; you either go USA-Thailand-Europe-USA or USA-Europe-Thailand-USA.
     
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  9. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Muy apreciado! And at those mileage levels, that is still a great deal! :)
     
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