United 1K short by 170 miles

Discussion in 'Mileage Runs/Travel Hacking' started by jcn, Nov 7, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. jcn

    jcn Member

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    After a trip next week (SEA-NRT-SIN and back to SEA) I'll be short 170 miles for United 1K with no other travel planned for the year. United agent on the phone assured me that United would do nothing to help. (Last year, missed 1K by 1 day flying home SYD-SEA on Jan 1 and they wouldn't help, either!) So I'm looking for a good option for a measly 170 miles.
     
  2. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    SEA to PDX will net around 258 if United flies that route.
     
  3. mherdeg
    Original Member

    mherdeg Silver Member

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    Um, your best option may be to buy a short itinerary, purchase the "premier accelerator" product on top of it at something like 5–15 cents per mile, and then after the PQM post (should be instant), cancel that trip within 24 hrs of purchase. I have never done this but it's what is popularly recommended in these circumstances.
     
  4. wto605

    wto605 Member

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    Premier accelerator is great if you don't have the time, but I've never seen it be cheaper than ~9.8 cents per PQM... and if all you have scheduled are longer trips that's a no-go.

    How many other trips do you have scheduled? You can try taking advantage of free same day changes as you get credit for the routing you change too... when I thought this year was going to be close I used to carry a card with the +/- of different possible routings. Also don't forget the 500 mile minimum, set a price alert for one-way SEA-PDX and bribe someone to pick you up.

    If you aren't familiar with SDC let me know and I can give you a rundown of the ins and outs... I will just point out the oft-overlooked fact that a SDC can really screw with your upgrades (instrument or CPU) since even if there is available PN/R space people have ended up on the battlefield upgrade list because of a SDC.
     
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  5. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    NOP for UA these days - give us your money and we'll "do nothing to help"
     
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Actually, you may not know it, but the true threshold for 1K is 100,170 PQM, but they generously help folks who reach at least 100,000 ...
     
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  7. Nelumbo
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    Nelumbo Silver Member

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    If you are a card holder of the grandfathered Chase MileagePlus Select Visa, you might want to purchase an UA ticket at $170 or above.
    The first $5K spent on united.com counts toward PQMs
     
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  8. jcn

    jcn Member

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    First time posting on here. Thanks for all the replies!

    I would be interested in how the SDC thing works as I could possibly finesse something on the way home.

    Didn't realize 1K was actually 100,170!
     
  9. guberif

    guberif Silver Member

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    Best option, by far, is going to be what mherdeg suggested. Book a SEA-PDX flight, buy premier accelerator for your $25-$50, then cancel the flight once they post (but within 24 hours).
     
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  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    It isn't; that was a joke.

    And the standard party line of "make it or you don't get it" has been around for a long, long time. They will always say that now. Someone at some future point may choose to make an exception but that happens after the fact, not in advance. And that's been pretty consistent in both programs for many years, well prior to the merger.
     
  11. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    As Seth said, it was a joke. Sorry.

    Here's my line of thinking: they have to draw a line somewhere. If they drew it at 99,830 PQM, you'd be happy, and another guy who just needed an extra 171 PQM would be mad because "it's just lousy extra mile and look at my loyalty...". I mean, come on, if I am short by 500 PQM, that's only missing the target by 0.5 percent.

    What do you think is the proper line to draw? I think it's 100k PQM. And a near miss is still a miss.

    I am okay with UA reviewing individual accounts that narrowly miss the threshold and making exceptions based on their subjective valuation of the customer, but there should be no expectation that anything below 100k PQM is enough. But in the age of the internet, when they do that, the lucky near-miss account holder will show up on FT and report it, and others will have the same expectation...
     
  12. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    If you have a short trip reserved in 2014 you should be able to use the accelerator for this year. While it is unlikely they will sell you less than thousands more than you need, it is my understanding that buying the accelerator miles now count for 2013
     
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  13. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    big +1 !

    Save an appeal at being short for a time it really matters, when something earthshattering at year's end on your (or UA's behalf) prevents you from achieving 100k, being a measly 170 short this far in advance of year's end is not the time to make such an appeal IMO.
     
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  14. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Heck, even use miles for a one-way positioning flight and pay for the segment home. :)
     
  15. clscholes

    clscholes Silver Member

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    SEA-POR, Dec. 3 for example, 118 for 258 miles and 1K...;)
     
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  16. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    POR would take him to Finland. :D
     
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  17. clscholes

    clscholes Silver Member

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    Well, that would get him to 1K, but not for 118 dollars...how about SEA-PDX...;)
     
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  18. dstober

    dstober Gold Member

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    You could buy a refundable flight (this gets around the 24 hour cancellation policy for nonrefundables) and cancel once the accelerator miles clear. I have done this and it worked fine.
     
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  19. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    Fly to LAS or SFO or SEA or etc, see a show, come home a 1K. Maybe you can find a way to use your SDC rights to extend your flights this week by >170 miles.
     
  20. LIH Prem
    Original Member

    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    takes a while to post, I wouldn't trust it for this year at this point.

    -David
     
  21. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    where are you located? If you're in Seattle, then you can just fly somewhere. If not, then it's harder. You'd have to do one of the other tricks people have suggested.

    -David
     
  22. jcn

    jcn Member

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    Thanks for all the input on this! My wife saw the post about a quick turn to SFO or LAS, so it seems my fate may be sealed...!
     
  23. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Doesn't have to be quick. Turn it into a weekend trip.
     
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  24. rmokabe

    rmokabe Active Member

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    Get what you all are saying here and clearly I am not in the same league mileage wise but still think UA is being short sighted. Have you ever gone to a restaurant and received a free appetizer, dessert, or drinks? You become pretty loyal pretty fast.

    They could own this member forever for a few pennies. The goodwill he could spread among colleagues, friends, and family is worth more from a revenue perspective than the cost of 170 miles.

    I switched from AA (million miler) to UA once AA went Chapter 11 as a hedge (I know my miles are safe but am worried about cutbacks in destinations from my base).
    I have 49,837 PQMs for 2013 and no upcoming flights. Thought I would ask UA MP Service Center to see if there was any way to get around a mileage run to get to Gold. Got the same answer- we want you to earn it! For 163 miles?

    UA had a chance to flip me but now if merged AA-US leaves my base intact I am back to them in a heartbeat.
     
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  25. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Maybe, maybe not. After all, you've already demonstrated that you're fickle with your loyalty and repeated expectations that the published rules shouldn't apply to you. ;)

    I'd say that this is equally short-sighted.

    Good luck.
     
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