Will be short of Plat this year; worth a MR?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by bjdriscoll, Oct 25, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. bjdriscoll

    bjdriscoll Silver Member

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    I didn't have that much business travel this year and my leisure travel was not as much as I would have liked, either. With the upcoming trips this year, I'll be short of remaining Plat. I'll finish the year just under 60k.

    I don't like the thought of having those 10k EQMs essentially go to waste but I'm also not certain it's worth a MR for a little more than 15k miles. I know I could buy the EQMs but that's expensive, especially at this point in the year, and it would still leave me a little short of the 75k mark as, unfortunately, I only have two trips remaining this year.

    Pros: higher on the UG list and 75% bonus miles.
    Cons: cost to stay Plat and travel next year will be similar to this year so I'll probably find myself in a similar situation twelve months from now.

    Just curious if anyone else is in a similar situation and eager for the insight of fellow MP members.

    Thanks so much.
     
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  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    You also get a couple RPUs to use but I'm not sure those are a huge value.

    You can definitely buy as many EQMs as you want without worrying about what you have booked (tix are refundable within 24 hours ;)) but I probably wouldn't spend the ~$1400 to make that leap. That's a decent chunk of cash, especially if you're mostly looking at the same flying pattern next year. Probably not worth the expense.
     
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  3. bjdriscoll

    bjdriscoll Silver Member

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    I've gone that route before; purchase a flight, buy the EQMs, cancel the flight within 24 hours of purchase. It's not bad if you don't have the time for a MR earlier in the year, but, at this point in the year, the price to purchase the EQMs goes up and it's just not worth it.

    That's kind of what I figured. Like you, I did the math and I'd rather spend that on a trip somewhere rather than pushing to stay Plat.

    As always, thanks for the advice.
     
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  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    There are a couple other benefits I thought of that might be of some value, namely expanded premium cabin award availability on UA metal and reduced award change fees. Still probably not enough to get to the $1000-1500 range of covering the costs of buying them but it does close the gap a tiny bit.
     
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  5. bjdriscoll

    bjdriscoll Silver Member

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    That's the problem with the new program, at least in my opinion, while it's certainly better at the Plat level than at the Gold level, comparing current Plat benefits to the new program Plat benefits are the reason I'm hesitating. If the program, or at least Plat level benefits, were the same in 2012 as they have been in the past, I wouldn't have even posted the question. Instead, I would've book a great MR or a few smaller ones.

    As you said, the benefits just aren't enough to make that push.
     
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  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Other than the 25% loss on bonus RDMs you don't really lose much from 2011 platinum to 2012 platinum that I can think of. Arguably the RPUs take care of that (though they force you to use as upgrades rather than for whatever you want) but otherwise not a ton of differences, are there? And no M-Ups.

    What am I missing?
     
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  7. AZjohn

    AZjohn Silver Member

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    I don't think anything ;)
     
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  8. bjdriscoll

    bjdriscoll Silver Member

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    While it's only 25%, it's still 25%, which, frankly, probably bothers me more than it should. No M-ups is a loss for me. I'm out of MCO and have trouble sometimes getting a seat up front. I'm worried what next year will be like. I know these are all benefits and not to be expected but I can't help but be a little disappointed when some things are taken away. Certainly, the downgrade of Gold and Silver was worse than Plat. But, seeing as how I'm heading in the wrong direction toward Gold for next year, it makes these cuts a little harder to take.
     
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  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The 25% is about 20K points at the Platinum level, and that gets traded for two RPUs. Again, thy require you to redeem them for upgrades rather than using those 20K points for part of an award but the net isn't horrible from a straight miles perspective.

    If you were buying the M fares and getting the instant upgrades then losing that is certainly painful. That said, you might be the first person I've ever heard say they have trouble getting upgrades out of MCO. That route has tremendous capacity and very little paid premium traffic; I'm quite surprised to hear that you have troubles.
     
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  10. bjdriscoll

    bjdriscoll Silver Member

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    Trust me, I wish I didn't have troubles. According to my records, I'm upgraded about 60% of the time. It used to be much, much better; nearly, if not at 100%. This year seems to be quite another story. A friend of mine is Silver and he's 0/8 this year.
     
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  11. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    I'm in a similar but different position in that I should be a Plat by EOY but short of 1K by 20k. I was originally thinking of doing a couple MR since I have a voucher and can also get a good # with an international trip for 4.7 cpm or a more convenient one for 6.2 cpm.

    However, at the end of the day, I really can't justify the cost just to get the extra 25% in mileage which wouldn't even net me the mileage value that I'm spending to get back to 1K... unless I'm missing something here.
     
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  12. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    No change fees as 1k. Book awards at your whim :)
     
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  13. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    Things could be worse- you could be dropping from Gold to Silver like me :(
    In your case though, I'm not sure the difference between Plat and Gold is worth the $/MR. You still get *A Gold benefits if you travel overseas with partners, and you're not subject to the stupid changes that are coming to the Silvers (restrictions on E+ seating and losing a bag). The way the upgrades are supposed to work next year, I'm sure Plat is a huge advantage there either. Unless you were pushing to make 1K ;) , I'd stay where you are.
     
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  14. bjdriscoll

    bjdriscoll Silver Member

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    Yes, I do feel bad for those at the Silver level. Like you said, things could always be worse. If the travel was looking to improve next year, I'd make the push. But, unless I decide to take a month and travel around the world (which I'd love to do, as I'm sure we all would), it doesn't make sense to push for retention.
     
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  15. bjdriscoll

    bjdriscoll Silver Member

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    Just FYI, two weeks ago, MCO to IAH had 48 people on the upgrade list. I had never seen that before. It was 42 on the return. I don't always pay attention to the full list, especially when mine clears right away, but that seems like quite a lot to me.
     
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  16. AZjohn

    AZjohn Silver Member

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    That just cracked me up :p
    So true for me also....
     
  17. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    Platinum also doesn't have change fees for awards in the 2012 program. You can see on the MP merger website: http://mileageplusmergerupdates.com/en/mp/MileagePlusin2012/2012MPStatusChart

    I didn't mention the instant upgrades on M-class fares nor the Global Premier upgrades because I rarely purchase such premium fares and thus would find little value there. The only value I'd realize is the 25% more mileage back to the standard of 100% bonus and being upgraded ahead of Platinum.
     
  18. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    I made a similar observation to this regarding a related question somebody had in the AA program. Wasn't an identical case, but my observation would apply here to a certain extent as well, so here it is: Remember that in a MR or buying of EQMs, you would not be doing it SOLELY for Platinum status. You also get those miles towards your balance, which you can redeem for a trip later. So in addition to buying yourself the status, you're also making a prepayment on a future vacation. Only you can decide if that fits your budget and it is worth it for you, but it gets you more than just the Plat status. - - - - - - That said, I am mainly an AA dude and am really quite confused (and a bit disappointed, if it spreads to other companies) about the new UA program, so I am not at all sure how much Platinum will really give you in 2012.
     
  19. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    I think AA is probably one of the safest programs around, despite having not been devalued like all the others. Because of the bankruptcy rumors, any major devaluation would cause travelers to really worry about the state of the airline and could easily be the reason not just to say they are abandoning AA, but actually follow through with it.
     
  20. Tivoboy
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    Tivoboy Milepoint Guide

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    I'm in a similar boat, need about 9900 for plat. Will probably try some MR's just to get it (and I'll be 1MM next year too). Trying to figure out a nice easy run from ORD to cover the nut
     
  21. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    Just wait for UA to match the DEQM from AA, and that will be real easy to do ;)
     
  22. sithlord
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    sithlord Silver Member

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    If you need to do a mr to get plat you may want to settle for gold or silver. Elite status is best for peoplewho travel the appropiate amounts for work etc.
     
  23. Tivoboy
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    Tivoboy Milepoint Guide

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    I just managed to get this all done with a quick MR round turn to ORD, and I booked a massage with my favorite masseuse in the world!
     

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