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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

United Devalues Mileage program...but it was expected

The blogosphere has lit up today with the news that United has officially gone revenue-based with Mileageplus starting in 2015.  Here are the basics:

As of March 1, 2015, the award miles you earn on most United and United Express® tickets will be based on your ticket price (that is, base fare plus carrier-imposed surcharges) instead of the distance you fly, so members will be rewarded for their travel spending on United. And when you have Premier® status, you’ll earn even more.

This wasn't completely unexpected, but I think I was holding out hope that they wouldn't go this far.  As some have pointed out, they took the cheap route and just took Delta's earning per dollar (which is a cop-out in my opinion).  Respectfully, if you're going to go revenue-based, how about you do it for your own reasons and not because Delta does!

It's a major devaluation for sure.  The only real way around it is to fly partners and credit their flights back for full earning.  But even that's a bit of a challenge for most.  This really does spell the end of mileage running (if it wasn't already dead).  Now the best way to earn miles and use them on United is by using your United-branded credit card. 

Plea to American:  Please make sure to think hard about what you're going to do coming up post-merger. You have an opportunity to stick it to the other airlines and blaze your own path (non-revenue based)!

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