Wednesday, November 5, 2008

United Announces 2009 Mileage Plus Changes

In a press release Monday, United announced some fairly significant changes to Mileage Plus, its frequent flyer program. Depending on your specific travel habits, you will find the changes either favorable or as yet another example of the devaluation of frequent flyer miles. 
  • Restoration of 500-mile minimum accrual for elite members. This past summer United eliminated this benefit for short-distance flyPublish Posters. The policy changes is retroactive for flights dating back to July 1, 2008.

  • Mileage Award Adjustments. UA will maintain the 25,000 mile requirement for economy saver tickets for flights within the U.S. But, it will increase the mileage requirement between 5,000 and 25,000 additional miles for flights between the U.S and different regions throughout the world.

  • Co-Payment and reduction in miles requirement for upgrades effective July 1, 2009. If you purchase an economy class ticket, United often allows you to upgrade that flight with miles. The airline will lower that mileage requirement, but institute a co-payment of up to $500 for this benefit. Additionally, the airline will allow international upgrades, regardless of the fare class purchased. Previously, only higher cost fares were upgradeable.