Changes to United Frequent Flier Program Announced

by Efficient Traveler on September 21, 2011

NOTE: this information is from of an article from the Chicago Tribune about changes to the United Mileage Plus program after the merge with Continental. Some of the bigger changes included in the new MileagePlus program include:

Tiers. The most fundamental change for MileagePlus and OnePass members is going from three tiers of elite status to four, called Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Premier Platinum and Premier 1K. They are achieved at flying levels of 25,000 miles or 30 flying legs, called segments; 50,000 miles or 60 segments, 75,000 miles or 90 segments and 100,000 miles or 120 segments.

Bonus miles. Elite flyers accumulate miles faster than regular members, at a rate of 25 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent and 100 percent more than actual miles flown, depending on elite tier.

Bags. The new program allows Silver members to check for free just one bag of 50 pounds or less. The three higher tiers of elites get three free checked bags with a maximum weight of 70 pounds each.

Pricey ticket bonuses. Passengers, regardless of elite-flying status, will get more bonus miles for buying pricey tickets, such as first class, business-class and full-fare economy seats. For example, someone who buys a first-class ticket on an international flight will get an additional 150 percent of miles flown, instead of the current 50 percent. A traveler who pays for a full-fare economy seat will get a 25 percent mileage bonus, instead of no bonus. These bonus miles are earned in addition to the usual miles earned on a trip and the usual bonus miles for being an elite flyer.

Economy-plus confirmation. Silver-level passengers won’t be able to confirm an upgraded seat to economy-plus until check-in.

Inactivity. Both MileagePlus and OnePass have a rule that says miles expire in 18 months if miles are not earned or used. But Continental didn’t actively enforce that. The new MileagePlus will.  

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