United seems to have changed the Mileage Plus updates page on united.com to add the following:
1K members: During 2011, if you are a 1K member based on 2010 activity, you will still be eligible to earn two Regional Upgrades per quarter as you did before. In addition, under the new program changes announced on Nov. 17, you will also receive two more Regional Upgrades when you reach 75,000 EQM/90 EQS and two at every 25,000 EQM/30EQS after that. The quarterly earning process will end on December 31, 2011, and then the new rules will be in effect for 2012.
I blogged about the changes a couple of days ago, and seemed to be in the microscopic minority, saying the changes weren’t so bad (and dare, I say it, actually positive for some!). So let’s be clear about what the above means. In the past, 1K members (United’s top tier) earned two confirmed regional upgrades for each quarter in which they flew at least 10,000 miles on United. That means they could earn a maximum of eight confirmed regional upgrades per year. The new policy states that 1Ks would instead earn two confirmed regional upgrades for crossing 75,000 elite qualifying miles, and then two more for each 25,000 elite qualifying miles earned beyond that. In other words, someone that just barely makes 1K every year would now be earning four confirmed regional upgrades (two for crossing 75,000 miles and two for crossing 100,000 miles) instead of eight.
But it seems that United has postponed the policy change until 2012, and in the meantime is giving us the best of both worlds. Next year we’ll earn two confirmed regional upgrades for each quarter in which we fly 10,000 miles on United, and two confirmed regional upgrades at 75,000 elite qualifying miles and every subsequent 25,000 elite qualifying miles milestone after that. In other words, a 1K that earns 100,000 elite qualifying miles next year would earn 12 confirmed regional upgrades. If you’re like me and earn 250,000 elite qualifying miles per year, that’s 24 confirmed regional upgrades next year.
So, thanks United! And thanks for the policy change in general, I’m a happy camper!
(Yes, that last sentence is just to push some buttons… though the policy change does make me a happy camper)