Now that it’s February, it’s probably worth noting that United hasn’t announced an Elite Choice program for the year. In years past it was an extra program which gave you “rewards” for passing certain milestones. The rewards were typically minimal for milestones within your status level (in other words, as a 1K the rewards weren’t great at 40,000 miles and 75,000 miles), though they were typically pretty decent when you flew beyond the amount required for your elite level. For example, last year I had the choice between a Premier nomination and 25,000 redeemable miles at 125,000 elite qualifying miles, and the choice between a Premier Executive nomination and 25,000 redeemable miles at 175,000 elite qualifying miles.
Last year’s Elite Choice program was announced in November of 2009, six weeks before the start of the year. Well, we’re now five weeks into this year, and we still haven’t heard anything about an Elite Choice program for the year.
Well, I guess along with a double elite qualifying miles promotion, they don’t feel like they need it this year. Planes are full and the airlines are profitable, so why the heck give customers something you don’t have to? It was an awesome “gesture of goodwill,” though doubt it contributed to much incremental business.