With airlines finally turning profits, we’re seeing a lot of negative changes to frequent flyer programs, including in many cases a move to revenue based programs. United MileagePlus is one of the programs which has made the most tweaks over the past couple of years.
Or more accurately, I should say that Delta SkyMiles has been making changes, and United MileagePlus has been matching them.
So what has happened so far?
- In January 2013, Delta SkyMiles announced they’d add a revenue requirement for status starting in 2014
- In June 2013, United MileagePlus announced they’d add a revenue requirement for status starting in 2014
- In February 2014, Delta SkyMiles announced they’d start awarding miles based on revenue in 2015
- In late June, United MileagePlus announced they’d start awarding miles based on revenue in 2015
- About a month ago, Delta SkyMiles raised their Medallion Qualifying Dollars requirements for 2016 elite status
Basically, exactly what Delta rolled out in October. The only difference seems to be their capitalization preference.
Credit to Charles M. Kunz for this
I’m sure it’s just a coincidence. 😉
United MileagePlus will be raising revenue requirements for 2016 status
While under the current system you have to spend an average of 10 cents per mile in order to qualify for status, United MileagePlus will be raising the revenue requirement in order to qualify for 2016 status (meaning for spend in 2015) by 20%:
- PQDs required for Premier Silver increasing from $2,500 to $3,000
- PQDs required for Premier Gold increasing from $5,000 to $6,000
- PQDs required for Premier Platinum increasing from $7,500 to $9,000
- PQDs required for Premier 1K increasing from $10,00 to $12,000
You can still waive the revenue requirement by spending $25,000 on a United Chase co-branded credit card, though only for Premier Silver, Premier Gold, and Premier Platinum — there’s no waiver for Premier 1K. That being said, those with addresses on their MileagePlus accounts outside of the US continue to be exempt from the revenue requirements.
Not surprising in the least, sadly…
We really shouldn’t be surprised, given United management seems content copying Delta’s homework. At the same time, United isn’t Delta. They have different route networks, different cost structures, different customers, etc. But clearly United thinks the key to success is to just copy everything Delta does, tit-for-tat.
United flyers, how will these changes impact your travel patterns and/or loyalty to MileagePlus?
(Tip of the hat to Wandering Aramean)