Award changes at United.

Old Jun 13th, 2014, 09:25 AM
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Award changes at United.

I just received an email from United about their 2015 changes to their Mileage Plus Program. Award travel will no longer be based on miles traveled. It will be based on the price paid for your ticket. Another win for the 1 Percent, and one big kick in the butt for the middle class traveler who has to front his business travel expense. I wonder how much more angry with travel can I get?
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Old Jun 13th, 2014, 09:40 AM
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It's not frequent flyers, it's frequent buyers.
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Old Jun 13th, 2014, 09:56 AM
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They saw that Delta got away with this change last year.
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Old Jun 13th, 2014, 10:05 AM
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How do you figure this is some kind of "win" for anybody, Wesleymarsh, or are you just pissed off about the declining "value" of your program?

We are now waiting to see if American is going to follow suit.

The changes don't mean diddly squat to a lot of people who aren't even enrolled in a FF program.

As to those of us who are, including you, I do not see this as any kind of a plus for any of us. Now you could very well say that people who don't pay as much for an airline flight should never have received as much FF "compensation" as those who paid more. Why should they be "subsidizing" your FF miles with their money?

You really do GET what you pay for it seems and in this case the more you pay the more you get.
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Old Jun 13th, 2014, 10:06 AM
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Wait until they start changing the number of miles you need to get a flight which American has already started doing.
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Old Jun 13th, 2014, 11:06 AM
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We had AMEX/Delta card for years, but with the change we changed credit cards.
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Old Jun 13th, 2014, 11:08 AM
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It also indicates how loyal airline is to all their flyers.
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Old Jun 16th, 2014, 07:12 AM
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>

Is this not a win for those people who can afford to spend more on a ticket? Sounds like a super win to the 1 percent to me.

I'm not the executive who came up with the idea more than 20 years ago that the program should be fair and democratic to all customers, that is, no matter what you pay for your ticket, you get the mile number that you have flown. Seemed to me a thoughtful idea, the longer the customer has to sit trapped on a plane, the kinder the airline should be to the customer.

Declining value is not the same as punch in the face. As a former Continental loyalist, my United credit cards exist by default. After receiving miles for miles for over 20 years, no matter what I paid for the ticket, I think I have a right to be pissed that my final reason for remaining loyal is now gone.

All is OK. I'll deal with the loss. I've been hating all aspects of air travel lately anyway, so maybe it's time to find another pleasure.
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Old Jun 16th, 2014, 10:07 AM
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this probably shouldn't be on this board.

It doesn't surprise me at all, you seem to forget the purpose of these programs isn't to be nice, but to gain revenue from customers who then prefer that airline to spend their money. It really only makes sense to reward people more who spend more IMO. And no, I'm not in the category of people who buy expensive tickets or seats, I'm just realistic.
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Old Jun 16th, 2014, 12:30 PM
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>

And for 20+ years, I remained loyal to Continental (now United). I wasn't always able to get my business tickets on that airline, but I submitted it as first request. I also signed up for two of their credit cards. So who's forgetting whom here?

Since customer perks are pretty much dead and gone, what incentive exists now for customers to remain loyal?

(Apologize if I posted on the wrong board. Just got back from Italy on United, and this board is the only one I know on Fodor's.)
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Old Jun 16th, 2014, 12:51 PM
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Since this is the board I most frequent, I'm certainly fine with your posting this here, WesleyMarsh, so my ruler won't be cracking your knuckles.

After all, I only save my miles to fly to Europe, so this post certainly applies to me and I bet it applies to many other Europe forum residents.

It's funny that you posted this, because just this weekend, I turned to my husband and said, "You DO realize, our jig is up." Everyone will be going to this method of valuation.

We certainly milked the old system, and I've often done "mileage runs"--seeking out cheapie flights with multiple segments just to move up a mileage bracket.

For me, the death knell was when USAirways left Star Alliance. I used so many carriers in that system to rachet my way up levels.

For USAirways itself, I had TWO credit cards that gave me 10,000 Preferred Miles once I passed the 25K mark--so I put EVERYTHING on those two cards. That got me within calling distance of Silver, and when we took 2-3 long-haul flights per year, I was usually Gold and frequently Platinum, especially the year we flew Star Alliance to New Zealand.

If I was high enough in Platinum, I just bought up to Chairman's, which gave me two Business Class upgrades to Europe. I got the miles for going plus I could sleep.

Plus, once I was Chairman's, I'd get automatic First Class upgrades domestically and then would also rack up 1,000s of extra FF points for doing nothing.

So, I'd say I got my money's worth over the past 15 years for sure, but I'm going to have to pay BIG time now.

But I actually think the change is fair. I HATE it, but I think it's fair from a revenue stream standpoint. I just have to figure out a way to pound in travel before Dec 31!!!
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Old Jun 16th, 2014, 01:13 PM
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Business relationships are two way affairs, unless there is a monopoly involved. If any company does not show loyalty to a customer, why should a customer show loyalty to the company?

Companies spend 100's of millions gaining new customers and little to keep the ones they have. This is perfect example.

Many things in business have the opposite effect of what is intended and this is a prime example. With little good will toward the airlines remaining and flying becoming a tedious chore, you would think airlines would consider the customers and try to make some aspect of flying easier and more comfortable.
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Old Jun 16th, 2014, 01:26 PM
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I do agree that airlines have to show loyalty to a loyal customer But now that flights are so consolidated, the customer has little choice: people who have no money to spend will spend on low cost runs no matter what airline.

Profit is king if a company has to stay in business. And the rewards therefore have to go to the people that create the profit.

But I will say that although my mileage overall has been earned on USAirways, I am ALWAYS treated better as a bottom dollar flyer on Delta. Their air staff don't tend to beat one up (I'm AFRAID of USAirways flight attendants, even in Business Class). And if all things end up equal, you better believe which airline I will be flying.
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Old Jun 16th, 2014, 02:43 PM
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>

That's not exactly true, at least in my case, because whenever Continental had a sale, I purposely looked to shop for an itinerary of interest and made plans around Continental's sale fares. If Continental/United had a sale along with other airlines to a destination of interest, I stayed loyal even if the sale price was slightly higher than their competition, because they kind of locked me into a loyalist relationship.

Now that the United miles will only be worth what I paid for my ticket, I have no reason to be loyal to United any longer. It looks like the time has come to investigate other credit card options, too, because I hate Chase. But that's for another thread.
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Old Jun 16th, 2014, 02:46 PM
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Interesting. This year they already have a dollar threshold for achieving a status level. It's not clear to me if next year the dollar spent formula will achieve your status as well as your accumulated mileage balance. If so, it's going to be higher for purposes of status but lower for accumulating miles.

As a 1k flyer, I get double miles, but my $$ spent and my miles fly combine to keep me in status.

Also, I assume any co-pays you make to upgrade will also go into the formula, not just the basic ticket price?
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Old Jun 16th, 2014, 03:27 PM
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Belinda--I am not so sure about the money you pay for upgrades. Right now,I'm not counting on that at all. As I said, I truly think all the tricks in my book are not gonna get me anywhere.

wesleymarsh--I totally get what you are saying. Heck, I was willing to fly through Philadelphia--the ultimate worst gateway airport to come back through from overseas (because the staff are SO horribly abusive to visitors that I always feel compelled to write my senators and say, "What are these people thinking???")--and pay MORE to stick with USAirways for my miles.

But I highly suspect someone with a firm handle on the logistics has been running a lot of numbers and says, "You know, if we just..."

Just wanted to add that my husband's firm NEVER pays for business/first. He always has had to fly coach unless his FF status gets him forward. And people like him will get screwed over UNLESS they fly so many darn segments that they start to get bumped up.

He used to fly that many so no problem (he passed a million miles 10 years ago). Now he's old and he's trimming back so his poor body will be totally crunched.

I don't like this. I do understand it.
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Old Jun 16th, 2014, 06:09 PM
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seems to me they will now raise the amount of miles you need to get to Europe or anywhere else because they are giving us more miles. Airlines don't GIVE anything away for free. We will pay one way or another. harder and harder for us to use our miles on United since they joined with Continental. It will be even harder now! We have enjoyed using our miles on flights so we cannot complain but we will wait and see now.......
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Old Jun 17th, 2014, 09:12 AM
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I am glad I got a free ticket abroad this fall on United. I used up many of the miles I had left and with these changes it might be my last United mileage ticket. I've been using Air France so much more, lately, anyway.
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