12 June 2014

United changes MileagePlus rules

United Airlines is changing its MileagePlus programme so that members will earn award miles based on their ticket price rather than distance flown, as of March 1, 2015

The specific award miles will be based on the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges as well as on MileagePlus status. Members will earn five miles for every dollar spent, while those with MileagePlus Premier status will earn the following on their base fare and carrier surcharges:

Status level on day of departure on or after March 1, 2015
Award miles per dollar
Premier Silver
Premier Gold
Premier Platinum
Premier 1K

The new earning structure will apply to MileagePlus members worldwide for most tickets for travel on United and United Express flights, and most United-issued tickets for flights on the company's airline partners – tickets with numbers that begin with "016." Members may earn up to 75,000 award miles per ticket.

In addition, United plans to offer members new opportunities to use their award miles
next year, including for single-flight purchases of extra-legroom United Economy Plus seats and to purchase Economy Plus and checked-baggage subscriptions.

"These changes are designed to more directly recognise the value of our members when they fly United," said Thomas F. O'Toole, United's Senior VP of marketing and loyalty and President of MileagePlus.

Tickets not issued by United for MileagePlus partner airline flights departing on or after March 1 will still earn award miles based on distance flown and purchased fare class.

The new earning structure will not affect the way members qualify for Premier status in 2015, and MileagePlus credit card members will still earn even more miles when they use their cards to purchase United tickets, the airline said.