trickijedi
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Thu Sep 26, 2002 1:33 pm

Just got off the phone with a United Mileage Plus representative tonight and she informed me that effective October 1, 2002, UA will be increasing the amount of miles required to upgrade from Coach to Business or Business to First. For instance, a transpacific flight will now cost us 30,000 miles instead of 25,000 miles for the upgrade. I'm not sure of the breakdown as far as travel to other parts of the country and to other parts of the world but there WILL be an increase for sure. I haven't receive any mailings on it yet but an anouncement is suppose to come soon. And as far as I know, there will be no increase in mileage requirements for cashing in FF miles for a free flight, so that's good. Standard and Saver Awards should remain the same.

Also, for Premiere members, the price for 4 500 mile upgrades will increase from $125 to $200, also effective on October 1, 2002. So stock up on the 500 milers!

Just thought this may be of interest to other fellow United flyers.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
MSY-MSP
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2002 4:18 am

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Thu Sep 26, 2002 1:57 pm

Interesting....

Just looked on UA's website, and it says the new rules take effect first quarter 2003. Now does UA really mean FY2003 or Jan 2003, However if you want the website link here it is.

http://www.ual.com/press/detail/0,1442,50149,00.html

You will find all of the details there.

MSY-MSP

 
nickofatlanta
Posts: 1272
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 1:06 am

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Thu Sep 26, 2002 2:19 pm

It seems that it now costs 60,000 miles to upgrade a ticket from Coach to Business from the US to Central America and Venezuela. Alternatively, you can get a free business class ticket for the same amount of miles. Crazy! With this type of management, no wonder UAL finds it back up against the wall financially.
 
SegmentKing
Posts: 3224
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2000 7:16 am

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Thu Sep 26, 2002 2:24 pm

don't forget you need to be booked in "H" or higher to use miles to upgrade on an international ticket.

All that UA is doing is making our miles MORE valuable. A domestic r/t UG in F costs you 30,000 miles, while an XF seat (Award First) is 40,000 miles.

I'm a Premier Exec and I've *never* had to buy 500 miler upgrades.... so it doesn't effect me. I think I have like 30 sitting in my account.... never use them!

anyway, if United thinks this will help them, so be it.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

-nate
~ ~ ~ ~ pRoFeSsIoNaL hUrRiCaNe DoDgEr ~ ~ ~ ~
 
milemaster
Posts: 1015
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 10:19 am

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Thu Sep 26, 2002 2:39 pm

Please oh please ignore this AA...

Everyone... Shhhhhhh.
 
trickijedi
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Fri Sep 27, 2002 1:04 am

MSY-MSP,

I just read the link and noticed that there weren't specific dates outlined at all. This whole restructuring plan has been very ambiguous from the start and frankly I'm not surprised that specific dates aren't mentioned. The phone agent who I spoke with had to dig a few minutes for the info herself. And I'm also guessing that some exec at United is trying to conjure up some nice sounding lines to make it seem like it is to everyone's advantage. UA has to soften the blow to its Frequent Flyers (especially Million Milers) when they make these announcements.


Nickofatlanta,
Right now, it's only 25,000 to upgrade to Central America. 13,000 if you purchased a full-fare ticket.


SegmentKing,
Yes I forgot to mention that not all coach fares are upgradeable to Business Class.

Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
trickijedi
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Fri Sep 27, 2002 1:05 am

Here's the link to the current Upgrade Award Chart.

http://www.ual.com/page/article/0,1360,1151,00.html
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
UALbrat
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 1:49 am

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Fri Sep 27, 2002 1:17 am

There's a press release linked from the award chart referenced in Trickijedi's message, part of it reads:

"Lastly, the monetary purchase price and miles needed to purchase upgrades will be increased effective, Oct. 1, 2002 – the first increase since 1996. This will not affect the way that customers earn complimentary upgrades, or applicable booking codes."

There's also a mention in that same release about other changes coming in 2003 but much of it is written in corporate English and consequently doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

My question is, if I buy a ticket today for a flight months from now and use miles to upgrade it will I get the pre-Oct. 1 rate? I may call UA to find out.
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Fri Sep 27, 2002 1:27 am

This is a good move from a financial perspective. Each frequent flyer mile is a kind of liability on their balance sheet. This will help them reduce the outstanding balances. It will piss off customers though because it actually reduces the value of each FF mile. Each FF mile "buys" less than it did before. The world's airlines have issued far more miles through bonuses, credit cards, and so on than they could ever honor.

 
trickijedi
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Fri Sep 27, 2002 1:33 am

UALBrat,

If I were you, I would put in the upgrade request ASAP (mostly for seat avilability). When you call United, ask them how many upgradeable seats are left for the booking class that you want. Of course you can find out how many upgradeable seats are left on-line as well.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
exitrowaisle
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat May 06, 2000 2:32 am

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Fri Sep 27, 2002 1:50 am

I disagree that this is a good move from a financial perspective. Maybe in the short view, yes, fewer awards. But how is a frequent flyer mile a "liability" on their balance sheet? Each frequent flyer mile is actually a symbol of consumer loyalty. Most people I know who fly for business choose the airline on the basis of whose mileage program they're in. I don't see how an upgrade hurts an airline financially, since it fills an otherwise empty business/first class seat (they wouldn't bump a full-fare paying passenger!), and makes the flyer much more likely to choose that airline in the future, possibly for a full-fare ticket. In the long-term, this decision to raise award requirements will only alienate more frequent-flyers, who will remember how United screwed them over. Sounds like the airline industry is trying to solve its customer service problems by getting rid of more customers!
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Fri Sep 27, 2002 2:23 am

A frequent flyer mile that you have in your account is a claim you have against the airline towards the 'purchase' of a seat. The airlines have to block a number of seats off on most flights for FF travelers. Naturally these seats have some displacement effect on revenues.

If you ever have an interview with an airline and they ask you, 'how do you value a frequent flyer?' Explain your thought process and say it costs the airline about $0.02 per mile. That is consensus answer in the airline industry. I won't go as far as saying that they carry it on their books at that amount but they value them at about 2 cents each. If your free R/T ticket costs 20K miles, then it would be translated into about $400. That is not real high or real low for most domestic air tickets in the US.

 
trickijedi
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Fri Sep 27, 2002 11:00 am

Here's my take on this:

First of all, there hasn't been an increase like this since 1996 so personally, I don't think it's all that bad. For domestic upgrades it's essentially going to be a 50% mileage increase but at least we can still upgrade. I know that I'm being rather optimistic but at this point I have to be.

Secondly, if I were to take a guess, I'm banking on seeing less 1K United flyers next year. What about you? Most individuals with high status will probably either ditch United completely or simply concentrate on status with other airlines, if they can help it. I agree that this move doesn't really help UA's short-term problem right now which is cash.

And thirdly, as much as I hate to see my miles worth less due to the increased mileage requirement, I'm still going to support UA and will continue to fly them. Otherwise, if UA ever goes down, guess how much my miles will be worth then? Yup, zero. And not to mention increased fares all across the airline industry due to less competition.

The miles increase sucks but if you really think about it, it ain't all that bad. It could be worse.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
SegmentKing
Posts: 3224
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2000 7:16 am

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Fri Sep 27, 2002 11:44 am

1Ks aren't going to leave united because of increase in miles for F upgrades.... because most 1Ks know its a waste of miles, as I do. 1Ks get 2 HK49s for every 10,000 miles they fly, in addition to the benefit of 4 500 miler E Certs for every 10,000 miles.

There will be fewer 1Ks this year because of the large amount of people who were carried over from 2001 from the tier-matching and carry over due to 9/11. Fortunately, I still earned my 1P status. But overall, there will be fewer 1Ks but not enough to really notice it, unless you are a Premier.


trick, why do you think your miles are worth LESS?? in all actuality, they're worth MORE as you wont' be spending them left and right. As I said earlier, a r/t UG using miles is NOW 30,000 miles yet an AWARD FIRST CLASS ticket is 40,000..... lets think about that one for a second.............. :P

-n
~ ~ ~ ~ pRoFeSsIoNaL hUrRiCaNe DoDgEr ~ ~ ~ ~
 
ual777contrail
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:33 am

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Fri Sep 27, 2002 12:29 pm

Just my opinion, we are in a copy cat industry and you will in fact see some of the other airlines doing this.

there are a lot of changes happening and it is the changes that bother us, we have grown to familiar with this style or trend. A lot of good comments on this thread. Some are people who are overreacting.

it will all work out.
 
UALPHLCS
Posts: 3233
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2001 5:50 am

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Sat Sep 28, 2002 2:43 am

The ONLY time FF mileage is a negative on the balance sheet is when the carrier is struggling and people start to cash in miles for award flights. Now the carrier is in a tight spot. Frequent Fliers are abandoning the carrier, AND they are taking up space on the plane that could be used for passengers who a paying.

UA IS NOT in this situation. US is close but not in this situation. This can be a contributing factor to a slow recovery or a lingering death of a carrier.

UA did go through a brief period in the fall of 2001 after 9-11 when holiday revenues where depressed in part due to high award numbers. But is was only a small part of the larger problem that Holiday season.
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
trickijedi
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Sat Sep 28, 2002 3:16 am

SegmentKing,

UA is making our miles MORE valuable as far as UA is concerned. Along the same lines, they are also making F cabins more exclusive to people who UA thinks deserve them because it will now cost more to fly in F.

However, from a consumer's point of view, I feel that my miles are actually devalued because I can now "buy" less with my miles than before. Here's how I look at it: let's say I have $1.00 and all these years I've been buying a candy bar for $1.00. So my current buying power is obviously $1.00. But say all of a sudden, the price of the candy bar increases to $1.50. Now, even though I have $1.00 in my hand, my actual buying power is only $.50. All of a sudden my currencly is devalued because of the price increase. I can buy less with my dollar the same way I can "buy" less with my miles.

So, in perceiving the way miles are used, yes, they are worth more because there is more to buy with my mile. But in reality they are devalued because more miles have to be used to gain the same end product (ie. the upgrade).
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
SegmentKing
Posts: 3224
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2000 7:16 am

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Sat Sep 28, 2002 3:34 am

trick, yer getting somewhere with your post. I was hoping someone would say it, but the reason United did UP its miles is for the NON PREMIER members... as a Premier Exec, I already get F for free quite a bit, whereas a non Premier member who doesn't fly F much will think it's the BOMB and use 30,000 miles to UG a trip.

For people who are Premiers, we know what F is like and realize it's just Coach with some extra legroom and a wall behind our seats.

It's not like it used to be, ya know. I even remember getting menus in F on ORD-FLL, ORD-CID flights!!

-n
~ ~ ~ ~ pRoFeSsIoNaL hUrRiCaNe DoDgEr ~ ~ ~ ~
 
zrs70
Posts: 3357
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 4:08 am

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Sat Sep 28, 2002 4:00 am

AA has had higher mileage redemption rates for years.
17 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2016
 
Canarsie VOR
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2001 5:58 am

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Sun Sep 29, 2002 7:10 am

As far as domestic flights are concerned, sitting in Economy Plus really ain't that bad compared to First or Business. Actually, with no one in the middle seat and the armrest raised up, I actually feel that I have more room in Economy Plus than I do in First. And considering that I take way more domestic flights than international flights, this move by United doesn't really bother me all that much. I'll gladly take Economy Plus anyday and save my 500 mile certs!
 
Guest

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Sun Sep 29, 2002 7:54 am

Well it's working for UA...As a result of this thread I bought a couple of extra UG kits from UA...I'm such a sucker...
 
trickijedi
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Sun Sep 29, 2002 8:26 am

Pmcdonald,
Well, I'm glad this thread has influenced your actions somewhat.  Smile

SegmentKing,
I knew what you were saying from the start but I was just looking at it from an overall consumer's point of view (ie. the average flyer who has a choice between say UA, AA, CO and NW with an equal amount of miles in the bank). Decisions by UA like this one could affect their next airline choice once everything else is considered.

Canarsie,
I agree with you with the domestic flights. It really is almost indifferent flying F or C or Y with the middle seat open and especially sitting in an exit row. Lately, a chunk of my flights have been under two hours (although the majority have been around the 3 hour mark) and usually I just take over the E+ seats vacated by the ones who get upgraded to F. I'll gladly save my upgrades for the longer international flights.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
vermeer
Posts: 433
Joined: Fri May 12, 2000 6:21 am

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Sun Sep 29, 2002 8:47 am

my question here is:
because star alliance cam up with an harmonized worldwide chart for awards, is this going to be reflected in the chart?
already we have two different situations for FF in Europe and in the US on the same airline, how this is going to change???
 
trickijedi
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Sun Sep 29, 2002 12:36 pm

Good question Vermeer. It’ll be interesting to see how the recently published Star Alliance awards will be affected.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
UALPHLCS
Posts: 3233
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2001 5:50 am

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Mon Sep 30, 2002 10:15 am

There should be ONLY Star UG's. This would allow any Star passenger to UG on any Star flight and solidify its Alliance dominace.
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
nickofatlanta
Posts: 1272
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 1:06 am

Zrs70

Mon Sep 30, 2002 12:39 pm

I am aware that AA has higher transatlantic upgrade awards than UA. Do not know about the other regions although I am sure you are right. However, it should be noted that I think AA's award is more valuable because with AA transatlantic, you can upgrade from any published fare. With UA, only "H" fares are upgradable transatlantic. So, when AA has a sale in the autumn and you can fly from, for example, $200 or so from NYC to LHR, it is upgradable. However, with UA, you'll be paying a lot more if you want to upgrade.
 
trickijedi
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Tue Oct 01, 2002 2:20 am

Well, as far as I know, for transatlantic flights, American Airline's price is $45 per upgrade of up to 8 upgrades. The price goes down after the 8th upgrade but no sure how much. On the other hand, under United's new rules, the price of 8 upgrades would cost $400. So in comparison, with AA's disounted pricing after the 8th upgrade, it would only cost about $300 or so to upgrade on the same route. But like Nickofatlanta pointed out, AA permits upgrades on almost any published fare. United permits upgrades only on higher published fares. Advantage still goes to American.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
UA744Flagship
Posts: 1433
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 1999 1:55 pm

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Tue Oct 01, 2002 5:59 am

Hry Tricki,

Not quite... All transatlantic upgrades are strictly mileage only on American, just like United. United's increase in mileage required for transatlantic upgrades brings the cost of a mileage upgrade to what AA's been 'charging for years'.

As for domestic, 500-mile 'e-upgrades', I have 13 AA e-upgrades in my account right now (4 earned). They are $31.25 apiece for 8 or more, and $45 each for up to 7. So it costs about $125 for a one way upgrade on a midcon, like Chicago to San Francisco. When fares are hovering around $200 on the route (after taxes), it is a pretty good deal to be able to get first class for $450 round trip.

With UA's new policy, *all* e-upgrades are $50 apiece. Kinda pricey.
no wire hangers!
 
trickijedi
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Tue Oct 01, 2002 10:35 am

Hey Haas, what's up. I actually just got an email from Jason Seiple telling me the price of the AA upgrades after 7.

But I still don't understand how AA and UA can be comparably priced in upgrades. If the price of 8 AA upgrades goes down to $31.25 apiece, then that's around $250. Comparatively, UA's 8 upgrades would cost $400. That's a savings of $150 by flying AA.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
trickijedi
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Tue Oct 01, 2002 10:39 am

By the way, just a reminder...

today is the last day to buy your 500 milers for the old price ($125)/ Tomorrow, October 1, they will be $200. And if you're not Premier, then the price isn't even worth mentioning.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
UA744Flagship
Posts: 1433
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 1999 1:55 pm

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Tue Oct 01, 2002 1:49 pm

Hey Tricki, Indiana life is mostly boring!  Smile I miss Cali! I did go up to Chicago a couple of weekends ago... what a relief, being in a big city again.

AA and UA are comparably priced in mileage upgrades. For 500-milers, AA is definitely a better value... and you can upgrade on virtually any fare. This is why I am shockingly devoting all my business to AA, with 4 more roundtrips on them already booked this year. And I'll possibly earn more by flying CX to Manila or Cebu!!!
no wire hangers!
 
trickijedi
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: UA To Increase Mileage Requirements For Upgrades

Tue Oct 01, 2002 2:08 pm

And I'll possibly earn more by flying CX to Manila or Cebu!!!

Hey, I hear ya!  Big thumbs up

Dude, let me know the next time you're up in Chi-Town (connecting or otherwise). We'll hang! Although if you can help it, do try to make it after the 9-5 drag I call work (if it's on a weekday).
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!

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