Only airline in the US that I can think of that doesn't comp status outright is AA
- they have the Gold and Platinum Challenge, where if you fly 5000 or 10000 Elite Qualifying Points in 90 days (respectively), you earn the status. Most airlines only match up to the Gold level (mid-tier); CO
is the only one that matches up to Platinum (top-tier).
Gold will equate to Premier status on United. While I've heard upgrades as a 2P
(UA's code for Premiers) are tough, I have a friend that managed to game the system into getting a ton of CR-1s or their equivalent and had a better upgrade percentage than me. 500 mile upgrades are going to be tough though, especially out of DEN
since that's a UA
hub and has a ton of UA
flyers. At least with Premier, you'll have access to Economy Plus, which is very nice; those extra 5 inches of legroom make a huge difference. Premier is worth it just for that; you'll also get check-in at Business Class counters (First if there are no Business Class counters), Group 1 boarding, special reservations number (though you still get sent overseas), discount on the Red Carpet Club, stand-by priority, and 4 500 mile upgrades for every 10000 miles flown. With Premier status on UA
, there is no access to the priority screening line; that is reserved for Premier Executive, 1K and Global Services (which by default are a minimum of Premier Executive even if they don't fly 50,000 miles a year due to Globals being Star Gold).