United guts Mileage Plus from 1 March 2015 – revenue earning coming

United has quietly announced another copy-cat change to Mileage Plus which will change the way we earn miles. Gone is earning based on distance flown, and in comes the Delta model of earning based on fare paid.

There are similar multipliers to Delta for elite members:

x5 Members
x7 Silver
x8 Gold
x9 Plat
x11 1K/GS

This changes a $250 JFK-LAX ticket in Coach from about 10,000 miles earned for a 1K to 2,750 miles. A huge cut in earning.

There is no change to elite status earning which continues to be based on distance flown.

The change applies to all members worldwide.

A sad day in my book, and the end of Mileage Running for earned miles at least.

Details here




  1. $250 rt transcons don’t exist anymore. The best deals these days in off peak season is at least $350-400

  2. I think I said somewhere else within Boarding Area, that nobody should be surprized when all of the US majors follow Delta’s lead. There was a general feeling of “Those Delta b@stard$, I’ll switch to another program!” So , what now? Back to equilibrium.

  3. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that at least Delta’s calculator shows you the differences in earnings before/after the change.

  4. The devalued your points for redemption first, then further decreased possible points you could earn. Time to say bye to award traveling.

  5. Don’t be surprised if CC churn is the next shoe to drop. It is not making the CC companies or the airlines any money, so it will be severely curtailed – i.e., I would expect that gift card purchases will not count towards “spend”.

    At least that’s what I am telling Delta and AMEX. And they are looking into it.

  6. this is very sad. Actually, many of the international flights I fly (usually W fares) won’t earn much less than they used to. The Main problem isn’t that some people might be earning fewer miles for very cheap tickets. The problem is that on the top end, corporate travelers, the 1%, on expensive tickets will receive outrageous amounts of miles. In a world where the rich keep getting richer faster and faster, this will be yet another way that inequality increases. They’ll be inundated with miles and can just buy award tickets at the “standard award”.
    So now we can choose – do we fly Air Canada (ew) or Lufthansa for regular earning? But we still have to make sure to reach 1K status so we must fly at least 10k worth on United flights. The lucky ones are Mileage Plus members outside the US, who are exempt from the PQD requirement…

  7. @augias: Gee, you would expect that people who pay more get more benefits? And isn’t it a tad hypocritical to bemoan the fate of the folks who buy little while wanting to keep your “status”? Chickes coming home to roost, to coin a phrase. Scammers and CC churners have ruined it for us folks who actually FLY. Thank you all very much.

  8. How about if I travel on united’s partners? Say I travel on Lufthansa, but willing to earn United miles. Is it also based on the value of the fare? Then, partners have to share their fare values with united on the route which supposed to be their confidentiality ?

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