United announced that they will offer Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) from today to June 15, 2009 (here’s the link to register). With this promotion, you can make Premier Executive on UAL with 5 coast-to-coast trips. United obviously did this promotion in response to American Airline’s recently EQM promotion (here’s the link to register). Had you gone with UAL’s previous offer of paying for EQM or miles to gets status (see my previous post blasting on UAL for being desperate), you’d feel like a total fool.
So … will ghetto Delta be the next airline to offer a similar promotion? Delta did a similar promotion in 2008. It would not surprise me to see them counter UAL and AA in the next day or two.
All airlines have depreciated their mileage programs and offering fast track to obtaining status. What’s the value of earning actual miles and having loyalty to an airline? Hence we recommend you book hotel points with your credit cards (see previous post) and choose the most efficient way to travel as status does not matter on US airlines. The entire industry is heading to a bail out like banks, Detroit, etc.