How I decided on: AA/UA’s Double EQM & EQS; Delta Rollover Miles & Double MQM; USAir Race to Preferred
I’ve been flying coast to coast on Delta and United this year. I made Delta Gold Medallion without Double Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM) because I was flying Delta from January to March for their free upgrades as a Gold member from 2008. I was able to reach Premiere Executive status with United in just nine weeks, thanks to their generous Double Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) promotion.
With all the Double Elite Qualifying Miles programs going on at the moment, I wanted to help explain which program to choose. Here’s a summary of current promotions:
* American Airlines is offering Double EQM (previous post)
* Delta is offering Double MQM AND Rollover miles (previous post)
* United is offering Double EQM and Elite Qualifying Segments (previous post)
* USAir is offering 7,500 flight miles for Silver status (previous post)
So if you’re not loyal to any particular airline, like me, nor do you live in a hub city, which one should you pick?
Here’s what I am going to do; I recommend that those in a similar boat to do the same:
1. USAir isn’t really offering anything for its customers with status. If you don’t have status with any airline, I suggest you give them a shot. Seventy five hundred (7,500)miles is two round trips from New York to Vegas!
2. With status on both Delta and United, I will pass on American this year; I’ll show some love next year. If you have status on one of the above airlines, I strongly suggest you stay with them (see Statusmonger - he can’t quit United).
3. As for me, I will evaluate the rest of my 2009 travel schedule to see if I can make 1K on United. Holding 1K status is the only way to get decent service on United. I have decided to register for double EQM instead of EQS since I am typically on coast to coast flights. The segments would not help me to 1k - I probably have 15 to date.
4. For those dealing with the dilemma of having to choose between doubling EQM or EQS, the simple guideline is: take Double Qualifying Segments if you fly weekly, and you’re earning less than 1,000 airline miles each way. It will take you either 30 one way trip segments or 25,000 airline miles to get entry level status (Premiere on United, Gold on American, or Silver on Delta). Based on the requirements to qualify for airline status, 1,000 airline miles per flight should be the deciding factor when choosing between EQM or EQS. The precise number is actually 834 miles (30 segments times 834 miles = 25,020).
5. Since I have 55,000 MQM on Delta, and they are allowing me to rollover extra airline miles earned in 2009 to 2010 (in this case, 5,000 miles if I don’t fly any more this year), I will most likely book my next trip on Delta. I will stick with Delta unless I know I can get 25,000 flight miles on United for the rest of the year, as double EQM will give me 50,000 miles, making me a 1K on United.