Triangle Trip

Tag: premier

United Premier status expires in January vs February

by on Jul.06, 2009, under Airlines

Lured back from United’s EQM offer, I made Premier in May and finally received the Premier membership kit last week.  As part of EQM, almost everyone will have at least Premier status by early August (when United will calculate and give everyone double or triple Elite Qualifying Miles for their flights between March and June). EQM definitely came with a cost thought.

Unlike other airlines that will honor your previous year’s status until the end of February of the following year, UAL will only honor your status from the previous year until the end of January. Since I have flown 25,000 miles in 2009 (without EQM), I am qualified to be a Premier for 2010. Typically United will let me maintain my Premier status until the end of February 2011. However times have changed as you can see from the picture below:

For the Star Alliance fliers, this change may have some impact on your status if you are flying international. I am not a huge fan of US Air but The Coach has informed me that US Air still honors status until the end of February. If you’re an international flier and want a fast track to get Star Alliance Gold to access their lounges and save some money on bag checks, take a look at Statusmonger’s previous post to get Star Alliance Gold and Diamond for up to three years.

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United is a thankless carrier

by on Mar.12, 2009, under Airlines

I have been at least a Premier Executive for United since 1998 – was Premier Exec 1K four times. After 11 years of being a Premier Executive, I was about 8,000 miles short of making status for 2009. Instead of downgrading me from Premier Exec to Premier (or even the ghetto Premier Associate status), UAL sent me an email telling me how I can buy 8,000 more miles to be a Premier member again.

What ever happened to customer loyalty or even customer retention in this down economy? Perhaps this is why I have switched my allegiance to other airlines. There’s only so much abuse you can take from an airline when they show you no loyalty or service. UAL needs to learn from Marriott – look at Statusmonger’s post from earlier this year.

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Is United desperate or entrepreneurial?

by on Feb.21, 2009, under Airlines, Business Travel

Most United Premier members from 2008 who didn’t qualified for 2009 Premier levels probably received an email from United asking for the following:

  • $350 to be a Premier Associate (a sellout scheme created by United)
  • If you fly 7,000 actual miles within 90 days, UAL will promote you to Premier
  • If you fly 15,000 actual miles within 90 days, UAL will promote you to Premier Exec

As a frequent flyer, I believe you can achieve status if you just go about your business. Paying for status is not a best practice. If you read enough of our posts, you will see tons of ways to get status quick and tips to improve your travel experience.

I have the following gripes with UAL’s most recent pitch to pimp out status:

  1. Premier Associate is purely a desparation to get more money from passengers. $350 for 90 days is not a good deal. I believe you can get a Premier Associate membership for $400 that can last a calendar year.
  2. The latest pitch to extract $350 from 2008 Premier members devalues the Premier status. It is a kick in the face to the 2009 Premier members who have truly earned their status by flying on UAL in 2008. Essentially what UAL is saying is:  15,000 miles + $350 in present terms = flying 50,000 in 2008 which could have been worth $10,000 as you were on the plane at least 25 times at around $400 a ticket.
  3. United also tries to sell you seats in the Premier zone when you check-in which is a “sell out” move. Now they are trying to make you pay for “bonus” miles when you check-in to speed up your qualification.

I have over 700,000 actual flight miles on UAL. The recent tactics  implemented by UAL not only devalues everyone’s status, it also makes me ashamed to be affiliated with them.

What’s next for UAL?  … charging me for the floatation cushion on a 1970s aircraft?

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