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United Will Move To A Revenue-Based Frequent Flyer Program in 2015

United will be moving to a revenue-based frequent flyer program starting in March 2015, copying Delta's announcement earlier this year. Miles will be earned based on the cost of the flight rather than the distance of the flight. ( More...

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Ric Wernicke 10
Since United bought the Pacific routes from Pan Am they have done everything they can think of to push long haul business and first class passengers away.

When FF programs started they were wonderful. It was as easy to find a free (truly free, no charge of any kind) seat. Redemption was convoluted, but often included free hotel nights and free rental cars with the flight tickets.

Over the years they began to reduce flights eligible for free or upgrade tickets, and some routes had no tickets at all. Then they began to route free travel through cities with less traffic.

Next was the mileage expiration date. On paper they had huge liabilities for free transportation, but by using a short shelf life for miles, and no seats easily available, many miles evaporated.

Less competition simply means that FF programs will wither to the point they have no value to the passenger.

Anyone remember "trading stamps?" When was the last time you got Blue Chip Stamps with gas or groceries? FF miles are heading in the same direction.
BaronG58 5
Ric...Last line of your post really makes me feel old.LOL I remember when I was a kid my Mom would get Green Stamps and S&S stamps at the grocery store. My job was to lick them and put them in stamp book. When we filled enough books we would redeem them for a new toaster or latest new hi-tech item of the day. As a kid I could not wrap my head around the fact were getting something free just for stamps. Life was good!
nycslc1 2
Agree Ric!

I'm a One pass member and back in the day it was great…upgrades no complications/restrictions on air miles. Now, I just don't fly… I really don't want to anymore…the nickel & dime tactics.
Shane Murdoch 1
More than anyone united's long haul passengers will suffer, a reasonable reward program made up a little for the average product. Disappointed.
HowSwedeitis 1
"Next was the mileage expiration date."
You got that right... With impending mileage expiration from Delta & United I was pretty much forced to use their "miles-for-mags" offer. It was either that or let them expire, so I figured I'd get something for them. Now I've got more magazines than a god damn newsstand! Time, Fortune, People, Cigar Aficionado, Esquire, Details, Food & Wind, Outdoor, Wall Street Journal... Just to name a few...
Mike selzer 5
As more than a million miler with 1K status for years I really must hand it to United. They certainly know how to value human cargo as cargo. I will continue to purchase the least expensive ticket possible and play my "cow's being herded" track on my phone during the boarding process. David Michaels
Chris Cotter 4
This represents about a 30% reduction in award miles for my typical travel
Matt Hauke 2
I'm used to it by now. That is why I got rid of all my miles credit cards. The cost of a round trip in miles is just too much these days. I need to spend 50 grand on the card in order to get 1 round trip domestic ticket. lol, no thanks. I'll pay my $400 through Kayak.
Years ago I had saved 183,000 miles toward a trip for when I retired, but the fine print got me and I missed flying on United during one year. They took those miles and dumped them. I have only flown United once in the last 17 years as a result of their kindness, during that time I flew 2.7 million miles on American.
Gene spanos 1
United cargo should also think about moving to Rockford AP.
When UPS did sometime last year or so....they saved over $ 4 Million
in landing fees here at ORD.

Hopefully, many of he good cargo folks will get wind of this too.....
This would have really helped me out for the last couple years. I often was flying short flights to expensive places (Lincoln, NE) where a ticket to a small airport like Lincoln or Pasco, WA would cost more than a flight to Paris.

This is a great move by United. Now I don't feel so resentful that I was getting 1,500 miles on a $900 ticket that could have under different circumstances gotten me 6,000 miles. Now admittedly I also made out like a bandit on a first class United/Copa flight to Chile last year (netting I think 30,000 miles total on a 2,000 ticket) but those sorts of sweet deals are the rarity.

I also had to attend two funerals at the last second last year and each ticket was in excess of $1,000 and only got a fraction of the miles a $1,200 SEA -> SYD would have gotten me for the same price.

Clearly this though is to attract first class Pacific flyers. First class tickets to China or Japan are 8x the price of economy but only give you 2x the award miles. Their most valuable (overpriced) customers were probably rightfully resentful.
Harold Wolf 1
So who is left with a decent Ff program. Is it now American.?
Roger Kreager 1
I remember an e-mail from continental saying they were canceling the free meal so you could buy a healthy meal from them. Then the merger with united stating how the ff program would be better. I guess I missed the fine print ( better for them). Miles expire, more miles needed per trip, less seats available, extra fee to use the miles, more miles needed for alliance flights. And now the new earned based cost per flight. Wow thank you United, you are so good with you passengers. Remember there are only a certain amount of flyers, you keep treating them so well, you will end up like Eastern, pan am, twa and all of the many airlines that have left us. What's next?
Fred Fuchs 1
Chuck Me -4
It's about time more airlines did this.


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