United Airlines has released a large update to partner earning rates. For most customers, I suspect earning rates will go down. Across the board, it’s gotten more confusing for customers to figure out how many miles they earn.
Wandering Aramean did a great job of putting together spreadsheets that illustrate many of the changes, dividing them into good and bad changes. I picked Lufthansa and spent a few minutes comparing the new rates to the old ones. This was for tickets that are not purchased on United 016 ticket stock. Back in the olden days of 2014, there were 8 different earning rates for people flying Lufthansa and crediting to United. Now, there are 10:
Of the 21 different fare buckets, 8 earn more miles, while 6 earn less, with the rest staying the same. Sort of. T and L used to earn 100% on flights to and from Europe but not intra-Europe (those earned nothing). Now, all T & L fares earn 50%.
And, a few stay the same (Z, P, M, H, G and U).
If I’m trying not to think about the other changes United has made and I just focus on the partner earning rates, I guess I’d have to arrive at the fact that these are probably not as bad as expected. But, Lufthansa is a pretty major partner of United, with tons of flights between the US and Europe. And, given that Global Premier Upgrades can be redeemed on Lufthansa flights for upgrades, they’ve been a viable alternative for me as a United flyer. A lot of the “down” numbers appear in categories that your typical coach passenger is going to book (T, S, W, V, Q). Those categories see a reduction of between 25 and 50% of the miles they used to earn.
While the changes don’t look bad from afar, I imagine most folks purchasing tickets will earn fewer miles on partners going forward. And, with two charts (one for United 016 tickets and one for partner tickets) I’m guessing there are plenty of customers that won’t even understand there might be a choice to yield more miles in certain situations.
Since United has many a codeshare flight with Lufthansa, elite members will need to compare the 016 ticket chart (ticketed on United stock) vs. booked on LH or other to determine which is the better path for mileage earning.
I’m actually in the process of doing this right now on a round-trip ticket to Europe where the first part falls before the change and the return flight after, and I’m most likely going to be on partner flights. Needless to say I’ve had to break out the calculator to figure out the right path.
The post United Predictably Chops Some Partner Earning Rates was published first on Pizza In Motion.
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