United Comings And Goings

Don’t forget to enter my contests for a free roundtrip ticket on American Airlines and/or 25,000 United MileagePlus miles or Hyatt Gold Passport points!  You don’t have to comment on that post specifically, just any post over the next 13 days.  Comment as much as you like, each comment earns one entry.

Wandering Aramean has a massive list of United fares that no longer qualify for bonus PQMs.  It’s not the most surprising move, since this is move back to the way United compensated on some of these fare classes in the past.  And, most moves lately by airline loyalty programs are to cost-cutting as opposed to enhancements (most enhancements now are in physical product, new planes and seats).  And, the full-fare economy drops surprise me the least.

Cutting the PQM earning for first class fares doesn’t make a ton of sense to me if United is trying to reward people for higher spend, but maybe that’s something they intend to revisit in the future.  Just hoping they don’t revisit it by dropping coach to 50% PQMs.

View From the Wing has notes this morning on reducing PQMs for purchase on United.  It’s a shame this is happening so early in the year, since I would be a buyer at 8 cents for a limited amount to retain 1K if I needed it.  But, it is January and I didn’t intend to keep 1K this year, so I have no idea how many I would need to purchase.  And, I certainly wouldn’t be willing to spend thousands of dollars to retain 1K status since I don’t find much value in their systemwide upgrades, due mostly to the fact that they are not eligible for use on some of the lowest fare classes.

But, since you can purchase these PQMs from United without actually flying, in that you can buy a refundable fare PLUS the PQMs, then refund the ticket and keep the extra PQMs, this will most likely be of value to some.


    1. Elaine,

      Ah, TWA. Most of the good blog names were taken and I’m not the most imaginative when it comes to things like names. So, I used my nickname “Pizza” and voila.

  1. sorry for all the people who are getting a miss on these points now! I only use miles to fly people to Montana to sing and play in my festivals, since it costs $400+ to fly ANYWHERE from here — so the change doesn’t really directly affect me much; but any devaluation hurts us all, is the way I look at it.

  2. They are rewarding customers who are spending premium fare on their own metal, or other airlines that participate in the TPAC/TATL JV.

  3. From a TPAC reservation I just made, it looks like you can buy 100K award miles for $2100, and 100K PQMs for $8500 today.

    1. Sounds about right. And, because of the requirement to buy the RDMs at a bit over 3 cents in order to buy PQMs at 8.5 cents, I’m not a buyer. Since I value UA miles a but less than 2 cents a piece that makes the PQMs 10 cents a piece. A bit too rich for me.

  4. I find the United decision to drop bonus EQMs for full economy interesting. Looking at frequent flier programs as a kickback for business travelers who are on a corporate budget, many business travelers aren’t allowed to book business class or first class (even if the discount fares therein might be cheaper than the best available economy ticket), but by manipulating their travel timing requirements or just flat out waiting until the last minute to book, some travelers probably can book full economy, to United’s benefit.

    1. PH, I agree. I understand dropping it for deeply discounted tickets (even some regular discount buckets. But, full fare coach has to be a gold mine for the airlines.

      Regards, Edward Pizzarello

  5. I was comparing UA to DL from FLL to HNL and UA requires much less miles. I’m thinking of putting some miles into their bucket from UR points (DL doesn’t participate in UR anyways). Hope I’m not making a bad switch?

      1. My main concern is availability of redemption options though, and of course, using the least number of miles for an award since I don’t have mega miles to spare. I find DL somewhat difficult to find low level award seats. That’s why I’m looking to switch to UA.

          1. Thanks! Appreciate it. Next time I churn I’ll try for both AA and UA cards and start there. I’ve had no problems getting approvals from Chase so far. I’ll keep my eye out for the next 50,000 offer on the UA card 🙂

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