MileagePlus, United Airlines‘ frequent flyer program, is once again offering a status challenge. You will receive your frequent flyer status for a period of 90 days. That’s the time that you’ll get to earn a certain amount of miles or fly qualifying segments only with United or United Express. If you manage to achieve your goal, you will be granted your new Mileage Plus status until January 2021 or even 2022.
Mileage Plus is running the challenge for its Premier Silver, Gold, and Platinum tiers. From Premier Gold upwards you will also obtain Star Alliance Gold privileges such as free access to frequent flyer lounges and additional luggage allowance.
Here are the requirements that you’ll have to meet in order to complete the challenge successfully:
- Premier Silver: 1,000 PQP and 4 PQF
- Premier Gold: 2,000 PQP and 6 PQF
- Premier Platinum: 3,000 PQP and 10 PQF
PQP = Premier qualifying points; PQF = Premier qualifying flights
Keep in mind, that only miles for flights operated by United Airlines and United Express will count towards your challenge! Same goes for the segments you can collect.
Also, United will decide which tier (Silver, Gold, or Platinum) you can obtain through the match. If you can’t meet the requirements for your challenge, there is no official soft-landing! E.g., if you are matched to United Premier Gold and you only earn 1,500 PQM during the challenge period, you may not be granted Silver status.
While you are in your qualification period, no physical card will be provided. Even, if you’re matched to Platinum (Silver and Gold members will generally not receive physical cards). But there are other ways to take advantage of your new member benefits:
- Enter your United frequent flyer number during the booking process. Now your new status should be visible on your boarding card.
- Download the United app to your smartphone. There you will have the option to view a virtual card. But it should be marked with the term ‘trail status’ which can lead to a discussion with the staff that checks if you’re eligible to enter the lounge.
To be accepted for the status challenge, you will need to provide proof of elite status with another airline. This airline cannot be a member of Star Alliance! Use this form to send a photo of your frequent flyer card or a screenshot of your online account together with your MileagePlus number and other details to United Airlines.
You can adjust the start date of your challenge by 14 days. Processing your application will take between 7 and 14 days. But we’ve seen replies after only 2 days. So it could be way faster.
According to the terms and conditions, it is possible to request the status match challenge until December 31st, 2020. Since you can only take on this challenge once every 5 years, you should have a good plan and know that you’ll be able to meet the criteria!
If you earn your new Premier status before July 1st, 2020 it will be valid until January 1st, 2021. The MileagePlus status is valid through January 2022 for members who earn Premier status through the promotion on or after July 1, 2020.
As soon as you successfully completed the challenge, you will receive your Welcome Kit in the mail. Unfortunately, only Premier Platinum members and above will get physical cards. Silver and Gold members can try to request one through the MileagePlus customer support.
Once your challenge is over and you managed to earn enough points and fly the required segments, you’ll benefit from your new Mileage Plus status.
Premier Silver (2P)
- Star Alliance Silver: Priority standby and reservations waitlist
- Economy Plus seat selection at the time of check-in for yourself and one companion
- Complimentary Premier Upgrades (confirmed on the day of departure)
- Premier Mileage Bonus:
- 7x the airfare on flights with a United ticket number
- Up to 25% bonus on other Star Alliance flights
- Priority services such as Check-in, boarding, and luggage
- One additional piece of luggage
Premier Gold (1P)
All benefits that the silver tier includes and …
- Star Alliance Gold: Lounge access, priority services, additional luggage
- Lounge access on flights with Eurowings
- Economy Plus seat selection at the time of booking for yourself and one companion
- Complimentary Premier Upgrades (confirmed 48 hours before departure)
- Free same-day flight changes
- Bonvoy Gold status included
- Premier Mileage Bonus:
- 8x the airfare on flights with a United ticket number
- Up to 50% bonus on other Star Alliance flights
- Access to United Clubs with a ticket for an international flight on the same day
- Two additional pieces of checked luggage (32kg each)
Premier Platinum (PP)
All benefits of Premier Gold and …
- Economy Plus seat selection at the time of check-in for yourself and 8 companions
- Complimentary Premier Upgrades (confirmed 72 hours before departure)
- 20 PlusPoints (instead of the usual 40)
- Premier Mileage Bonus:
- 9x the airfare on flights with a United ticket number
- Up to 75% on other Star Alliance flights
- Three additional pieces of checked luggage (32kg each)
- Discounted United Club membership
Access to the United Clubs is only granted to travelers that have an international flight on the same day. If your flying from Honolulu to San Francisco, you can’t visit the lounge. But if you have a connection flight from San Francisco to Europe on that day, you’re eligible for lounge access.
This rule might seem like a real bummer. And it can be if you’re flying domestic a lot. But it only concerns access to United Clubs. All other Star Alliance lounges are exempt from this regulation.
If you’re traveling to the USA a lot, MileagePlus will be an interesting frequent flyer program within Star Alliance. Especially if you’re flying United, you can take advantage of the complimentary upgrades to First Class. Note that these are only given away if seats are available and that higher statuses will get higher priority. Also, the super generous luggage allowance is excellent, but not valid on flights with other airlines.
Qualifying for the status has recently become a lot harder, so this status match challenge might be the easiest way to get the status, if you really need it.
A downside is the restricted access to United clubs on domestic flights. Not that there is much that you’d miss out on. Free drinks, as well as some cheese crackers, is more or less everything you’ll get. But visiting a lounge is always nicer than sitting somewhere on a bench in front of the gate.
If you’re not someone that travels to the USA regularly, you might want to have a look at other options for a fast track to Star Alliance Gold:
United Airlines Dealz
We currently offer the following Dealz with United:
- Hawaii: €1,400 Star Alliance Business Class from Hungary, Spain, Sweden & Netherlands
- USA: €217 Star Alliance Flights From Oslo (w/o Luggage)
- North America: Business Class With Star Alliance From Sofia at 1.096€
- Coronavirus: These Airlines Offer (Free) Cancellations/Rebooking
- United Removes Partner Lounge Access For Star Alliance Gold
- USA: Premium Economy With Star Alliance From Budapest Starting at €656