Many airlines and hotel loyalty programs already announced they extend their members’ statuses by months or even a full year. We’ve compiled all loyalty programs we are aware of here. There is one program in particular that we want to give special attention.
US carrier United Airlines has announced, that MileagePlus will keep their current tier level until January 2022. This more or less matches what Delta Air Lines has announced for their SkyMiles loyalty program.
What United has Announced
These regulations have changed:
Every Status Will be Extended by 12 Months
If you currently hold a MileagePlus frequent flyer tier, it will be extended until January 31, 2022. So if your status would regularly end in January 2021, there is no need for immediate re-qualification.
This change affects all tier levels from Premier Silver up to Premier 1K. There is no information regarding Global Services.
Status-Upgrades Get Easier
If you currently hold none or only a low tier status in MileagePlus, there are still good news for you. Even an upgrade will get much easier (or won’t be as hard, since the requirements are lowered). The new criteria to get a status (introduced as recent as January 2021) are lowered by 50%. To get the following status levels, you’ll need four flights on United metal and:
- Premier Silver:
- 6 PQF + 2,000 PQP
- or 2,500 PQP
- Premier Gold:
- 12 PQF + 4,000 PQP
- or 5,000 PQP
- Premier Platinum:
- 18 PQF + 6,000 PQP
- or 7,500 PQP
- Premier 1K:
- 26 PQF + 9,000 PQP
- or 12,000 PQP
PQP (Premier Qualifying Points) are the amount of money you spent on flights operated by United in US-Dollar. If you fly with a partner airline, PQP will be credited depending on your booking class. PQF (Premier Qualifying Points) are the number of flights with either United or other Star Alliance members.
United plans to lower these criteria for the upcoming year, as well. It is currently unclear, how high (or low) PQP hurdles will be. Unsurprisingly, this depends on how long global travel restriction will be upheld.
The most important changes come in regard to status upgrades and requalification. But there are a few more pleasurable points in United’s announcement:
- Existing PlusPoints (used for Upgrades) expire six months later and now valid until July 31, 2021.
- The Skip the Waitlist option to confirm business class upgrades instantly by spending PlusPoints will be expanded.
- If you purchased a plan for Wi-Fi, EconomyPlus or other prepaid amenities, it’ll be extended by six months as well.
- The validity of all United vouchers (Electronic Travel Certificate) is extended by 11 months – they are now valid for a total of 24 months.
- Award flights until May 2020 can be cancelled without a fee.
- Award flights until December 2020 can be cancelled without a fee if booked at least 30 days prior to departure.
Revenue Based Qualification Since January
Initially, United planned to completely change its status requirements for non-US-residents, making it an entirely revenue based system. Many European customers would’ve lost their status because of this:
This changes will still come, but their full strength won’t be felt until January 2022.
The most glaring problem with these changes – nobody knows when status members will be able to use their perks again. We are knee-deep in the biggest crisis commercial aviation has ever seen.