United Airlines MileagePlus Introduces New Requirements for Earning Elite Status

By Jesse Sokolow on 11 October 2019
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United Airlines introduced significant changes in how members will earn elite status in its United MileagePlus frequent-flyer program.

Members currently attain status by earning Premier Qualifying Miles that are based on the number of miles flown, the type of fare and Premier Qualifying Dollars, which represent the cost of the ticket.  Alternatively, members can also attain status by earning Premier Qualifying Segments, which are based on the number of flight segments flown and the type of fare, along with Premier Qualifying Dollars.

The new Premier status qualification requirements, which go into effect in 2020 for the 2021 year, look at Premier Qualify Points, which are based on the amount spent on a ticket, and Premier Qualifying Flights, which are based on the number of flights taken.

Members will receive one Premier Qualifying Point for each dollar spent and one Premier Qualifying Flight for each flight segment, “a takeoff and landing,” the airline said.

Basic economy tickets will earn PQP but not PQF.  Flights on partner airlines, including all Star Alliance airlines, will earn both except for basic economy tickets.  The spend requirement, which was previously waived for members with non-U.S. addresses, is no longer waived.

Members can achieve elite status with Premier Qualifying Points and Premier Qualifying Flights or solely with Premier Qualifying Points. Premier Silver requires 12 PQF and 4,000 PQP or 5,000 PQP; Premier Gold requires 24 PQF and 8,000 PQP or just 10,000 PQP; Premier Platinum 36 PQF and 12,000 PQP or just 15,000 PQP; and Premier 1K 54 PQF and 18,000 PQP or just 24,000 PQP.

The airline is not changing the requirement for lifetime status. Lifetime status will continue to be awarded based on the total number of miles flown with the airline. It is also not changing how redeemable miles are earned.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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