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New Rewards for Flying United Airlines

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United Airlines has announced that the company will be rolling out a brand new revamped rewards program for its customers that will be based on the amount of miles they travel in a given year. This new program is geared more towards customers that travel more than 25,000 miles in a given year or greater. Starting as early as next March, United’s elite members will earn between 7 and 11 miles per every dollar they spend on the purchase of tickets, excluding taxes of course, which will contribute to greater rewards for their frequent fliers.

Frequent Flier Milesunited airlines

American Airlines was the first company to offer a rewards program for their frequent fliers back in 1981. Since then more and more airline companies have jumped on the program offering better incentives and upgrades for customer who chose to fly with them as opposed to their competitors. As of the last few years other airline companies such as JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, and Virgin America have all revamped their programs to reward the biggest spenders and more frequent flying customers. In February, Delta Airlines released a statement saying that they too would renovate their rewards program in early 2015. Both US Airways and American Airlines have yet to revamp their programs yet.

The reason for the shift in current policy is in part due to the amount of competition currently ongoing in the industry. With the global economy still suffering, many people have broken away from using the bigger companies and have begun using discount airlines that offer cheaper tickets and better terminal service. The other side of this type or program shift is also due to the lure of these bigger companies to reign in some of the more expensive customers more likely to book business or first class tickets. Thomas O’Toole, who is charge of United’s Mileage Plus program, stated that “These changes are designed to more recently recognize the value of our members when they fly United.” These changes will more directly affect leisure travelers who would be less likely to travel the amount of miles necessary to really earn better rewards. However, the airlines are not incorrect by wanting to reward the customers that fly more frequently than others for business because these frequent fliers make up the bulk of their customer base, so by rewarding their customer base they are tying in future business.

Understanding the New Program

The new program will definitely cater to those that buy more expensive tickets or fly the most in a given year; the customers that belong to even the most basic Mileage Plus membership will earn 5 miles per dollar that they spend. For customers that are in the silver membership bracket will earn 7 miles per dollar when travelling 25,000 miles per year and spending 2, 500 dollars in airfare cost. Gold status member will earn 8 miles per dollar when travelling 50,000 miles per year and spending 5,000 dollars in airfare costs. Platinum members will earn 9 miles for every dollar spent and 75,000 miles travelled and 7,500 dollars spent in airfare costs. Lastly “1K” members that travel 100,000 miles per year and spend 10,000 dollars a year in airfare costs will earn 11 miles per dollar spent. United Airlines hadn’t changed the requirement for the elite members but had only tweaked the program slightly by changing the redemption for November.

United Airlines has said that their passengers will earn mileage points for every dollar that they spend on base ticket costs and united airlines 2surcharges. Taxes, bag fees, and other amenities will not count towards their mileage point system. United has also said that it will be offering their customers new ways in which to redeem their rewards. Starting next year customers will be able to cash in miles to cover bag checking fees and economy class seats, available with more leg room and comfort. Tickets sold by united, United Express, and tickets sold on partner airlines would also be included in the rewards program. For those sales that are not directly made through would carry a maximum of 75,000 miles earned per ticket.

The changes to the rewards programs being offered by United Airlines are not the first to be offered in recent years towards their customers but are new in the effect of rewarding big spenders and frequent fliers with a company direction of rewarding those who service the continuation of their industry. For regular and repeat customers that travel more frequently with the airlines and are able to spend on more pricy tickets, this program will really work in their favor. For customer who favor cheaper seat and tickets the new revamped program will not work so much in their favor but that doesn’t mean that rewards won’t also be available too. United Airlines like the others will be rolling out new programs in order to stay current and appealing to the customers looking for the best and easiest ways to travel.



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