United Airlines is following Delta’s lead by switching its miles program to a model that showers its biggest rewards on those who pay the most for their airline tickets. The big winner: Business travelers.
Changes Take Effect March 1, 2015
As USA Today reports, United’s changes to its MileagePlus program appear to go a bit further than Delta’s SkyMiles because United’s new miles-earning formula combines frequent-flyer status levels with ticket prices. Here’s how miles will be earned starting March 1 – based on miles earned per dollar spent:
United: Miles Earned – Per Dollar Spent
|No elite status||5 miles|
|Premier Silver||7 miles|
|Premier Gold||8 miles|
|Premier Platinum||9 miles|
|Premier 1K||11 miles|
On United’s site, there is a mileage calculator: Enter the price of your ticket and your status level to see how much you’ll earn.
Why the Changes
It’s a way to reward and presumably retain the loyalty of the passengers airlines value most – those who spend the most money.