Sunday, January 18, 2009

Another change in United's Mileage Plus Program

I've written about some of the changes United made to the Mileage Plus program for 2009 (most of which I don't like), but I just noticed one that hasn't been documented much of anywhere that I have found. Kind of just snuck in there.

In the past, when you qualified for one of the premier levels, that status was good through the end of February the following year (so, my 2008 1K status was good through the end of Feb 2009). However, for my 2009 1K status my card is only good through the end of January 2010 -- a month shorter.

This is probably because with all the electronic record keeping, they think they don't need the extra month to get all the records in order to determine status.

This was not mentioned in the 2009 program changes page.

We'll see if my Global Services card (which I haven't received yet, half way through the month) has the same timeframe or if it gets the extra month when my card, hopefully, shows up.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

United comes clean on Global Services status

For years, United has been very secretive about how one becomes a Global Services member. My blog entry on Global Services is still the most popular page here, 2 years after it has been written -- accounting for more than 25% of my page hits. It's even the number one search result for "United Global Services" on Google (yeah, I'm proud :-) ).

When I logged into my united account today, I found the following published on the web site:

Ensure your Global Services status for 2009 Fly 50,000 miles on United® or United Express® in First (F, A, P), Business (C, D, Z), or full-fare United Economy® (Y or B) during 2008, and your Global ServicesSM membership will be renewed for the 2009 program year.

Track your progress by visiting

Of course, it's kind of late for the 2009 program year at this point. But still it's now out in the open as to what you need to do to qualify. They even have a web page that you can go to to check your earnings status. Mine is still showing my 2008 earnings (since I know I have absolutely zero earnings in 2009).

Of course, I'm not convinced that this is the only way to get Global Services status. I think that their marketing and business relationship department will use GS stats as a reward for important business partners who bring them substantial corporate business, even if they, themselves, don't fly a lot. That's business as I would expect it to be.

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