In February Delta announced that their SkyMiles program would be going fully revenue based on the earnings side. Well, United just announced that MileagePlus will be going revenue based in 2015 as well, and they’ve copied Delta almost exactly:
As of March 1, 2015, the award miles you earn on most United and United Express® tickets will be based on your ticket price (that is, base fare plus carrier-imposed surcharges) instead of the distance you fly, so members will be rewarded for their travel spending on United. And when you have Premier® status, you’ll earn even more.
The number of miles earned for United ticket purchases are as follows:
- General MileagePlus members – earn 5 miles per dollar spent
- MileagePlus Premier Silver members – earn 7 miles per dollar spent
- MileagePlus Premier Gold members – earn 8 miles per dollar spent
- MileagePlus Premier Platinum members – earn 9 miles per dollar spent
- MileagePlus Premier 1K members – earn 11 miles per dollar spent
Then here are their further details:
For tickets that will earn award miles based on ticket price, the class-of-service bonus and Premier bonus will be included in the number of award miles you earn per dollar.
- This new way of earning award miles will apply to most tickets for flights operated by United and United Express. It will also apply to tickets for flights operated by a Star Alliance™ or MileagePlus partner airline when the ticket number starts with “016.”
- Tickets for flights operated by a Star Alliance™ or MileagePlus partner airline that aren’t issued by United (ticket numbers that don’t start with “016”) will still earn award miles based on distance flown and the purchased fare class. You will still earn Premier® qualifying miles (PQM) based on the distance of your flight. Premier members will still earn a minimum of 500 PQM on United and United Express flights shorter than 500 miles.
- You will be able to earn up to 75,000 award miles per ticket. There will not be a minimum number of award miles you can earn for a flight.
Much like when Delta SkyMiles announced their changes, the “breakeven point” here for a non-elite member is at around 20 cents per mile, meaning if you’re paying more than $1,000 roundtrip for a transcon then you’ll come out ahead under the new system. Otherwise you simply don’t come out ahead here.
This sucks, but is also hardly surprising, I suppose…