United offering double elite qualifying and redeemable miles between Chicago and Los Angeles/San Francisco through August 31, 2011

Through August 31, United is offering those with addresses in Illinois and California double elite qualifying and redeemable miles for roundtrip travel between Chicago and Los Angeles and Chicago and San Francisco. The offer is only valid for flights booked and flown between May 19 and August 31. Registration is required.

Obviously this is a response to American’s double miles promotion, which is a response to Virgin America starting service to Chicago. It’s worth noting, however, that American doesn’t require the actual itinerary to be between the city pairs above. While United only awards the double miles if you’re traveling between Chicago and Los Angeles or Chicago and San Francisco, American will award the bonus miles if a segment between those cities is part of a larger itinerary. So while American’s offer is much more generous, I can see why United wouldn’t include those with itineraries including that segment. I think the thing that will irk most people is that previously booked travel doesn’t qualify.


  1. Caving In is a good sign. They were worried I.e. Things maybe good but couldn’t stand losing those flyers.thanx VX, AA

  2. Seems like there is some debate on FT about whether additional segments are allowed, a la AA.

    As usual, UA cannot write a promo to save themselves!

  3. Flyer215 on FT seems to pretty adamantly think that additional segments don’t void the promo after his discussions with MP people. It’ll be interesting to see how it turns out as folks start making the flights. I’ve got to make a trip to ORD later this summer, and I’d much rather fly from SBA than consider having to drive to LAX or SFO.

  4. Maybe I’m missing something, but isn’t it pretty clear? The promo says:

    “Offer valid on nonstop flights between Chicago O’Hare (ORD) airport and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO), on roundtrip itineraries for travel solely between Chicago O’Hare and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO) and not on any connecting or additional city on the ticket.”

    I have no magic eight ball here, but that seems clear to me. We all know agents are known to give wrong information, but in this case it seems like United actually wrote a promotion pretty clearly for once. Am I missing something?

  5. Ben — it’s all about whether they issued a waiver probably. Sort like how the DEQM promos almost always start out with ‘not valid on previously ticketed itins’ and then after enough people complain they say, ‘ok, we were just foolin’ around’.

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