United's rewards policy to favor big spenders
United Airlines is about to reward its big-spending customers at the expense of bargain-hunting travelers who rack up miles with long-distance getaways.
United will follow other airlines that have begun basing awards on money spent, not miles flown. The changes would mostly benefit people who fly at least 25,000 miles a year on United.
Starting in March, elite members of United's MileagePlus will earn between 7 and 11 miles for every dollar they spend on tickets, not counting taxes. Regular members — those who fly less than 25,000 miles and spend less than $2,500 a year — will get 5 miles per dollar toward free travel.
Since 1981, when American Airlines rolled out the industry's first big loyalty program, travelers were rewarded for the number of miles they flew regardless of how much they paid for tickets.
In the past few years, however, Virgin America, JetBlue and Southwest Airlines retooled their programs to favor passengers who spend the most. In February, Delta Air Lines announced that it would do the same starting in 2015.
American Airlines and US Airways have yet to follow suit and say they remain focused on completing a merger between the two carriers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Export-Import Bank in dispute in Congress
- Economists cite signs of strength
- Engine that quits a mystery
- 2 cars put 50 mpg in rearview
- Car dealers find silver lining in cloud of vehicle recalls
- Plug-in Accord makes gas station visits rare
- JetBlue considers charging for first checked bag
- Retailer rolls dice on TargetExpress
- EPA failing to stop natural gas pipeline leaks, internal watchdog says
- China pork giant WH Group makes 2nd IPO attempt
- Russian consumer watchdog targets McDonald’s items