United Airlines MileagePlus Partner Airlines Award Miles Earning Changes March 1, 2015

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United Airlines has quietly changed the number of award miles it gives for partner airline flights taken on or after March 1, 2015.

United Airlines MileagePlus Partner Airlines Earning Changes March 1 2015

Now, you have to consult three tables to come up with the number of award and Premier Qualifying Miles (PMQ’s) that you earn.

You can access United’s web page for partner airline earnings here.

Things to keen in mind:

1. If your partner airline ticket (not all partners) is issued on United Airlines ticket stock (016), you will earn miles miles based on the dollar amount minus the real taxes but including the fuel/carrier surcharges per the table below:

2. For tickets issued on other airlines ticket stock, you must consult the earning chart for each partner airline effective March 1, 2015, to calculate the number of award miles that you earn.

3. There are now some fare classes on partner airlines that earn award miles, but doesn’t appear to earn any Premier Qualifying Miles (PMQ’s).

4. It is unclear if the Premier bonuses that are still listed at the bottom of the some partner pages will be effective past March 1, 2015.

5. With partner airlines that can be ticketed for 016-ticket stock, you must check the fare paid and the ticketed booking class to calculate under which scenario you earn more miles. Some fares may earn more when ticketed under the United’s ticket stock while others are better when not ticketed on UA.

6. Many airlines have market (country) specific fares that are not available for purchase from United. It is likely that you pay a lot more if you want to ticket them under 016-ticket stock.

7. There are many airlines that continue to earn under their current charts (at least for now).

Here’s an Air Canada example:

Tickets issued on United’s ticket stock

United Airlines MileagePlus Partner Airlines 016-TIcket Stock

Tickets not issued on United’s ticket stock

United Airlines MileagePlus Partner Airlines Air Canada March 1 2015

Pre-March 1 earning

United Airlines MileagePlus Partner Airlines Air Canada Pre March 1 2015

Premier Qualifying Miles

United Airlines MileagePlus Partner Airlines Air Canada Premier Qualification

Premier benefits

United Airlines MileagePlus Partner Airlines Air Canada Premier Benefits

The number of miles that you earn on discounted economy tickets is reduced on some fare classes from 100% to 75% or 50% on March 1. The number of miles that you earn on business class tickets is then 200% of the miles flown on all business class fare classes when previously you would have earned 150% to 175%.

It appears that you still continue earning 100% PQM’s on these discounted economy fares as well, although the number of award miles earned is slashed. Obviously United can change the PQM chart at their whim as well.

Here’s a Lufthansa example:

Tickets issued on United’s ticket stock

United Airlines MileagePlus Partner Airlines 016-TIcket Stock

Tickets not issued on United’s ticket stock

United Airlines MileagePlus Partner Airlines Lufthansa March 1 2015

Pre-March 1 earning

United Airlines MileagePlus Partner Airlines Lufthansa Pre March 1 2015

Premier Qualifying Miles

United Airlines MileagePlus Partner Airlines Lufthansa Premier Qualification

Premier benefits

United Airlines MileagePlus Partner Airlines Lufthansa Premier Benefits

The S/T/L fare classes used to earn 100% of the miles flown (T & L 0% if intra-Europe). Now these earn 50%. They should still count 100% towards the Premier Qualification. The number of award miles that you earn for first class fares is reduced from 250% to 200% while J/C/D business fare classes are upped from 175% to the same 200%.

Conclusion

It would be great if United Airlines would inform its MileagePlus members about these coming changes and send them a specialized calculator that would help to count the number of award miles they earn for partner airlines as of March 1, 2015.

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