As we enter the final quarter of the year, I thought I’d provide an elite status progress report and my thoughts on what the rest of the year and 2024 may look like.
My 2023 Final Quarter Elite Status Progress Report
I find myself in the familiar position of pursuing elite status with United Airlines MileagePlus and World of Hyatt, two programs I have been fiercely loyal to for nearly 20 years (wow, time flies…). There was actually little doubt that this year would be any different (I did toy briefly with a status match to Alaska Airlines and more oneworld flying, but that did not happen).
As we embark upon the last few months of 2023, I’m about where I need to be both in terms of my status with United:
and with Hyatt:
In late August, by the way, I was only at 20 Hyatt nights and thought that my days as a Globalist would be over. But something happened that I will reveal here in due time that radically changed everything…these nights were not just Excalibur stays (the MGM mattress runs became unnecessary for me).
It appears that my spending will easily push me over the $18K with United, but I may have to do a segment run to get up to the 54 segments. I will not come close to spending the $25K.
My Prediction: Devaluations Coming
My biggest concern is that we will see a 20-25% Aeroplan devaluation by the end of the year. I find Air Canada’s loyalty program to be the most valuable in the world, but whenever there is value there is the risk of devaluation. We’ve heard rumors of that all year, but I expect it… especially because Air Canada has sold points so cheaply lately.
I would not say Aeroplan is currently great in terms of redemption pricing. Far from it, the carrier already raised prices last year and strikes a hard bargain on certain redemptions (particularly from the West Coast to Europe). My concern is that Aeroplan will go from fair to uncompetitive if it devalues too much.
Hopefully, Air Canada will take a measured approach.
I do not expect any more redemption devaluation at United or Hyatt this year. I still predict a big devaluation from Alaska and American Airlines is coming.
What Will 2024 Look Like?
We also do not know what changes, if any, United and Hyatt will make to their programs for 2024-2025. Will United raise
We still don’t know how much, if any, Delta is going to walk back its draconian SkyMiles changes. As the outrage appears to be dying down, it appears Delta is holding off as long as possible to see how much it can get away with. Perhaps the “rollback” will be much more gradual than we hope for. In any case, Delta has tipped its hand: we see what direction it is moving.
It’s a bold gamble and I hope it fails, but it just might work and then others would follow.
I’m largely on track for my usual top-tier status with United and Hyatt and hope to finish early this year so that I can spend most of December at home with Heidi and the kids. There’s another personal issue that overshadows everything, but I’m not yet ready to discuss it publicly.
How are you doing in terms of your quest for elite status?