A fare deal came out this week that clearly demonstrates the benefits of the new United Mileage Plus program, one that should encourage those who might struggle to achieve $18,000 in spending annually.
New Mileage Plus Program Requirements
I previously outlined the new requirements to United Airlines’ Mileage Plus elite status. The biggest headline were two things. The first was an increase in the amount of spending required, at the top end especially ($18,000 annually up from $12,o00 two years ago.) The second was a move toward segment qualification at a lower level (54 segments annually down from 120) and the elimination of distance flown as a qualifier.
With these announcements, they also extended earning of PQPs (one Premier Qualifying Point is accrued per dollar spent on airfare excluding taxes and fees) to their partners based on a percentage of distance flown (either 20% or 16% depending on the carrier.) ANA is one of their preferred partners earning 20% of the distance based on earning in the Mileage Plus program in the form of PQPs.
A Great Deal
Another Boarding Area blog this week announced a deal to Bangkok from the US on ANA in Premium Economy for just over $1000 roundtrip.
- Distance = 19,200 miles
- ANA earns 100%, 125% or 150% for Premium Economy on ANA
- PQPs earned = 3840, 4800, or 5760
Why It’s So Valuable to Travelers Like Me
At a minimum, flyers who struggled to achieve 1K status at $15,000 could find themselves back “on the island” with just two of these trips. They punch above their weight, by a lot.
Additionally, these fares are upgradable to ANA business class with Plus Points which are now more flexible than before and for less than the value of a full GPU would have been.
This helps travelers like me that are mostly domestic with a few international trips every year to requalify for their status level. It also puts the carrier on par with peers like American and Delta that have had something similar in place for year, but with more partners than both of them, options are endless. Lastly, I don’t want to fly for 22 hours in standard coach if I can avoid it, ANA’s Premium Economy product is one of the better options available and cheap options for upgrades help elevate even that experience.
I haven’t booked this fare, but if the timing aligned with my availability, I likely will later in the year. The value is too high, the risk of riding in “deep coach” isn’t there, and the upsides are too great to pass up. While some don’t have the time or flexibility to take advantages of opportunities like this one, others will and I believe they will enjoy United Mileage Plus more than they did last year.
What do you think? Will you take advantage of a deal like this?