United Airlines will not loosen the requirements to re-qualify for premier status in 2021…yet. But it will give travelers participating in a status match challenge more time to complete the challenge.
United is sending out a lot of email today. This morning I received note from Oscar Munoz. This afternoon I received a note from Luc Bondar, United’s Vice President of Loyalty and President of MileagePlus.
In his note, Bondar says United will not make changes to how members qualify or re-qualify for status “at this time” but does not foreclose the future possibility, noting United “will continue to evaluate our options as we learn more about how the current climate is affecting members’ activity.”
One change United is making is allowing those who recently status matched to have an extra 30 days to complete the status match challenge.
Status Matches On United Airlines
Currently, United will match your status with American or Delta, but require a “challenge” (a certain number of flights and dollars spent) within a limited timeframe.
|Frequent flyer program||Level||Level||Level|
|Delta Air Lines Medallion level||Silver||Gold||Platinum|
|American Airlines AAdvantage elite status||Gold||Platinum||Platinum Pro|
|Level matched to in MileagePlus||Premium Silver||Premier Gold||Premier Platinum|
In order to keep your status, you’ll need to fly the following within 90 days:
|MileagePlus Premier status||PQF and PQP requirements|
|Premier Silver||Fly 4 PQF and earn 1,000 PQP on flights operated by United or United Express|
|Premier Gold||Fly 6 PQF and earn 2,000 PQP on flights operated by United or United Express|
|Premier Platinum||Fly 10 PQF and earn 3,000 PQP on flights operated by United or United Express|
You’ll now have 30 days longer, for a total of 120 days.
The Full Letter
Here’s the full letter from Bondar:
As a MileagePlus Premier® member, you are one of our most loyal customers, and I wanted to reach out to you personally to share the steps we are taking in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including how it pertains to your Premier status.
By now, you also should have received an email from our CEO, Oscar Munoz, outlining all the steps we are taking to ensure the safety of our customers and employees when they travel on our aircraft.
We know customers are looking for more flexibility as they make their travel plans right now, and that’s why when you book a flight with us between March 3 and March 31, 2020, you can change it for free over the next 12 months. You can read more details by visiting the United Hub.
We’ve made changes to our international and domestic schedules, and those reductions — combined with your own corporate travel policies and personal travel choices — may impact some of your flying activity in the near-term. And we appreciate that some of our members are concerned about retaining and earning the status levels they anticipated prior to the coronavirus outbreak.
At this time, we are not planning any changes for our 2021 Premier program but we will continue to evaluate our options as we learn more about how the current climate is affecting members’ activity. In the interim though, we do plan to give members who are participating in a MileagePlus 2020 Premier Status Match Challenge promotion an additional 30 days to complete their challenge. This extension will automatically be reflected in member accounts within the next week.
I will stay in touch to keep you aware of any further decisions or adjustments and, as always, want to thank you for your continued relationship, and for your loyalty to United. At times like this, we are especially grateful for the strength of our MileagePlus member community and the strong bonds that we have built together. I look forward to seeing many of you on board throughout the year.
Vice President, Loyalty and President of MileagePlus
I guess I can’t blame United for not offering status extensions already, but sadly think we’re only at the tip of the iceberg right now and will probably see continued downward pressure on travel. It’s kind of hard to travel when some companies have prohibited their employees from stepping onto an airplane. Maybe I’m just being optimistic (or pessimistic, depending upon what angle you’re looking at), but I think airlines and hotels will offer at least soft landings in 2021 and potentially even more.
We’ll have to to wait and see, but United could really win back hearts and minds by simply rolling back the 2020 program changes that now require spending much more money to earn or retain status.