11 Responses

  1. Iceman
    Iceman at |

    Also hurts those that qualify for 1K on segments.

  2. Oliver
    Oliver at |

    UA 1K here who renews with around 105k EQM this year. I don’t see anything I gain from these changes. I might switch to major burn mode next year and only aim for 50k EQM for a change, so maybe that’s main benefit.

    My wife is a UA 1P with around 60k EQM this year. I don’t think she’s going to benefit from this change either. I suspect she’ll end up with 2P next year (might have anyway, though, in all fairness).

  3. Wandering Aramean
    Wandering Aramean at |

    At 105K EQMs you lose a few CR1s but otherwise it is the same. With the advent of the UDU system unless you’re on a lot of p.s. flights the CR1 issue should be too horrible.

    At 60K you lose a little in 2012 because of the new 75K level that will put you another tier down in the UDU queue.

    That said, if you’re paying too much extra to get to the 2P level I’d reconsider. Buy cheaper and splurge in cash when you need it. Unless your UDu rate is great as a 2P you’re probably wasting money acquiring and maintaining that level.

  4. Oliver
    Oliver at |

    Seth, we’re based at SFO, so we’d have to go out of our way to avoid UA on many trips, so reaching 1P or 2P won’t be difficult (gotta do something with the SWUs I earned this year). And the changes so far aren’t horrible enough to make me want to punish UA for it. It’s just not an encouragement to fly more revenue, and I still have tons of miles in various programs that I need to use for something, so taking a break from the top status chase game seems like a good thing.

    I am much more concerned about E+.

  5. Carl
    Carl at |

    As a United 1K flyer, I have to say that I am disappointed in today’s announcement, and in particular that they are really maintaining two separate programs with two separate sets of elite priority for all of 2011.

    In particular, I feel like if I fly on CO-operated flights in 2011, I will be treated as a second class citizen, and I suspect that CO elites will feel like second class citizens on UA-operated flights.

    I know that integrating the programs will create some winners and losers and that it happened late in the year, but a main purpose of merging the airlines is to create a more powerful route system – and as such, I hoped to be able to access all UA & CO flights on an equal basis. The impact of what they announced is that I should try to continue to book UA-operated flights whenever I can. I think this is hugely suboptimal and that they should worked toward merging the programs much more quickly – even if it meant giving CO elites some favor, for example by making Platinum (75,000 miles) CO flyers equal to 1Ks. And then invite us all to fly both airlines as if they were one.

  6. United and Continental Elite Program Changes for 2011 - View from the Wing

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  7. Wandering Aramean
    Wandering Aramean at |

    I can see it going both ways, Carl. It would be nearly impossible to have the programs merged by January 1, 2011. So the choice is to either align slowly throughout the year and truly merge at a defined point in time – 1/1/12 – or to try to do the merge mid-year. I can completely understand why they’ve chosen the latter.

    It does suck that the upgrade priorities are different on the different metal but it is just as bad for CO folks as it is for UA folks. I got my 100K EQMs on CO this year and I’m prioritized after folks who have 50,001 EQMs on UA. At least the UA 1Ks are only after CO Platinums.

    Other reciprocity benefits like SWU and CR1 validity across both carriers will be coming mid year of 2011 so there are plenty of improvements that will come along throughout the time leading up to the true merger of the programs.

    But trying to get that merger done in 3 months would have been a nightmare and a recipe for failure. I’m quite glad they didn’t choose to go that route.

  8. Carl
    Carl at |

    I agree it would have been difficult to have 1 program by Jan 1 2011 (or Feb 1, really) but it would have been possible to perform the calculation of adding up EQMs from both sides and then have a single set of elite priority across both metal. I know you can never please everyone, but you can make it so that all the flyers can fly either metal and be treated equivalently (other than GS).

    I did make the point that CO elites will feel like second class on UA metal – that’s not good either. It should have been possible to create it, if not for Feb 1, then for maybe Spring, and given that there should be less elites due to lack of DEQM and TEQM in 2010, it should create a decent program for elites across both Metal.

    I understand it’s not happening, but a year is a long time to have such dramatically different treatment on what’s supposed to be a merged airline. My CO plane last night was painted with the United name. I was in coach with no chance of an upgrade. And I don’t feel good if CO Plats are slotted behind Premier Execs either.

    I think there’s a middle ground between saying that couldn’t get it done for the start of the year, and punting all the way to 2012.

    Delta/NW integrated much, much faster. They gave fliers 1000 bonus miles to link their accounts, and it really was a pretty smooth process. There were unhappy NW elites who felt they were worse off, but putting it off wouldn’t have made them any happier when it did happen.

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    […] United 1K on CO upgrades document.write(''); Does anyone know if SWU's work on CO? I have a 1/5 flight MSY/IAH/SNA with the wife for a customer paid vacation to the Sugar bowl. The customer booked our reservations on different itenaries and we are stuck at the back of the plane. For some reason I can't figure out how to get my star alliance gold number on the CO website. An exit row would be nice if they don't have E+, although I would really like to use an SWU. With us on different reservations is there any suggestions as to how I can use SWUs or miles to get us an upgrade? Much appreciated. Also, I read this article but it didn't answer my question directly. http://blog.wandr.me/thewan…ams-announced/ […]

  10. Wandering Aramean
    Wandering Aramean at |

    Carl, I think that your memory of the NW/DL integration timing is a bit off. Their merger closed in October ’08 and it was only in early 2009 that accounts could be linked and points moved between them. They chose to fully transition everything to SkyMiles in September 2009 and issue new credentials to everyone in January 2010.

    They did have the advantage of qualification levels being the same rather than different rules at the top end but even still there were issues with reciprocity on each other’s metal for a bit of time while they worked everything out.

    The UA/CO merger timeline certainly isn’t perfect but I do not think it is really all that much different than the DL/NW one at this point.

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