And the winner is….. Mileage Plus

The competition was pretty weak but Mileage Plus was announced this morning as the surviving frequent flier program name for the new United Airlines. This isn’t much of a surprise given the previous announcements about various other components of the program that are coming out, but it was still a decision that had to be made and an announcement to be communicated.

Sadly, however, there are no other details being released at this time. That said, at least the company knows people are waiting for answers:

Later this year we will announce the specific details of the 2012 Mileage Plus program, including mileage expiration, account numbers, lifetime status, elite tiers, qualification and benefits.

The one somewhat significant bit that they did include in the announcement is that "lifetime status (if applicable) will be preserved as we transition to a single program in 2012." It is not clear what that really means but given the wide disparity between the two lifetime programs it is nice to see that they are planning on "preserving" the status that exists today.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Not so happy about the “mileage expiration” that he said will be released later. I don’t know whether MP miles ever expire, but OP miles don’t, and I hope it stays that way

    1. I’m of two minds on this, Josh.

      While I certainly appreciate the idea of keeping stuff I’ve earned (i.e. no expiry is good) I’m also somewhat realistic about the situation. If I haven’t interacted with the company in 18+ months then the investment I’ve made in earning those points is probably wasted anyways. Certainly the opportunity cost side of the calculation is going to spike. And if others are letting miles lapse such that the costs of running the programs stay a bit lower so the rest of us paying attention get more value from the points we do have then the selfish side of me is quite happy with the plan.

      Finally, there are a number of sites out there that help you keep track of point expiry policies and make sure you don’t lose them. Often it is just a dollar or two invested that extends the life of the miles. Check out for one great example of such a tool (full disclosure: I work with them and hep with some of the back-end logic so I’m a bit biased).

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