United “fixes” their earning rates for flights on South African Airways

UPDATE: This is a MUCH more broad devaluation of the MileagePlus program covering premium fares on 9 different partners. I’ve written a new post with all the details here.


I’m using the term "fixes" loosely here as it is a dramatic downgrade to the charts. Still, it is almost certainly what they meant the chart to be when it was initially released. I commented at one point about how generous it was – most fares earned 150% credit, even in economy – and it still took nearly 10 months to get it fixed. Yeah, the cuts suck, but they should be all that surprising. Here’s what the new rates look like:


Under the old chart everything Q or higher earned 150% PQMs. Such is life, I suppose.

The calculators over at Wandering Aramean Travel Tools have been updated with the new rates.

Quick update: Looks like more than just South African have been affected. Not clear yet whether this is an across-the-board devaluation or just an over-zealous website edit. Hopefully some better answers in a few hours; it is late in Chicago right now.

Never miss another post: Sign up for email alerts and get only the content you want direct to your inbox.

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. Question: I always thought that the operating carrier, i.e., in this case South African, essentially has to buy the miles (RDM/PQM) from whatever program the passenger choose to credit to. If that is correct, then did South African decide that they were too generous?

    50% PQM on many coach fares (presumably those that I would likely be willing to pay for) are disappointing.

  2. Let’s see how COdbaUA also dump on economy class flyers earning status.

    Can’t leave things as is for too long without making earning status/miles on partner airlines look decent relative to flying premium cabin fares on the same planes. 😮

Comments are closed.