A couple weeks ago Delta announced the increased spend requirements (Medallion Qualifying Dollars) for SkyMiles members to earn elite status in the 2016 program year. And, like clockwork, United Airlines followed. The company updated its website today to reflect its new United PQD requirements for 2016:
The numbers are identical to what Delta requires (proportionally for the top tier) and, quite frankly, still below average costs for operating the flights and below the average of what the airlines realize in revenue from passengers on a per–mile basis. Which is to say that the numbers could probably even go higher before there is serious pushback from passengers who are mid- or high-yielding, the ones the airlines try to attract and reward for their business.
That’s not to say I want to see the numbers continue to go up; it mostly is bad news for me personally. But I understand why they do it. Mostly I just wish that United showed a bit of creative thinking and did something different rather than following along a couple weeks behind Delta in redesigning the program. Then again, letting Delta be the canary on all these changes does help soften the blow when United follows.
So, will you still be spending to make status with the new United PQD rates? Or the Delta MQM rates, for that matter??
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