United-Continental Merged Frequent Flyer Program Details for 2012

United-Continental Merged Frequent Flyer Program Details for 2012

UnitedPlane The final details of the merged Mileage Plus program have been released, with few surprises, and little for most of us to quibble over.  The most significant change is the codification of five tiers of elites:

Premier Silver: 25,000 miles
Premier Gold: 50,000 miles
Premier Platinum: 75,000 miles
1K: 100,000 miles
Global Services: by invitation, and also extended to 4-million milers.

Most surprising was the release of the million miler program details. United and Delta have long only counted their own actual flight miles for million mile status.  Continental, however included miles earned on alliance carrier flights and credit card bonus miles.  (American, which had included all miles earned, is about to switch to actual AA flight miles.)  In combining lifetime flight miles for United and Continental, United is going to make a one-time adjustment at the time of combination, granting Mileage Plus members the same liberal qualification that Continental OnePass members have enjoyed.  Once new totals have been assigned, the more restrictive qualification will be applied going forward. 

The stakes are high, as the entry level of 1-million miles grants Premier Gold for life – along with the Star Alliance Gold benefits that come with it, and the opportunity to annually nominate a spouse or significant other the same Premier Gold benefits.  (AA and DL 1-million milers get 25,000 miles/annum benefits – nothing to sneeze at, but lacking the big alliance benefits (like lounge access) that kick in at 50,000 miles.  For United/Continental fliers (and American fliers as well), now is the time to take advantage of those credit card bonus offers (you can still get both a CO and UA-branded Chase credit card) to build your balance if you’re close to a million-mile threshold.  And for the first time, a published criteria for Global Services has been announced: 4-million miles lifetime miles in the new Mileage Plus, and you’re Global Services for life.  Still but a dream for most of us, but at least a quantifiable one now.

Additional elite benefits are also being accorded to Mileage Plus members who hold the program-affiliated Chase credit cards.  No surprise there—as airlines profits are increasingly dependent on ancillary fees, those cards are an important source of revenue.

Read the full details here: Mileage Plus Merger Update.

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