United Airlines Devalues Their Mileage Plus Miles!
In early November, United Airlines announced that their United Mileage Plus program was going to be undergoing some changes that would affect its customer base on February 1, 2014. While some may be hopeful that this can be good news for the customer, there are currently no perceivable benefits to this upcoming change. With this devaluation, you will need more frequent flyer miles to redeem round-trip airfare. Though the changes differ with the types of awards, such as economy travel and international travel, this will still affect many customers that have been loyal to United Airlines for a long time. Here’s an in-depth look at how this devaluation will affect you and what you can expect with other airlines going forward.
If you generally redeem your points for flights in the continental U.S., then you are safe from these changes as the miles required stay the same. Where it starts getting iffy is with economy class international travel. Those who redeem airline miles for these flights will have to pay a small increase of a few thousand miles. If you happen to spend most of your airline miles for business and first class international flights with either United Airlines or Star Alliance, then you are in for a big devaluation in value. These will range from an increase in 10 thousand points to 60% more of what they used to be.
This is a huge cause for concern for all United Mileage Plus customers. As Southwest and Delta Airlines have also announced devaluations in their rewards programs recently, this is pointing towards a trend that may not face any resistance in the foreseeable future. While the inevitable outcry by consumers will do well to show United that this is a hugely flyer unfriendly move on their part, there are hardly any competitive airlines that will force United to change their policies due to better rewards programs. As is the case with many companies when they make unpopular moves, United will not feel the need to address customers’ concerns until their bottom line is affected.
Though devaluation is expected with any rewards program, the amount that United has put into effect is particularly troubling for loyal customers. Customers should hurry to get the most they can out of their frequent flyer miles now before the deadline.