United Airlines reports changes to its MileagePlus program in 2015 with members earning award miles based on their ticket price rather than distance flown.
Beginning March 1, 2015, members will earn award miles based on the price of their ticket – specifically the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges – and their MileagePlus status, United said. Members will earn five miles for every dollar spent, while those with MileagePlus Premier status will earn the award miles based on their status level from 7 to 11 award miles per dollar including their base fare and carrier surcharges.
The new earning structure will apply to MileagePlus members worldwide for most tickets for travel on United and United Express flights, and most United-issued tickets for flights on the company's airline partners – tickets with numbers that begin with "016." Members may earn up to 75,000 award miles per ticket, United said.
In addition, next year United said it plans to offer members new opportunities to use their award miles, including for single-flight purchases of extra-legroom United Economy Plus seats and to purchase Economy Plus and checked-baggage subscriptions.
"These changes are designed to more directly recognize the value of our members when they fly United," said Thomas F. O'Toole, United's senior vice president of marketing and loyalty and president of MileagePlus. "We are also pleased to give our members new redemption options that expand the usefulness of their MileagePlus miles."
Tickets not issued by United for MileagePlus partner airline flights departing on or after March 1 will still earn award miles based on distance flown and purchased fare class.
The new earning structure will not affect the way members qualify for Premier status in 2015, and MileagePlus credit card members will still earn miles when they use their cards to purchase United tickets, the airline said.