“New Rewards Experience” From United To Be Announced Later Today

Uh oh.

United posted this ominous tweet in the middle of the night:

Mommy Points posted about this earlier today, and updated her post after an announcement was made about a new partnership with Mercedes Benz. She was hoping that that is all we’re talking about here. Unfortunately, United has been tweeting at followers, indicating that the news has yet to be revealed:

Speculation is also rampant on FlyerTalk, where the thread covering this subject already has over 130 posts and about 10,000 page views!

Suffice to say, I’m not optimistic. The MileagePlus program is the biggest reason I’ve remained loyal to United over the years – if they gut it, I might actually start to seriously look around at other options. Here are the two worst-case scenarios that I’m mentally preparing myself for:

“Better Availability for Award Tickets”

That might sound like a good thing, but it would almost certainly come with negative changes like a 3-tiered award chart (similar to what Delta and US Air have), and very little availability at the “low” level. Or maybe hefty fuel surcharges when flying partners. Ugh.

“Fewer Miles Required For Many Award Tickets”

Translation: Dynamic pricing – linking the number of miles required to the price of the ticket. This is similar to the way SouthWest, JetBlue and some others currently operate – and Delta has a similar option available as well. This might mean that some cheap domestic tickets would require fewer miles, but would mean that international business / first class tickets would require substantially more miles (to the point that they’d no longer be a realistic possibility).

Of these two, I think the first one is the more likely scenario as dynamic pricing would be a much more dramatic departure from the status quo.

Needless to say, I’ll be watching United’s Twitter feed pretty closely this afternoon.

What kind of changes do you think are in store?

United-Logo-2

 

Update from UA Insider on FlyerTalk:

Hi everyone,

Wanted to jump in here and let you know that we are indeed looking ahead to an announcement about new reward opportunities for MileagePlus members—over and above what you’ve seen already this week. I’ll ask that you sit tight for the next few days, but rest assured you can expect full details from me the minute we go live. And while I know you’ll give us honest feedback (as always), I do believe this is something to look forward to :-).

Aaron Goldberg
Sr. Manager – Customer Experience Planning
United Airlines

Maybe there’s hope?

Update #2: It actually is pretty good!


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  3 comments for ““New Rewards Experience” From United To Be Announced Later Today

  1. Will Run For Miles
    July 12, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Mercedes-Benz!

  2. LufthansaFlyer / Aero-Shots
    July 13, 2013 at 12:42 am

    Where was the Merc deal when I needed it……

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