Monday, December 1, 2014

2014 Travel and 2015 United Status

It looks like my father will be United Gold for another year in 2015. But given he just started a new job that doesn't require that much travel, it may be his final year with United elite status.

For those of you who don't obsessively keep updated on frequent flyer program changes, United (and Delta) incorporated a $ spend requirement to reach elite status tiers starting at the beginning of 2014.

To hit Silver, a United frequent flyer must fly 25,000 miles and spend at least $2,500 on Premier Qualifying Dollars (fares excluding taxes and fees). For Gold, that's 50,000 miles and $5,000. However, given my family always seems to fly on really cheap fares (like $800 to Hong Kong) or award fares (like our trip to Rome/Athens on United miles), my father wasn't going to hit the $5,000 threshold even though he was going to fly exactly 50,010 miles as seen on the map below:

But since it's difficult to read, here's the same map without showing our single Asia trip.

And here's the same map without the European segments.

Fortunately, since he had a Chase United MileagePlus credit card and spent $25,000 on it, then the dollar requirement would be waived. And given my father's many tricks, it was pretty easy to "spend" $25,000.

However, for our 2015 travel, it looks like we won't get to rack up enough miles for my father to hit the 50,000 level again. So he'll likely have to settle for United Silver Status starting Feb 2016. I suppose it may not be that much of a difference, with the exception of (a) getting Economy Plus seating at booking, (b) international lounge access and (c) extra complimentary checked bags allowance.

Meanwhile, I'm just happy to be around my parents and could care less about all this airline status stuff.

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