Why United's Frequent Flyer Program Changes Favor Only Big Spenders
United Airlines announced today that it will begin awarding frequent flyer miles based on ticket price rather than distant flown on March 1st, 2015. The idea behind this system rests in the desire to reward the travelers that spend the most and prevent customers who paid significantly less for a ticket from earning the same amount of miles.
You might remember a similar move was made by Delta earlier this year, one which we were very, very critical of for its impacts on the budget traveler. We don't have a problem with wanting to reward big spenders, but we do take offense to the industry's definition of a loyal traveler, punishing customers who book far in advance at a lower price.
With this decision from United, American and U.S. Airways remain the only major domestic airlines to still award miles based on distance flown. We'll see if they decide to follow suit once the two carriers complete their own merger next year.
Be sure to read up on all the fine print of United's new policy to see how it will personally affect you.