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United Continental 2012 MileagePlus Loyalty Programme

United Continental 2012 MileagePlus Loyalty Programme

United Continental Holdings has announced the details of its MileagePlus loyalty programme for 2012, including new benefits and services for United’s and Continental’s most-frequent flyers, more options for members to redeem their miles and additional recognition for customers who purchase tickets in premium cabins or at premium economy fare classes.

“With MileagePlus, we are building the world’s most-rewarding loyalty programme and reaching another important milestone in the merger of United and Continental,” said Jeff Foland, United Executive Vice President and President of Mileage Plus Holdings, LLC. “We will provide a wide range of benefits to our most-loyal and most-valuable members, while offering new redemption opportunities for all of our members.”

In 2012, MileagePlus will offer four levels of Premier member status:

•           Premier Silver: 25,000 Premier qualifying miles (PQM) or 30 Premier qualifying segments (PQS)

•           Premier Gold: 50,000 PQM or 60 PQS

•           Premier Platinum: 75,000 PQM or 90 PQS

•           Premier 1K: 100,000 PQM or 120 PQS

United will continue to offer Global Services recognition to select members by invitation.

Premier benefits include:

•           Upgrades: United will offer an expansive suite of upgrade products, including Global Premier Upgrades, Regional Premier Upgrades and Complimentary Premier Upgrades. United is expanding Complimentary Premier Upgrades to include eligible intra-Asia flights in addition to most flights within North America. Premier members traveling on certain full-fare economy-class tickets will also be eligible for an instant upgrade when available at the time of ticketing.

•           Premier Access, checked-baggage allowance and Economy Plus® seating: Premier members will have access to Premier Access airport services, a complimentary standard checked-baggage allowance and extra-legroom Economy Plus seating, among other benefits. Premier Silver members and Star Alliance Silver members will be able to check one bag weighing up to 50 pounds with no fee, and Premier Silver customers will be able to confirm Economy Plus seating at time of check-in. Premier members at all other status levels will be able to check three bags weighing up to 70 pounds with no fee, and will be able to confirm Economy Plus seating, when available, at the time of ticketing.

•           Premier bonus award miles: United will offer Premier members bonus miles of up to 100 percent on paid tickets.

•           Flexible award redemption: Premier-level frequent flyers may continue to book United Standard Awards, even when redeeming miles for the last available seat on the flight, a benefit United is reserving for Premiers and customers who have the United MileagePlus Explorer Card or an eligible Chase-issued OnePass credit card.

•           Additional credit card benefits: Beginning in 2012, Premier members who have the United MileagePlus Explorer Card or an eligible Chase-issued OnePass credit card will also qualify for Complimentary Premier Upgrades on eligible economy-class reward tickets.

United is introducing greater rewards to customers who purchase tickets in premium cabins or at premium economy fare classes. Travellers will earn up to 250% of the actual miles flown as award miles when they book first-class tickets, up to 175% for business-class tickets and 125% for full-fare economy-class tickets.

United is also launching a new Million Miler programme with benefits drawn from the existing MileagePlus and OnePass programmes, including the popular spousal benefit. Starting in 2012, United will determine each member’s lifetime earnings based on the member’s elite qualification miles earned in MileagePlus and OnePass since joining the programmes, and will pool miles for members with accounts in both programmes. After this one-time adjustment, United will determine future lifetime earnings based on actual flight miles.

Customers who earn one million miles after the one-time adjustment will earn lifetime Premier Gold status for themselves and a spouse or significant other. Customers who earn two million miles will attain Premier Platinum status, those who earn three million miles will attain Premier 1K status, and customers who earn four million miles will attain Global Services status.

United will launch MileagePlus Auctions in January, enabling customers to use miles to bid on sports tickets, cultural events and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. United will provide more details later this year.

In June, United announced that the OnePass programme will end on 31st December 2011. In the first quarter of 2012, United will automatically enroll OnePass members in MileagePlus and deposit into those MileagePlus accounts award miles equal to their OnePass award miles balance.

Complete details are available at united.com/mileageplus.

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 50 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 40 years.

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