United Airlines has removed the expiration restriction for Mileage Plus miles, with members now having “a lifetime to use miles on flights, experiences, hotels and more”.

Previously miles expired after 18 months of account inactivity, but Luc Bondar, vice president of loyalty and president of Mileage Plus at United, said that “We want to demonstrate to our members that we are committing to them for the long-haul and giving customers a lifetime to use miles is an exceptionally meaningful benefit”.

“Our Mileage Plus programme provides customers more ways to earn and use miles than any other US airline,” added Bondar. “More customers used miles to book award trips in 2018 than in any year before, and we expect with today’s announcement that even more will use miles to travel the world in the years to come.”

United joins US rival carriers Delta and Jet Blue in removing mileage expiration restrictions – American Airlines’ AAdvantage scheme currently has an 18-month inactivity expiration policy, although ways around this include taking out an AA-branded credit card, or earning / redeeming with one of the carrier’s hotel, car rental or shopping partners.

The move is likely to benefit occasional customers of United Airlines, as regular flyers will have seen their 18-month expiration date reset with each flight taken.

Earlier this year United announced plans to revamp its Mileage Plus pricing structure from this November, bringing in a flexible system which will “fluctuate based on a variety of factors, including demand”.