United Airlines has made a number of changes to its Mileage Plus frequent flyer programme, in the light of continuing global travel restrictions.

The move was made on the same day that fellow US carrier Delta announced similar changes to its Sky Miles programme.

All Mileage Plus members who currently hold Premier Silver, Gold, Platinum or 1K status will see their status extended until January 31, 2022.

In addition, United has reduced the thresholds for reaching each status level by 50 per cent for 2021. The carrier has published the following table for qualifying requirements.

2021 status Earn Premier qualifying flights and Premier Qualifying Points (PQP) … or meet a higher PQP goal
Silver 6 2,000 2,500
Gold 12 4,000 5,000
Platinum 18 6,000 7,500
1K 26 9,000 12,000

Note that members will still need to complete a minimum of four flight segments on United or United Express to qualify for the next tier level, but in recognition that customers will be flying less, the carrier has increased the number of PQPs which can be earned through United’s credit cards.

From May 1 to December 31, 2020, the carrier has doubled the maximum number of PQPs that can be earned from spend on the United Explorer card, and quadrupling the maximum what can be earned on the United Club card. Exact details on this are still to be confirmed.

United also says that it will be “making it easier to earn status in 2021 for the 2022 programme year”, with details of this set to be outlined later this year.

Other changes:

  • 1K and Platinum members will see the expiry dates of their Plus Points (which enable upgrades) extended by six months
  • 1K members will see the Skip Waitlist benefit (allowing confirmation of an upgrade request at the time of booking) expanded to more long-haul international regions
  • All United Club memberships, as well as Economy Plus, United Wifi and checked bag subscriptions have been extended by six months
  • All electronic travel certificates (credits issued for the value of tickets as a result of cancelled flights) are now valid for use for two years (plus 11 month’s travel time). This includes all existing and new certificates issued after April 1, 2020
  • All award redeposit fees have been waived for travel until the end of May 2020, and for award ticket cancellations made more than 30 days before departure for the rest of 2020

Last week United outlined its internaitonal flying schedule for April, with just just six daily flights operating to Asia, Australia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe.

United outlines international flying schedule for April