United Airlines Mileage Plus members will from next year earn award miles based on ticket price rather than distance flown.
Starting on March 1, the airline's revised frequent flyer programme will see members earn miles based on the price of their ticket — specifically, base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges — and their Mileage Plus status.
Basic members will earn five miles for every US dollar spent, and the accrual rate will then increase according to tier status as follows:
United said in a statement: "The new earning structure will apply to Mileage Plus members worldwide for most tickets for travel on United and United Express flights, and most United-issued tickets for flights on the company's airline partners – tickets with numbers that begin with 016. Members may earn up to 75,000 award miles per ticket."
The move comes a few months after Delta Air Lines announced it will begin a similar system in January 2015 (see news, February 27).
The change will not affect the way members qualify for Premier status and the miles needed for each tier remains unchanged.
The airline said it next year plans to offer members "new opportunities to use their award miles, including for single-flight purchases of extra-legroom United Economy Plus seats and to purchase Economy Plus and checked-baggage subscriptions".
United's Mileage Plus president Thomas F O'Toole said: "These changes are designed to more directly recognise the value of our members when they fly United.
"We are also pleased to give our members new redemption options that expand the usefulness of their MileagePlus miles."