United has announced that they’ll be switching to a fare-based earning model (like Delta) next March. There’s certainly more information to come, but based on the great research done by other bloggers about the Delta move, I can’t help but think that the mileage earning potential will be limited on United now.
Details are at http://mileageplusupdates.com/
The miles you earn will now be based on the price of your fare with a multiplier that depends on your status level in the MileagePlus program. This doesn’t affect how you earn your status.
So, the positive news is at least they have given everyone almost 9 months of notice. The bad news is this means American will likely switch to the same model when they announce their 2015 program.
What is hilarious is how much a race to the bottom this has become. United didn’t even bother innovating this new program, they just copied every bit of it from Delta’s new program.
This will eventually make cards that transfer to United points that much more valuable. We’ll see how everything shakes out and keep everyone posted.