United Airlines Extends Status to 2022, Makes Earning Status Easier & More
United Airlines has announced some major changes to better assist customers and MileagePlus members during the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement came on Sunday, following similar changes from Delta Air Lines earlier in the day. United is extending status for those who have it, making it easier to earn going forward and is extending upgrades and subscriptions. All of the changes mentioned below will be updated automatically and reflected in customers’ accounts in the coming weeks.
Elite Status Extension
All MileagePlus Premier members will retain the status they have earned for 2020, through January 2022. This includes all tiers of the MileagePlus program.
Easier Status in 2021
In addition to extending status for those who have it, United Airlines is also making it easier to earn it. For the 2021 status year, United Airlines is reducing thresholds for Premier qualification by 50% for each status level. This will make reaching an even higher status tier easier.
United is also increasing the maximum number of premier qualifying points (PQPs) United Explorer and United Club credit card holders can earn through card spend toward status in 2021. From May 1 through December 31, 2020, United will be offering a promotion that doubles the maximum PQPs for United Explorer credit cardmembers and quadruples the maximum PQPs for United Club cardmembers to help customers achieve a higher level of status. More details on this promotion will be available in the future.
United is increasing the ability for Premier members to use their upgrade benefits. First, the airline is offering a six-month extension for all PlusPoints, the currency used for systemwide upgrades, that are set to expire on or before January 31, 2021. United is also expanding the availability of Skip Waitlist– an upgrade option that allows Premier 1K members to confirm upgrades at the time of booking – to significantly more international long-haul flights.
Extended Memberships and Subscriptions
United is extending annual membership and subscription benefits. The expiration will be extended by six months, ensuring that they receive the full value of their benefits when they are ready to start flying again. This includes United Club℠ memberships purchased directly from United and purchased subscriptions for Economy Plus®, United Wi-Fi℠ and checked bags. Another change that makes sense will customers not being able to use these services right now.
United is extending electronic travel certificates (ETCs) and waiving redeposit fees for members who booked travel using award miles. ETCs will now be valid for two years from the time of booking. The airline is also waiving all redeposit fees for members who have flights booked through May 31, 2020 and will be waiving fees for all members who cancel their flights at least 30 days before departure for the remainder of 2020.