Published on : Saturday, February 12, 2022
United Airlines’s elite flyers got a surprise Friday morning, when the airline gave them a head start toward qualifying for the coveted status for another year.
The airline is giving elite members 15% to 20% of the “Premier Qualifying Points” required to maintain their status.
San Francisco International Airport’s dominant carrier (Nasdaq: UAL) said the “starter PQP” credits are based on a flyer’s Premier level at the end of 2021, and whether premier status was earned or extended by the airline, with those who earned their status getting more points.
Elite status, especially at the higher levels, can result in a variety of benefits and savings for frequent travellers.
United is showing love to its most loyal customers just in time for Valentine’s Day, the carrier said.
But this might feel like a Valentine from someone that’s been an on-again, off-again relationship: United upset some customers late last year by extending elite status for some but not others. Friday’s action helps United make amends.
Previously, United kept 2021’s lower requirements for spending or number of flights needed to achieve various elite levels in 2022.
Last year, some hotel chains also made it easier to reach elite levels after the pandemic triggered a sharp drop in business travellers.
Hyatt, for instance, cut the number of nights required for elite levels by 50% last year, making it possible to reach its top “Globalist” level with 30 qualifying nights instead of 60. So far, Hyatt (NYSE: H) has not offered that promotion this year for elite members looking to qualify for their elite status in 2023.
Last year, Marriott (Nasdaq: MAR) extended all elite levels until February 2023 and is now offering a fast-track promotion this year to make it easier for travelers to qualify for elite status. Marriott Bonvoy members who register for the promotion can earn double their elite night credits for every qualifying paid night through May 4, along with 1,000 bonus points for each night.
It remains to be seen whether hotel chains will cut their 2022 requirements to achieve elite levels for another year or offer more promotions making it easier to reach various elite levels.
Tags: United Airlines