United Airlines Will Make It More Difficult To Reach Premier Status Next YearPhoto courtesy of United Airlines Travel News United Airlines
Unfortunately, it looks like United is increasing the thresholds it takes to reach its “MileagePlus Premier” qualification, meaning it will take more 2023 flights and spending to attain the airline’s premium status for 2024. This move is somewhat expected given that global travel and tourism are projected to reach pre-pandemic levels next year, but the news will likely sting for United faithfuls none-the-less.
United’s Premier program tracks two different criteria, flights flown (Premier qualifying flights or PQFs) and the amount spent on flights (Premier qualifying points or PQPs). Based on these metrics, there are two tracks to attain Premier status, the first being a combination of flights flown (PQFs) and amount spent (PQP), while the latter is purely PQP. As for what Premier entails, United’s website says, “Premier members enjoy benefits like complimentary access to Economy Plus® and preferred seating, waived fees, upgrades, priority travel services and more.” Higher statuses also lead to greater increases in miles earned. The raised 2023 thresholds to gain Premier status in 2024 are as follows:
Premier Silver: 12 PQF + 4,000 PQP OR 5,000 PQP
Premier Gold: 24 PQF + 8,000 PQP OR 10,000 PQP
Premier Platinum: 36 PQF + 12,000 PQP OR 15,000 PQP
Premier 1K: 54 PQF + 18,000 PQP OR 24,000 PQP
For comparison, the 2022 thresholds to reach Premier status for 2023 are:
Premier Silver: 8 PQF + 3,000 PQP OR 3,500 PQP
Premier Gold: 16 PQF + 6,000 PQP OR 7,000 PQP
Premier Platinum: 24 PQF + 9,000 PQP OR 10,000 PQP
Premier 1K: 36 PQF + 13,500 PQP OR 15,000 PQP
The thresholds for the 2023 Premier program are actually in line with what was originally planned for 2020. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread in 2019, United slashed the requirements to reflect the massive global reduction in flights. United’s increasing thresholds for its premium track reflect similar increases recently announced by Delta.
On the positive side, United also added a few additional benefits around its Premier program, such as a bonus system that will make it easier for existing Premier members to achieve the status next year. They also announced that flights booked using MileagePlus miles will now earn Premier PQFs and PQPs and that flights booked with miles can receive full miles refunds. The full Premier updates can be viewed here.