United Airlines
Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

United Airlines Extends Status and Benefits For Everyone: 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic

“Now, if only other frequent travel loyalty programs would follow suit with similar extension policies — and I understand that the United Airlines MileagePlus frequent flier loyalty program just announced one of their own, which will be covered in an article here at The Gate shortly.”

United Airlines Extends Status and Benefits For Everyone: 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic

United Airlines
Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

The paragraph you just read was from this article at The Gate pertaining to Delta Air Lines extending Medallion elite level status and benefits for everyone due to the impact on travel by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic; and United Airlines has announced similar policies, according to this article at The Hub.

The latest information from United Airlines pertains to updates with regards to the extensions of elite level status and benefits for everyone.

Status of Benefits of Premier Elite Level Status

United Airlines
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Your benefits are automatically being extended with no effort or input required on your part as a member of the United Airlines MileagePlus frequent flier loyalty program — including:

  • Current 2020 Premier elite level status will be extended to Monday, January 31, 2022, if you have it. At a minimum, you will enjoy the same published elite level status next year that you currently have today, up to Premier 1K. Extension of Premier elite level status to Monday, January 31, 2022 applies to all MileagePlus members who met the published criteria of the MileagePlus membership program in 2019, status associated with the United/Marriott RewardsPlus program, and status offered as part of a sales nomination. Premier elite level status granted from other programs and policies may not apply.
  • Earning Premier elite level status will be easier in 2021 for the 2022 program year, as getting back to travel will occur at a different pace for different members of the MileagePlus membership program — but details will not be shared until later this year.
  • Thresholds for Premier elite level status qualification are being reduced by 50 percent for each status level for the 2021 status year to ensure that earning an even higher elite status tier is easier — but you will still need to fly as a passenger for a minimum of four flight segments on flights operated by United Airlines or United Express.
2021 Status Earn Premier Qualifying Flights …and Premier Qualifying Points
…or Meet a Higher Premier Qualifying Point Goal
Silver 6 2,000 2,500
Gold 12 4,000 5,000
Platinum 18 6,000 7,500
1K 26 9,000 12,000

In addition — via a promotion from Friday, May 1, 2020 through Thursday, December 31, 2020 to help in achieving a higher level of Premier elite level status, with more details forthcoming — the maximum number of Premier Qualifying Points which can be earned during the year 2020 are:

  • Doubled for United Explorer cards
  • Quadruped for the United Club cards

Other Benefits

United Airlines
Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Other benefits which are being extended or improved include:

  • The ability to upgrade by extending PlusPoints expiration dates by six months and expanding Skip Waitlist has been increased for 1K and Platinum Premier elite level status members, which means a six-month extension of any PlusPoints set to expire on or before Sunday, January 31, 2021. Skip Waitlist was introduced last year on select flights as a benefit to 1K members for more opportunities for you to confirm an upgrade request at the time of booking your ticket. This benefit will now be available for the rest of 2020 in a significantly expanded selection of long-haul international regions and will have expanded availability in 2021 as well.
  • All annual membership and subscription benefits are being extended by six months to ensure that your benefits are still there when you are ready to start flying again — which is why purchased United Club memberships and purchased subscriptions for Economy Plus, United Wi-Fi and checked bags have all been extended by six months. You should see this reflected in your MileagePlus membership account soon.
  • All electronic travel certificates now have 24 months to be used. If your travel plans have been disrupted and you have an electronic travel certificate from United Airlines for the value of your ticket, you now have two years from the date it was issued to book a new flight — as well as up to an additional 11 months to travel. This includes all currently valid and all new electronic travel certificates issued on or after Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
  • Some redeposit fees have been removed for the rest of the year, as United Airlines is:
    • Currently waiving all award redeposit fees for travel through end of May 2020.
    • Now also waiving all redeposit fees for award ticket cancellations implemented greater than 30 days before departure for the remainder of 2020.


United Airlines
Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

As with recent announcements from such frequent travel loyalty programs as Hilton Honors, World of Hyatt, and Delta Air Lines SkyMiles, the team members of United Airlines seem to be doing whatever they can to provide maximum flexibility to you and other customers — as well as members of the MileagePlus frequent flier loyalty program.

Other frequent travel loyalty programs which have not yet implemented similar relaxed extension policies — such as Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan and IHG Rewards Club — should follow suit.

This article is the latest in a series pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — which is also known as COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV or SARS-CoV-2 — pandemic in an effort to get the facts out with information derived from reliable sources…

…as well as attempt to maintain a reasoned and sensible ongoing discussion towards how to resolve this pandemic.

Other articles at The Gate which pertain to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus include:

All photographs ©2016 and ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!