United Airlines raises requirements for MileagePlus elite states

United Airlines has announced that beginning in 2019, MileagePlus frequent flyer customers must spend USD 15,000 to reach the airlines´ top level tier 1K status, compared to the USD 12,000 required to earn 1K status in 2018, the company said.

United said it is doing away with double miles passengers can accrue for purchasing a premium ticket with a P fare. In 2019, premium cabin tickets designated as a P fare will receive 150 percent of miles flown. United said the P fare is the designation for the lowest-priced premium cabin tickets.

Premium tickets purchased in any of at least two other fare classes will continue to earn 200 percent of miles flown.

Beyond the increase in annual minimum spend for 1K status, the actual mileage and segment minimums won´t change from the existing 100,000 miles or 120 flight segments required to earn the 1K status annually.

United said the changes are intended to shrink the number of customers who qualify for 1K status, especially in United´s hub cities such as Chicago, where 1K passengers were too numerous to allow them the exclusive treatment they feel they deserve.

United said no changes are planned for 2019 in total spend requirements for lesser premier platinum, premier gold and premier silver elite tier members in the MileagePlus program.

United Airlines and United Express operate approximately 4,600 flights a day to 357 airports across five continents. In 2017, United and United Express operated more than 1.6 million flights carrying more than 148 million customers.