United Airlines announced Wednesday that it was immediately removing its expiration window for unused MileagePlus miles, joining Delta and just a handful of other airlines.
Until today, United miles had expired after 18 months of inactivity.
From American Airlines to All Nippon Airways in Japan, these expiration policies are common among major airlines worldwide by giving travelers anywhere between 12 months to 36 months to use their miles before they disappear. Luckily, most airlines allow you to re-up that window with any activity – including earning miles with another flight or just by shopping through an online portal.
But United is going a step farther by eliminating the expiration window altogether.
“We want to demonstrate to our members that we are committing to them for the long-haul and giving customers a lifetime to use miles is an exceptionally meaningful benefit,” said Luc Bondar, the airline's vice president of loyalty and president of MileagePlus.
It comes as United transitions to dynamic award pricing – another page out of Delta's book. Rather than consistent pricing governed by an award chart, rates for all United flights after Nov. 15 will vary based on cash price, time of year, demand, and more.
That was a major blow to United's mileage program. So this is an easy way to give its frequent flyers a small boost of confidence.
Airlines rarely make positive moves with their mileage programs. Even if it pales in comparison to recent negative changes, good on United for giving their miles a small upgrade.
Lead photo courtesy of byeangel via Flickr