A farewell to vary charges. Free standby. A neater path to elite standing. Airline guidelines modified rather a lot in 2020, doubtlessly upending the explanations you like one airline over one other.

When you fly United Airways, it’s time to ask: “Ought to I hold selecting United in 2021 and past?” That will help you determine, right here’s a better take a look at the airline’s new guidelines.

No extra change charges

Like most different U.S. airways, United has stopped charging a price to vary your flight if you wish to reschedule. That applies to foremost cabin and premium cabin fares for flights throughout the U.S. and to worldwide locations for flights that originated within the U.S. It doesn’t apply to fundamental financial system, which affords waived change charges solely on tickets issued earlier than March 31, 2021.

However should you cancel your flight outright with no plans to reschedule, cancellation charges should apply. If the cancellation needed to do with COVID-related points, you might be able to request a refund for journey bought (apart from fundamental financial system fares, that are refundable solely inside 24 hours after reserving).

Stand by without spending a dime

One other welcome change: Now you can stand by for a special same-day flight without spending a dime. Seize a seat, if obtainable, on a special flight to and from the identical cities you initially booked with out paying for the privilege.

You’ll be able to request standby on the airport or via United’s app or web site, making it straightforward to regulate plans and catch an earlier flight in case your schedule adjustments or get pleasure from slightly additional time at your vacation spot.

Simpler elite standing necessities

United made it simpler for frequent flyers to attain elite standing in 2021 (for 2022). Premier Qualifying Level (PQP) and Premier Qualifying Flight (PQF) thresholds are actually decreased. Plus, present Premier members get 25% of their wanted PQPs for 2021 (based mostly on 2021 Premier standing degree) mechanically deposited into their accounts.

For Premier Silver standing, take eight PQFs and earn three,000 PQPs, or earn three,500 PQPs. The necessities double for Premier Gold standing. Premier Platinum aspirants might want to fly on 24 PQFs and earn 9,000 PQPs, or earn 10,000 PQPs. The highest tier, Premier 1K, requires standing holders to fly on 36 PQFs and earn 13,500 PQPs — or 15,000 PQPs to bypass the flight requirement.

All MileagePlus members get bonus PQPs (50% for non-status MileagePlus members, 100% for Premier members) for the primary three journeys they take between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2021, getting members even nearer to reaching standing (or Premier members again on observe to requalify).

Different U.S. airways have additionally made it simpler to earn or keep elite standing of their frequent flyer packages, with some providing phrases higher than United’s. American, for instance, is decreasing elite qualification necessities whereas additionally extending elite standing an extra 12 months for frequent flyers whose standing was set to run out in January 2021.

Delta can be extending standing for qualifying members for an additional 12 months, in addition to permitting Medallion Qualifying Miles to roll over from 2020 to 2021. Southwest has given Fast Rewards members a lift to get them nearer to qualifying for elite standing and prolonged standing expiration to the tip of 2021 for many who certified by the tip of 2020.

Different COVID-era adjustments

There have been different adjustments to United’s working procedures that, hopefully, will stick round for good.

Touchless check-in permits passengers to test in for his or her flights with none person-to-person contact. As of 2020, you need to use the airline’s check-in kiosks at over 200 airports (and rising) to scan your boarding go or cellular app and print your personal baggage tags. All that’s left is to drop your luggage on the designated location, no contact required.

Again-to-front boarding streamlines the boarding course of, making it faster and simpler for all passengers. With United’s new coverage, after pre-boarding, the remaining passengers are known as to board from again to entrance and in smaller teams so it’s simpler to take care of a protected social distance. United has additionally stepped up its cleansing and disinfection procedures, utilizing superior antimicrobial expertise, and offers hand sanitizing wipes for passengers.

The underside line

General, United Airways’ new guidelines are a change for the higher. Elite standing is simpler to attain (no less than for now), cleansing requirements are larger, same-day standby is now obtainable and alter charges for many fares are gone for good. These new guidelines and insurance policies are on par with different airways and all quantity to good causes to stay with United if it is your airline of alternative.

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