About To Lose Your United Airlines Status? Ask Them To Extend It For You

Alaska Airlines has elite “leave” for new parents where they’ll extend your status a year. Hilton offers once in a lifetime Diamond status extension. And Delta has ‘reclaim my status’, an offer of temporary status and a challenge to keep that status.

It’s far more common worldwide, especially in Europe, for loyalty programs to offer some form of family leave. They don’t want to lose a top customer’s business just because of a life event that keeps them off the road for awhile.

While United Airlines doesn’t have a formal, published program to support status extensions there are plenty of customer reports that a call or an email has gotten status extended for customers that didn’t re-earn it during 2023. They’re about to see their status drop February 1. If you’re in that boat, you might reach out to MileagePlus, too.

Here’s what elite status with United normally requires:

  • Silver: 12 qualifying flights and 4,000 qualifying dollars, or 5,000 qualifying dollars
  • Gold: 24 qualifying flights and 8,000 qualifying dollars, or 10,000 qualifying dollars
  • Platinum: 36 qualifying flights and 12,000 qualifying dollars, or 15,000 qualifying dollars
  • 1K: 54 qualifying flights and 18,000 qualifying dollars, or 24,000 qualifying dollars

It’s a lot cheaper for United to keep a customer than to acquire one. You’ve already proven your value and you cannot do this year after year. Without a published policy you aren’t guaranteed a result, but you should certainly ask – and United knows that you’ll appreciate with your loyalty when they grant your request.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Boy, I wish I had known about this a few weeks ago. Ended up 250 PQP shy of re-upping my 1K. I was told by UA 1K desk that they only automatically gift you 100 PQP, so I ended up taking a 1 hour flight back and forth. Next time…

  2. TLDR – I just got off the phone with United MP customer service. They extended my lowly Silver status for an extra year. Thank you so much!

    Longer version – I called and spoke to MP customer service about extending my status another year. Front line agent offered to upsell me the PQP that I wasn’t able to meet last year (approx $1200 to requalify.) I declined. She then offered to transfer me to a supervisor for “other options.” I asked the supervisor for a complimentary extension since I wasn’t able to meet the minimum requirements due to less-than-expected travel. He nicely asked me why I wasn’t able to travel as much last year. I gave him my reasons (cancelled meetings and medical issues.) He was most interested in the medical issues part of things. Asked me more about that. Put me on a short hold and then granted me a free extension for a year, and told me United only offers this once every 5 years.

    Thank you, Gary!

  3. I had politely ask United Customer Service to extend my mileage status, to reinstate about 11,000miles. They refused, after about 3 “polite” requests. They felt a one email reminder that they would soon expire was adequate. Come on, my inbox gets about 100 marketing-advertising related emails(multiple companies and organizations) for every 1 legitimate/important email… How can 1 notice be sufficient. A reason I avoid flying with them now. (11K miles isn’t many)

  4. @ Reggie: “I don’t know why anybody would want to fly United given their push to lower hiring standards in favor of identity politics. https://eightify.app/summary/business-and-industry/united-airlines-under-fire-for-hiring-unqualified-co-pilot-puts-lives-at-risk

    I have been a frequent flyer for many years. First, in the early 80’s, I was an Executive Traveler member with Eastern. When they went away, Continental saw I was a good business traveler. They accepted me into OnePass. They always treated me well. Eventually, they made me a Lifetime member. Then when they took over United, they adopted the Mileage Plus plan.

    Although I did not qualify for their Premier 1K, as I stopped flying business, and only had 1,500,000 miles, they made me a Lifetime Premier 1K member. And each year since, they continue to award me Premier 1K status. In fact, just today I got my email notifying me that I have again “qualified for status. As we are retired and living in Malta, and not going back to the States, we fly LH four or five times a year, both in Europe and to Asia. My status allows us expanded baggage allowances and access to the Senator Lounge. And they are most helpful when I need it.

    The point I am making is that United/LH are both good airlines. And the only point I see you make is that you are a complete douche bag!

  5. Thanks for sharing this! The extension request worked for me. I just chatted via text with an agent and asked for an extension for my gold status that I am about to lose (didn’t even qualify for silver). I had a baby early 2023 so had a valid excuse why I traveled less. I also have plans to travel overseas more for work in 2024. The agent was able to apply the request and I received a confirmation email a minute later.

  6. This works!! Called 1K who transferred me to Mileage Plus who gave me the extension for 1 year and sent a confimratory email whihc I verifed on the United website in my account. They were fantastic about it.

  7. With it unclear how long the MAX 9 will be grounded, and how long before the fleet can be put through inspections and back in the air, it makes all the sense in the world for United to be holding onto every customer it can. Remember, United touted how well it was doing compared to Southwest in Denver just a year ago. My how the times have changed.

  8. Out of curiosity – for people who have received complimentary extensions of 1k, do the 280 pluspoints come with that?

  9. @Reggie

    You need to diversify, seek more equity and be more inclusive of more reputable sites where you get you “news”. LOL.

  10. I tried this with American (currently Platinum) and no dice…. Will now look at United status match challenges

  11. I was told I needed 5 prior consecutive years of 1K status to qualify for the extension – only made Plat this year – but they advised to email and try that way anyway. I’ll follow up if it works.

  12. Just chatted with MP and asked to renew my 1K status. They agreed to renew to Platinum status due to my past status record. I was happy with that since I just barely made Gold for 2024. That was a nice surprise and incentive to continue to use UA as my preferred airline.

  13. I tried this with no success. Not that I expected it, but I’m surprised at the number of success stories posted here. I was told to go look at my offer to “buy” my extension which was almost $15k to keep my 1k status. I was only about 4,000 pqp short last year. If I didn’t make a run for it then, I certainly won’t pay 3x now. No thanks.

  14. Hello, good news…I called and was granted complimentary 1 year extension on my Gold Mileage Plus account based on my strong previous history. I was a doubter …but it does seem to work. Thanks.

  15. 1K Million Miler. Have never requested an extension before. Earned about 9000 PQP last year. Had a close death in the family. Requested an extension with Premier MP servicing that was immediately rejected. Was offered a buy up for $6000 to Platinum. Responses from United just makes it easy to only fly them when it is the most convenient option and for no other reason whatsoever. #ThanksUnited

  16. Gave it a try and simply received a stale form letter in response – one that was 5 years out of date that they couldn’t be bothered to update:

    I’m sorry, but we’re unable to grant your request for complimentary status; however, you’ve been selected for our 2019 Premier Status Upgrade promotion. Please visit http://www.united.com/2019status to see your offer. At the bottom of the page, you can read the terms and conditions of the offer.

    We appreciate your business and look forward to serving your travel needs in 2019 and beyond.

    Thank you for flying United®.

  17. I called on Jan 30 to ask about an extension because I injured my knee last year which curtailed my travel throughout the year. They sent me a medical exception form that required my doctor or employer to put something down on company letterhead. I did that and was extended to January 2025 and I have 280 plus points that don’t expire until then.

    This was the best thread of the year. I never would have thought to call and try to extend. Thank you!!!

    A friend of mine called on Jan 31 and they wouldn’t extend his gold but they did go ahead and give him silver for the year although he hadn’t earned that.

  18. I got mine back, too. Thanks Gary! They told me they could only do it once every 5 years.

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