United Airlines Now Offers Elite Status Instantly To Competitor Airline Customers [Roundup]

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • United Airlines is now doing instant elite status challenges.

  • Amtrak seeks subsidy for study of new long distance trains which would require massive further subsidies.

  • An argument that actually, United’s domestic meals aren’t horrible, ‘more “2019 not great” as opposed to “2022 I can’t eat this”’.

  • Chase acquired The Infatuation and Sapphire cardmembers receive 50% off tickets and pre-sale access to The Infatuation’s EEEEEATSCON Los Angeles (May 20-21) as well as one hour early admission and access to a Sapphire lounge there.

  • A year ago MGM Rewards made elite status much harder to earn for non-gamblers, moving against the recent industry’s attempt to attract families, but maybe went too far?

    Earning has expanded to shows and spa and salon treatments, and they’re offering a tier accelerator promotion through July 3 based on single day earn totals:

    • 5,000 Tier Credits in One Day = 1,250 Bonus Tier Credits
    • 10,000 Tier Credits in One Day = 5,000 Bonus Tier Credits
    • 20,000 Tier Credits in One Day = 20,000 Bonus Tier Credits
    • 40,000 Tier Credits in One Day = 60,000 Bonus Tier Credits

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. I think that is right about the slightly improved domestic first meals on UA, but it is only on international long-haul that I care about the food, and their UA is still horrible. Though some people are distinctly not picky about what their food tastes like, and I have seen people comment that they like the UA Polaris on board food more than that “fancy French food” on AF. So it just goes to show that tastes are different.

  2. @ Gary — That accidental CK just turned into 1K! So did that expiring EP! Now to see if it is worth extending (doesn’t look like it).

  3. @Gary – Even in Europe where they generally do rail right, the rail systems and public transportation as a whole are not seen as profit centers. Rail is seen as a money loser that keeps cars off the road, with all the attendant benefits from that. The subsidies enable this and IMO that’s a lot better than building another lane onto a concrete monstrosity of a highway.

  4. @Christian long haul trains in the U.S. will not accomplish this. Most long haul trains in Europe are traveling a few hundred, not few thousand, miles.

  5. @Gary But the short-to-medium haul routes that would be so beneficial have to be incorporated into a larger framework. I’d call that framework long haul. If you want to travel Memphis to Nashville by train, that needs to be part of a larger network.

  6. @ Daniel B. — https://promo.united.com/offers/statusmatch There was no mention of 1K after I Iogged in, but when I requested our matches today to AA CK and AA EP, we were both matched to UA 1K. The more I think about it, spending ~$6,700 (taxes and government fees do not count towards the required 6,000 United-operated PQPs) for 18+ UA segments over the next 4 months is probably worth it to earn 1K through January 31, 2025, especially after dropping to AA Platinum.

  7. @ Daniel B. @ Gary — I misspoke. The EP to 1K status match is under review, which I presume means rejected. The CK to 1K is approved. If they don’t approve both, they won’t be getting any revenue out of it. Oh well. I guess they won’t miss our lousy $13,400.

  8. Dunno what I did right, other than get their branded card, which sits untouched in the back of my wallet, and let them know I’m a military vet, but I have seven comped nights in Vegas courtesy of MGM.

    Taking a three week motorcycle trip in May, stopping in Vegas for a concert, then a festival in LA the next weekend, before going back to Vegas for another festival four days later.

    Remembered an email about comped nights, so looked into it, et voila, four free nights to take me to the date to leave for LA.

    Thought, “surely they won’t let me use the same promo twice.” Bingo, three more nights between the second events comped.

    Not the greatest place on the strip, but it’s not the Excalibur . And it’s free.

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