August 21, 2023

United Status Challenge

If you’re planning a round the world trip or are taking several trips to stack up your points, you need to consider the United Airlines Status Challenge. Frequent flyer programs are a must if you are a frequent traveller or taking a round the world trip. You can receive many bonuses on your journey, such as becoming eligible for access to United’s Polaris Lounge.

Here at Airfare Geeks, we encourage all of our clients to use their points when booking round the world airfares. Points are a great way to enjoy your adventure further and benefit from the many perks. Today, we’re taking a look at the United Status Challenge and how you can use this to your advantage when booking round the world airfares.

United Airlines: Mileage Plus

Before we get into what the status challenge really is, we first have to understand the points system of United Airlines. United Airlines offers the loyalty program of MileagePlus. When passengers sign up for this program, they are rewarded for flying and can use points for their next round the world trip. Listed below are the MileagePlus tiers and the available benefits.

  • Premier Silver
  • Premier Gold
  • Premier Platinum
  • Premier 1K

United Airlines: Status Challenge

Similar to other airlines, such as airlines in the Oneworld family and other loyalty programs like Qantas frequent flyer, each offers a range of point programs, making it possible for passengers to earn rewards in various ways. These point programs cater to different preferences and travel patterns, ensuring a wide array of options for travellers.

Passengers earn rewards for flying, staying at specific hotels, purchasing affiliated brands, and holding certain credit cards, but maintaining status throughout the year is necessary. For some, this can be challenging, leading to frustration and a sense of missing out. Airlines such as United Airlines have created a status challenge to combat this. These challenges provide incentives for passengers to fly around the world and to redeem rewards.

In addition to this, airlines such as United offer these types of rewards to encourage brand loyalty with the airline. Acknowledging that passengers fly with a range of airlines that suit their preferred travel time and dates, the United Status Challenge is a great way to encourage booking a flight with United as opposed to a competing airline, creating a stronger connection between the airline and its valued customers.

How Can You Complete a United Status Challenge?

The status challenge with United Airlines is rewarding frequent flyers even though they haven’t flown with United Airlines specifically. For example, if you are a frequent British Airways flyer, you can use your British Airways status and gain benefits by flying with United Airlines.

To be eligible for the United’s status challenge, you must apply and meet the criteria. This is a form that needs to be filled out with United Airlines. The offer is only valid from the 5th of January 2023 to the 20th of December 2023. However, it will renew each year. After you’ve enrolled for a status challenge, you have 120 days to use your points.

For those who frequently fly around the world with varying airlines, United Airlines will essentially match your level if you have a similar status to any of the above. Listed below are just some of the airlines that United will match your status.

  • British Airways
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Virgin Atlantic

How Does It Affect Your MileagePlus Status?

A huge reason people choose to apply for a status challenge is to keep their MileagePlus status. When you apply for a status challenge, you retain your current status until the end of the calendar year. This creates a great opportunity to book a round the world airfare and gain points to keep your status.

How Does the United Status Challenge Stack Up Against Other Airlines?

Compared to other airlines that offer a status challenge, United Airlines is more customer-focused and offers fewer restrictions. A great example of this is the majority of status challenges are usually limited to once per lifetime for each account. However, United Airlines offers them every five years, making them much more accessible to passengers.

Is It Worth It?

Applying for a status challenge will depend on the passenger, how much they fly and how often they plan to book round the world airfares. For example, those who fly for business can benefit a great deal, particularly if certain flight paths come to a halt. United Airlines offers significantly more benefits by providing a status challenge every five years. However, for those who fly infrequently or only plan to take a round the world airfare as a once-in-a-lifetime trip, these types of passengers may benefit from other rewards programs such as booking a business class trip with Star Alliance.

In addition to this, for those who do fly frequently and don’t want to have their status expire, moving them further down and then applying for a status challenge is a perfect way to preserve your level. Potentially, the only downside is how quickly you need to book round the world airfares. We usually recommend six months to book a trip. However, for shorter trips, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Final Thoughts

When booking round the world airfares, it’s important to remember that airfare programs are often created to get you to fly more frequently. When used correctly, they can give you a whole range of benefits both in the air and on the ground.

If you’re interested in booking a round the world airfare that best uses points and reward systems to your advantage, get in touch with our team. Each member is a highly experienced traveller and can create an itinerary so you get the most out of your round the world airfare. However, if you’re looking for some inspiration on where to head next (we highly recommend checking out our other blogs and following us on social media.

We are dedicated to ensuring that your round the world journey is not only rewarding but also filled with unforgettable experiences, making your travel dreams a reality.

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