United MileagePlus Status

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Jun 19, 2018
My issue with United is in regards to their MileagePlus Program. I booked a round trip business class flight through United.com for Dec'17 from Houston to Tokyo, Tokyo to Singapore, Singapore to Tokyo, and Tokyo to Houston. I earned Premier Qualifying miles of 50,790 and $12,000+ of Premier Qualifying Dollars with 1 trip alone costing $16,000. United requires a minimum 4 segments on flights operated by United and/or United Express. I have since learned that since my Tokyo to Singapore round trip flight was with ANA, and not United, even though I booked through United's website, United is stating that I do not meet the 4 flight minimum and thus don't get any reward status. This is frustrating because my qualifying miles reached the gold status and the qualifying dollars exceeded the highest status of Premier 1K. I now understand the technicality of a 4 flight minimum being only United flights and I requested a one time exception, while I earned 7 premier qualifying segments booked through United's site, but to no avail. I think this is short sighted on United's part as I am a business customer that will annually fly to Asia at least 3 times a year in business class. I have already booked another trip for July in the amount of $8,600. When calling United's Mileageplus customer service, they advise me to email [email protected]. I have been unable to talk to anyone that has managerial authority.

I am asking United to make a onetime exception for the 4 flights operated by United, a technicality when I exceeded all other requirements and booked a 4 flight option through United's website. This exception would allow me gold status rather than my current no status. I have demonstrated my good faith by continuing to fly United domestically this year, already exceeding the 4 flight minimum, and my ticket for Asia in July was purchased as a refundable fair. Should United not recognize my good faith attempt and worth with the fares I have purchased, I will switch carriers. There are many airline competitors to choose from these days, but I would assume most aren't spending nearly the amount I am on a per ticket basis. It is short sighted on their part, but I can't seem to talk to anyone that has authority or business sense to go offscript. I would appreciate any help the Elliott forum can extend in regards to this issue.

I am trying to attach the receipt statements and milageplus screenshot but a server error is being generated when I attempt to attach.
Last edited:

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
We don’t need the receipts. But the airlines are finding ways to reduce mileage and do away with it as much as possible. If it was in their terms you are probably going to have a hard time trying to get an exception.

Let us know how your letter writing campaign goes. One thing that Elliott.org doesn’t get involved with is loyalty point issues.

Are there any cases you don’t mediate?

Yes. Here’s a partial list:

  • Airfares that go up after selecting a flight option (caching).
  • Airline seat comfort issues, including in-flight entertainment systems that don’t work.
  • Any case involving legal action against a company or customer.
  • Asking a company to honor an obvious price error.
  • Car rental damage cases.
  • Cases submitted on behalf of a third party.
  • Compensation for delays that resulted in lost vacation or work days.
  • Getting a refund for a nonrefundable airline ticket or hotel room.
  • Missing or expired loyalty points.
  • Recently lost or misplaced luggage.
  • Visa/passport problems that led to denied boarding.


Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
I feel your pain, Anthony, but I think you have a good chance at an exception. Since Oscar took over, United is more interested in good customer service. I can see it in the employees I interact with every trip. Your timing may be just right.

Your letter above is very well written, make your email concise and very polite (no waving the Delta flag!). Your job is to get the person reading your email to instantly understand your situation ... and want to help you. You might consider making a chronological list ... anything to get your information easily understood. A short, gracious opening and appreciative closing paragraph is good. If you want to post your draft here, we'll be happy to look at it. Good luck, and please let us know the outcome.
Mar 8, 2018
I think it is very unlikely that they will grant a waiver for this (unlike the previous poster). It would be much easier for you to simply book a cheap roundtrip ticket on United to meet the requirement. It will take a few hours of your time and very little money if you look for a cheap fare.
Likes: Neil Maley
Sep 19, 2015
All you can do is write and ask for an exception. I have no idea if it will be granted but I think it may not. There is a reason that UA and Aegean have the 4 flights rule— that is because LH program requires more miles to be Star Alliance Gold — so people who never flew UA or lived in the US were getting Star Alliance Gold on UA and same with Aegean even though they flew Lufthansa because the requirements were less. ANA also has a minimum flight requirement to be Star Alliance gold.

United may not be able to waive the 4 flights rule, as it may be part of Star alliance rules.
Likes: Neil Maley


Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
@anthony.capponi MILEAGE RUN!!! Seriously. If they say no, find the cheapest round trip ticket from your local airport anywhere and take it. Enjoy a $100 hamburger in the airport. If you take this option, watch your fare code ... for the UA website "To be eligible to qualify for any Premier level, you must fly a minimum of four paid flight segments on flights operated by United and/or United Express during a calendar year. Basic Economy (N) purchases do not count toward the four segment minimum. "

However, you might have a quick bypass if you fly UA a lot from the UA website regarding 4 segment waivers "
Waiver for four-segment minimum

If you hold a MileagePlus Presidential Plus Card or a United MileagePlus Club Card, you are exempt from the four-segment minimum as long as you are the primary Cardmember and your Credit Card account is in good standing at the time of qualification. "

The Presidential Plus Card is closed to new applicants but the Club Card is still open.

Let us know what happens
Sep 19, 2015
Whoops! missed the date in the first email.
I have made many an oops — but you gave great info on getting a card as one way to bypass the 4 segment. If the OP does that and flies one expensive trip they may get the status for the rest of the year— or could ask for a challenge and get status.
Jul 27, 2016
My issue with United is in regards to their MileagePlus Program. I booked a round trip business class flight through United.com for Dec'17 from Houston to Tokyo, Tokyo to Singapore, Singapore to Tokyo, and Tokyo to Houston. I earned Premier Qualifying miles of 50,790
Curious how you'd earn 50,790 PQMs on that trip. It's 19,933 miles, so if you were flying in discounted business, you'd earn 2x PQM, or 39,866, while if you were flying in full fare business or first (F or J), you'd earn 59,799 PQM...
Jun 19, 2018
Sorry I didn't get a notification of all of these posts, just the original response.

I purchased another full round trip business ticket from Houston to Tokyo & Singapore in the beginning of 2018 with United and then emailed the United point of contact provided on this forum. I explained that while I booked the entire 2017 flight through United, I think it is short sighted for them to not grant any status to someone that well exceeded the minimum milage requirement for gold status, as well as the minimum $ amount for platnium status simply bc I flew on ANA and did not meet the 4 flight minimum. I did threaten to switch carriers as I purchased a refundable ticket being business fare, but demonstrated my good faith by purchasing the ticket for 2018 and they granted an exception. While they did not backdate the additional milage I would have earned for my domestic flights in 2018 prior to that email.

I could not go a milage run or get the cc to negated the minimum flight requirement as it was for 2017 miles.

Not sure why the PQM of 50,790 is interesting. I had 1 additional domestic flight. IAH-NRT, HND-SIN, SIN-NRT, NRT-SIN was 49,781 PQM at a 1.5 multiplier. I imagine the only reason that was asked was because they didn't believe the PQM, which is why I provided receipts in the original posting.