Much virtual ink is being spilled hand wringing over United’s announcement yesterday that they would be following USAirways’ lead in no longer awarding 500 miles as a minimum for short flights. They’ll be awarding actual miles flown instead, and this change applies to both base miles and elite qualifying miles.
This means that those East Coast to California mileage runs can’t be supercharged with a few extra intra-California segments.
What it also means – for me – is that whenever I have flights meaningfully less than 500 miles I won’t be crediting those segments to Mileage Plus or to Dividend Miles. Instead, I’ll likely be crediting another Star Alliance program (bmi Diamond Club, no doubt).
It is possible, though admittedly a potential pain, to to credit more than one program on a single itinerary. I’ll have to pull up my notes on how this is done technically if anyone turns out to be interested in the strategy. (I don’t like to pull my Mileage Plus number entirely from the reservation since I will want to credit the longer flights to them in order to retain status, and I’ll want to use status benefits on the itinerary of course.)