United Airlines will soon bring back the ability to buy or renew membership in the United Club by using MileagePlus miles, according to UA Insider’s post on Flyertalk this morning.
Also returning will be the ability to purchase annual subscriptions for Economy Plus, as well as an annual option for checked bags. Here’s the synopsis from UA Insider:
- United Club: We’re re-introducing the option to purchase a full-year United Club membership with award miles. Pricing starts at 40,000 miles (or $400), depending on Premier status.
- Economy Plus: We’re also re-introducing the option to purchase Economy Plus for a full year, with the notable difference that we’ll have different pricing and eligibility by region (domestic 48, North America, intra-Asia, etc.).
- Checked baggage: Customers will have the new option to purchase 1 or 2 checked bags for an entire year. Pricing will vary based on number of bags and region.
These offers are currently available on United’s Preview site (a beta-test site) with the official rollout to come in the next couple of weeks.
I generally don’t think people should burn miles for a lounge membership (they have a greater value for flight redemptions), but I have in the past when I was mileage rich and cash poor. It makes sense for some people (and for more reasons than my own), and several MileagePlus members were upset when this ability went away a year or so ago. At that time, here were the rates:
- General Member: 62,500 miles
- Premier: 60,000 miles
- Premier Executive: 50,000 miles
- 1K: 47,500 miles
Those with access to United’s Preview site are reporting that the 40k level isn’t showing up at any status level, so there are apparently still bugs to be worked out.
The region-based fees for Economy Plus are reportedly $499 for the Continental U.S., $599 for North and Central America, $499 for Intra-Asia only and $699 for Global access for one person.
I haven’t seen reports yet on what the checked baggage rates will be.
Stay tuned to this thread for updates if you’re interested.