United backpedaled a bit on their Mileage Plus program update from Tuesday this week and issued the following revision to the Confirmed Regional Upgrade (CR1) program:
Frankly, I’m surprised United caved in so fast. As I mentioned in Tuesday’s post, we nearly had them eliminated when Unlimited Domestic Upgrades (UDU) began, and they promptly retracted that decision over backlash from 1Ks. The CR1s are a nice perk, as many know, because they allow us to upgrade anytime after ticketing a reservation (assuming upgrade space is available), versus the UDU program which applies only within 100-hours of flight time and excludes the JFK-SFO/LAX flights. The other issues of higher-caliber importance, in my opinion, are whether or not the new United will keep Economy Plus seating, if international first class will go-away in favor of Continentals “Business First” product, and how the elite tier structure will evolve with the varied mileage and segment requirements.
What I’m saying is we have to choose our battles wisely. While it is nice that United threw us back a bone, they can still restrict our ability to use the CR1s by limiting the advance upgrade inventory. This is just the beginning of what will likely be many more changes throughout the upcoming year, so let’s keep our focus and hopes high for news on the critical issues.