Updated June 22, 2020.
It happened! My sweet husband is officially a “Million Miler” with United Airlines. He crossed over the million mile mark on our recent flight from Auckland, New Zealand (AKL), to San Francisco, USA. and I could not be more proud of him. What is that and what does it mean for us? Read on!
What is the Mileage Plus Million Miler Program?
The Mileage Plus Million Miler Program (aka: the Million Miler Program) rewards loyalty in a way that goes beyond typical airline loyalty. United is in the Star Alliance, meaning that no matter which airline you fly within the Alliance, you will earn reward miles and status (Silver, Gold, Platinum, or 1K with United’s Mileage Plus Program) for the following year.
However, for Million Miler mileage accruals, you must be flying on United equipment (aka: a United airplane as opposed to any other plane belonging to a Star Alliance member airline). So, Million Miler status is a little harder to achieve in that regard, since other member airline miles don’t count toward that status.
How Long Did It Take to Earn Million Miler Status?
This is different for everyone. Steve switched to United loyalty shortly after moving to D.C. in 2007, since Dulles International Airport (IAD) is a United hub. He signed up for the program earlier and certainly accrued a few miles prior to that, but that is the year he switched his loyalty from Delta and the One World Alliance to United and the Star Alliance. He started aiming for 1K (flying 100,000 miles in a year) around that time, and it took around 11 years to achieve 1 million miles on United!
What Are the Benefits?
So why bother? For life-long the benefits, my friends! When someone reaches 1 million miles on United, they are officially “Gold for Life” on the entire Star Alliance. To have Gold status, one must fly a minimum of 50,000 miles per year and meet a minimum spend. But with Million Miler status, Steve will always have Gold status, even without meeting the minimum requirements. That means:
- Access to Any Star Alliance Lounge when traveling internationally (complimentary food and beverages, comfortable seating, wi-fi, work stations, quiet areas for sleeping, sometimes luggage storage, and if you’re lucky, you’ll find the best lounge amenity of all: SHOWERS!)
- Priority Check-in at the airport (a shorter line)
- Priority Boarding (early boarding)
- Priority Baggage Handling (checked luggage should come off the plane sooner)
- Priority Airport Stand-by
- Extra Baggage Allowance
- Possible Gate Upgrades (last minute upgrades)
The Best Benefit of All?
A Million Miler can designate a “companion” who gets all the benefits and matches the Million Miler’s status, too! That means that whatever status Steve has going forward (Gold, Platinum, or 1K), I will also have as his companion! So, since Steve already has 1K status for this year, I also have 1K status, even though I didn’t earn it myself. It’s a gift! And no matter what, we will never dip below Gold status on the Star Alliance.
So What’s Next?
Steve and I think we will be pretty satisfied with Million Miler status, but for those of you with loftier goals, United offers:
- 2 Million Miles: Lifetime Platinum Status
- 3 Million Miles: Lifetime 1K Status
- 4 Million Miles: Lifetime Global Services Status
Want more information? Check out the Mileage Plus Million Miler Program Page!
And for everything you need about flying, visit my Air Travel Page!
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