Well, this is a nice surprise! I am not sure what is behind it, but United Airlines has started giving free elite status and economy plus subscriptions to many people! Find out what the gifts are and how to see if you were targeted!
United Giving out Free Elite Status & Economy Plus Seats
It appears, according to this Flyertalk thread, that United is sending free elite status to many members who previously held status or bumping them up from their current status.
What I Got and Why?
The last status I held with United was their top tier Premier 1K, but that expired over a year ago (I switched to Aegean for Star Alliance and American for oneworld). As much as I would have liked to get another round of high status like that (mostly for the free award redeposits and the faster customer service), getting some elite status is pretty neat!
And, that is what I got – free elite status. I received Premier Silver, United’s lowest status, through February of 2017. While Silver really does not give me anything special, especially since I have Star Alliance Gold with my Aegean Gold status, it is nice to have for the reduced award fees – things like award changes that are made more than 21 days from the trip are now free, lower fees for redeposits, close-in changes, and close-in booking fees. Since I mostly book with my United miles for family trips, it is really nice to have some of these lower fees available to me.
Free Economy Plus Subscriptions
The other gift that United is giving out (which I did not get) is a subscription for Economy Plus seats. This normally costs $499 for the whole elite year and is valid through February 0f 2017 for those that are targeted with it. Unlike the elite status, United is sending out e-mails to the targeted members of this gift. This gift allows you to select Economy Plus seats for your United flights at no charge, which is great if you fly with United!
How to See if you are Targeted
For the elite status, I had to login to see that. So, go to this United page and enter your MileagePlus information. Once logged in, it would show your “new” status if you were targeted. If you have it, congrats! It is yours through the end of this program year (January 31, 2017)!
For the subscriptions, you can either check by going to this link and logging in, or you can search your e-mail for a message from United that says “Economy Plus” in it somewhere. If you go that, congrats to you and enjoy the extra legroom!
This is likely to turn into other situations that we have seen over the years – excitement from those who were targeted and anger/frustration from those who are already loyal to United and did not get anything. In the end, this all goes away in February and United will hope that their kind gesture to those who they targeted will result in new customers. For me, that is not going to happen but still nice to get free elite status anyway!