United Airlines is making the same sort of shift Delta previously announced; starting early next year MileagePlus points for flights will be awarded based on the price of tickets rather than the distance flown. Passengers will get anywhere from 5 to 11 points per dollar spent, depending on their elite status (or lack of it). United will also make the points more easily spendable for certain types of upgrades...details to come. Click HERE for more details.
As we've pointed out before: These changes mainly affect passengers who earn their points by flying; for those of us who collect miles mainly through credit card purchases and bonuses, it will have little effect. Right now, it's possible to collect 30-40,000 points in sign-up bonuses on Chase credit cards co-branded with United or using Chase's "Ultimate Rewards," which can exchange 1:1 for a number of airline programs.
So, American is now the only major "legacy" U.S. airline with a mileage-based AAward (couldn't resist...) program. Many industry observers think that will change, especially if Delta and United are successful with their programs.