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United Airlines Has a Gift for Rewards Program Members

TheStreet 3 days ago Jena Greene
© Provided by TheStreet

The airline has been steadily growing its rewards programs to the delight of its customers.

It's no secret that airlines had a difficult 2022. Between egregious trip delays and cancellations, software meltdowns, and skyrocketing ticket prices, weary travelers are looking for good news in what's gearing up to be another busy travel year.

Thanks to a continued return to regular travel and declining fuel prices, Delta  (DAL) - Get Free Report, United  (UAL) - Get Free Report, American  (AAL) - Get Free Report, and Southwest  (LUV) - Get Free Report are gearing up for a good year for the bottom line. And at least one airline seems to paying some of that success forward. 

Earlier this month, Delta announced it would be bringing back its fancy dessert cart for Delta One members. You'd need to pay a pretty penny to get access to those premier perks, but travelers like to have the option; it's always a good sign when airlines are actively working to improve their in-flight experience. 

Now, United Airlines will one-up Delta's promo and will bring back a perk not seen since 2019 -- before the pandemic decimated travel and yanked away the many member benefits we held dear. 

United Airlines Revitalizes a Beloved 2019 Perk

For some travelers, status means everything. And United knows that -- its popular United Premier program allows fliers access to Economy Plus seating, upgrades, waived fees, priority access, eligibility for upgrades and free checked bags. That program stuck around during the pandemic, but now fliers are able to show off their status as they travel. 

Those who qualified for Premier status in 2022 are now able to request a United Premier luggage tag on their MileagePlus account. The tag, now made from recycled materials, help travelers signal that they prefer flying United and may help them access preferential treatment while flying. 

Tag perks include: 

  • Status. More than anything United tags are a status symbol to demonstrate a flyer's loyalty to an airline. 
  • Possibly preferential treatment. Some fliers report getting better service when their tags are on display. 
  • Your bag could be loaded onto the carousel first, depending on who loads the baggage cart. 
  • Bag identity. It'll be easier to find your bag with a unique tag on it. 

Orders will take between 8-10 weeks to process, so be sure to order the luggage tag soon if you're planning a trip. Simply log into your United MileagePlus account and click on the "View Premier status tracker" option. There is no cost to order. 

It's worth noting that United probably won't be sending out welcome packages each year as the airline did in the past. There are now more Premier members than ever before, and the airline expects its various loyalty programs to grow. 

"New members into the Mileage Plus program relative to where you were in 2019, I think we’re up about 50% in the same time period in 2022," Executive VP Andrew Nocella said in the Q4 2022 earnings call this month. "So all of that’s moving in the right direction."

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