United Airlines' Mileage Plus Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Apr 30, 2001, 01:00 ET from United Airlines

    CHICAGO, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines' popular frequent flier
 program Mileage Plus reaches a key milestone this week: its 20th anniversary.
     "It was May 6, 1981 when we launched Mileage Plus, and I don't think
 anyone back then envisioned the enormous longevity, growth and powerful impact
 it would have on the flying public worldwide," said Robert Sahadevan,
 president of Mileage Plus Marketing.
     "From its humble origin during an economic recession, Mileage Plus has
 evolved into a dynamic program in which millions of air travelers worldwide
 earn and redeem miles for air travel, cruises, hotel stays, car rentals and a
 myriad of other attractive purposes," Sahadevan said.
     Today's Mileage Plus program has reached these historic heights:
 
     -- From fewer than 400,000 members in 1981 to more than 40 million members
        today worldwide;
     -- From 15 partners in 1988 to more than 100 in 2001;
     -- More than 1.9 million free-ticket awards flown on United Airlines in
        the year 2000.
 
     The growth of Mileage Plus paralleling the growth of United Airlines has
 been a story of innovative marketing and targeted response to customer needs
 over the past two decades.
     Among the highlights down the memory lane of Mileage Plus have been the
 following:
 
                                 The Early Days
 
     -- 1981 - United launches Mileage Plus;
     -- 1983 - Mileage Plus introduces the Premier program to provide
               additional rewards and recognition for most frequent fliers;
     -- 1984 - Enrollment reaches 2 million members;
     -- 1985 - Mileage Plus introduces Executive level to its Premier program
               providing an even higher level of recognition for the airline's
               most frequent fliers;
     -- 1985 - Mileage Plus introduces automated flight crediting upon
               check-in;
 
                                 The Late 1980s
 
     -- 1986 - United launches Silver Wings program for the senior market;
     -- 1987 - Enrollment reaches 4.5 million members;
     -- 1987 - Mileage Plus First card is launched.  Credit card allows holders
               to earn miles on all credit card purchases;
 
                                The Early 1990s
 
     -- 1990 - Mileage Plus introduces a European award structure as the
               airline begins service to Frankfurt and Paris;
     -- 1992 - Mileage Plus awards are introduced for Caribbean, Central and
               South America following United's new service there;
     -- 1992 - Due to success of the Premier program for 25,000-mile fliers,
               Mileage Plus introduces its highest elite tier which later
               becomes known as Premier Executive 1K denoting customers flying
               United 100,000 miles a year;
     -- 1992 - United introduces "Premier Seating" for Mileage Plus Premier
               members giving them preferential seats in the forward part of
               the cabin;
     -- 1994 - Mileage Plus introduces the Rewards Miles Program for
               corporations to purchase Mileage Plus miles to use in employee
               incentive programs or for customers;
     -- 1994 - Mileage Plus captures numerous awards for frequent flier
               programs including "Best Frequent Traveler Airline Program" from
               Inside Flyer magazine;
     -- 1995 - Mileage Plus enrollment passes 18 million;
     -- 1995 - Mileage Plus collects more awards including USA Today
               International Travel Award for "Best Frequent Flyer Program;"
     -- 1995 - United and Mileage Plus introduce Charity Miles to allow members
               to donate miles to participating charitable organizations;
 
                                 The Late 1990s
 
     -- 1996 - Mileage Plus wins Best Frequent Flyer Program from Business
               Traveler International Magazine;
     -- 1997 - Mileage Plus introduces Million Mile Flyer Program;
     -- 1997 - Qualifying flight miles on Star Alliance partner carriers Air
               Canada, Lufthansa, SAS and Thai Airways begin to count toward
               achieving Premier status in Mileage Plus;
     -- 1998 - Mileage Plus introduces College Plus, a program designed
               specifically for the college traveler to accumulate and cash in
               miles;
     -- 1999 - Mileage Plus introduces a non-expiring policy for members who
               have at least one account activity within a 36-month period;
     -- 1999 - Mileage Plus introduces Personal Miles allowing members to
               purchase miles for their individual Mileage Plus accounts;
     -- 1999 - United and Mileage Plus introduce E-Upgrades for members
               allowing upgrades for passengers on electronic (as opposed to
               paper) tickets;
 
                                The 21st Century
 
     -- 2000 - Mileage Plus introduces My Mileage Plus, a personalized
               electronic communication providing mileage summary, news and
               partner offers via e-mail;
     -- 2001 - Mileage Plus enrollment tops 40 million members worldwide;
     -- 2001 - Mileage Plus celebrates 20 years.
 
     United Airlines serves more of the world's business centers than any other
 airline.  It operates more than 2,300 departures each day on a route network
 that spans the globe.  Mileage Plus, with more than 40 million enrolled
 members, has been named the best frequent flyer program by Business Traveler
 International magazine in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000.  In addition to
 earning miles through flights on United, Mileage Plus members can earn miles
 with over 100 partners, including through credits cards, long distance
 telephone calls, grocery purchases, online stock trading, dining at partner
 restaurants and shopping at partner stores, as just a few examples.  Program
 guidelines are available to customers on United's web site, www.united.com .
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X01158424
 
 

SOURCE United Airlines
    CHICAGO, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines' popular frequent flier
 program Mileage Plus reaches a key milestone this week: its 20th anniversary.
     "It was May 6, 1981 when we launched Mileage Plus, and I don't think
 anyone back then envisioned the enormous longevity, growth and powerful impact
 it would have on the flying public worldwide," said Robert Sahadevan,
 president of Mileage Plus Marketing.
     "From its humble origin during an economic recession, Mileage Plus has
 evolved into a dynamic program in which millions of air travelers worldwide
 earn and redeem miles for air travel, cruises, hotel stays, car rentals and a
 myriad of other attractive purposes," Sahadevan said.
     Today's Mileage Plus program has reached these historic heights:
 
     -- From fewer than 400,000 members in 1981 to more than 40 million members
        today worldwide;
     -- From 15 partners in 1988 to more than 100 in 2001;
     -- More than 1.9 million free-ticket awards flown on United Airlines in
        the year 2000.
 
     The growth of Mileage Plus paralleling the growth of United Airlines has
 been a story of innovative marketing and targeted response to customer needs
 over the past two decades.
     Among the highlights down the memory lane of Mileage Plus have been the
 following:
 
                                 The Early Days
 
     -- 1981 - United launches Mileage Plus;
     -- 1983 - Mileage Plus introduces the Premier program to provide
               additional rewards and recognition for most frequent fliers;
     -- 1984 - Enrollment reaches 2 million members;
     -- 1985 - Mileage Plus introduces Executive level to its Premier program
               providing an even higher level of recognition for the airline's
               most frequent fliers;
     -- 1985 - Mileage Plus introduces automated flight crediting upon
               check-in;
 
                                 The Late 1980s
 
     -- 1986 - United launches Silver Wings program for the senior market;
     -- 1987 - Enrollment reaches 4.5 million members;
     -- 1987 - Mileage Plus First card is launched.  Credit card allows holders
               to earn miles on all credit card purchases;
 
                                The Early 1990s
 
     -- 1990 - Mileage Plus introduces a European award structure as the
               airline begins service to Frankfurt and Paris;
     -- 1992 - Mileage Plus awards are introduced for Caribbean, Central and
               South America following United's new service there;
     -- 1992 - Due to success of the Premier program for 25,000-mile fliers,
               Mileage Plus introduces its highest elite tier which later
               becomes known as Premier Executive 1K denoting customers flying
               United 100,000 miles a year;
     -- 1992 - United introduces "Premier Seating" for Mileage Plus Premier
               members giving them preferential seats in the forward part of
               the cabin;
     -- 1994 - Mileage Plus introduces the Rewards Miles Program for
               corporations to purchase Mileage Plus miles to use in employee
               incentive programs or for customers;
     -- 1994 - Mileage Plus captures numerous awards for frequent flier
               programs including "Best Frequent Traveler Airline Program" from
               Inside Flyer magazine;
     -- 1995 - Mileage Plus enrollment passes 18 million;
     -- 1995 - Mileage Plus collects more awards including USA Today
               International Travel Award for "Best Frequent Flyer Program;"
     -- 1995 - United and Mileage Plus introduce Charity Miles to allow members
               to donate miles to participating charitable organizations;
 
                                 The Late 1990s
 
     -- 1996 - Mileage Plus wins Best Frequent Flyer Program from Business
               Traveler International Magazine;
     -- 1997 - Mileage Plus introduces Million Mile Flyer Program;
     -- 1997 - Qualifying flight miles on Star Alliance partner carriers Air
               Canada, Lufthansa, SAS and Thai Airways begin to count toward
               achieving Premier status in Mileage Plus;
     -- 1998 - Mileage Plus introduces College Plus, a program designed
               specifically for the college traveler to accumulate and cash in
               miles;
     -- 1999 - Mileage Plus introduces a non-expiring policy for members who
               have at least one account activity within a 36-month period;
     -- 1999 - Mileage Plus introduces Personal Miles allowing members to
               purchase miles for their individual Mileage Plus accounts;
     -- 1999 - United and Mileage Plus introduce E-Upgrades for members
               allowing upgrades for passengers on electronic (as opposed to
               paper) tickets;
 
                                The 21st Century
 
     -- 2000 - Mileage Plus introduces My Mileage Plus, a personalized
               electronic communication providing mileage summary, news and
               partner offers via e-mail;
     -- 2001 - Mileage Plus enrollment tops 40 million members worldwide;
     -- 2001 - Mileage Plus celebrates 20 years.
 
     United Airlines serves more of the world's business centers than any other
 airline.  It operates more than 2,300 departures each day on a route network
 that spans the globe.  Mileage Plus, with more than 40 million enrolled
 members, has been named the best frequent flyer program by Business Traveler
 International magazine in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000.  In addition to
 earning miles through flights on United, Mileage Plus members can earn miles
 with over 100 partners, including through credits cards, long distance
 telephone calls, grocery purchases, online stock trading, dining at partner
 restaurants and shopping at partner stores, as just a few examples.  Program
 guidelines are available to customers on United's web site, www.united.com .
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X01158424
 
 SOURCE  United Airlines