Last year my family members and I each traveled about just under 21000 miles (into and out of the US) with United Airlines, but neither of us created an account or anything when booking these flights. Was just wondering whether myself or my family are now eligible for any discounts or anything that could potentially get us lower prices on United if we were to fly them again this year.

I suspect there may be mileage programs, but even if there is one I'm really unsure as to how they fully work as I've never really taken part in one before. Many thanks.

  • 3
    Too late now, but you blew away a free flight each by not signing up.
    – Aganju
    Jun 4, 2017 at 12:26
  • @Aganju United MP moved to a revenue-based system a few years ago, so the distance traveled is essentially irrelevant nowadays.
    – choster
    Jun 5, 2017 at 14:01
  • Yes and no, @choster - there is still a correlation between distance and price. They probably didn't fly so far for a 100 bucks.
    – Aganju
    Jun 5, 2017 at 15:06
  • These days .. anything under 150,000 miles in a year is nothing, and the "frequent flyer rofl" programs are just a straightforward scam. 20 or 30 thousand is not even worth googling about, it's unfortunately nothing.
    – Fattie
    Oct 14, 2018 at 15:11

2 Answers 2


According to the Mileageplus FAQs

Can I receive credit for trips taken before I had a MileagePlus account?
You may receive mileage credit for United-operated flights taken up to 30 days prior to your enrollment date free of charge. No mileage credit will be given for partner flights.

You may also receive mileage credit for United-operated flights taken between 31 days and six months prior to enrollment for a $50 service fee.

You could use the miles you earned via that route to obtain free or reduced cost flights potentially. There is no other benefit that would allow you to achieve discounts due to your previous flying on UA.


Probably not worth it, even if you have still all relevant documentation and are willing to pay the service fee. Over the last two years United has significantly de-valued their loyalty program.

  • To gain the lowest status "Premier Silver" you need to fly 25000 status miles AND spend at least 3000 "qualifying" dollars. The latter one is particularly tricky since flying on Star Alliance partners almost never counts.
  • The exact rules for the accrual of status miles, award miles and qualifying spent are quite complex and have little to do any more with the actual miles flown.
  • Economy Saver Award for a domestic round trip costs typically 25,000 award miles.
  • In addition you have to pay fees and taxes. Especially for international trips this often exceeds $100, which greatly diminishes the value of the miles

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