United just announced that they will allow unlimited complimentary upgrades for all Mileage Plus elite members. Not only that, but in an email from United, they make the elite benefits of the Mileage Plus program pretty clear vs. the competition. We haven’t seen this aggressive of competitive positioning (by name, no less) from an airline in a long time - remember the Shuttle wars?
How long will it take American to match this change for AAdvantage members? We bet not too long - UA and AA match pretty much everything the other does in the loyalty space within days. And what of United’s newest Star partner, Continental? They dont fare too well in this (decidedly one-sided) accounting - but we bet United would love to have a lot of CO passengers start crediting over to UA….