United Airlines is giving its frequent-flier customers a reprieve from having to fret over expiring miles.
Effective immediately, MileagePlus award miles never expire, giving members a lifetime to use miles on flights, experiences, hotels and more, according to the airline.
Previously, United travelers’ miles expired if their accounts remained inactive for 18 months.
United joins Delta Air Lines and JetBlue, which also don’t impose a deadline to redeem miles. American Airlines requires customers to earn or redeem miles every 18 months to keep miles from expiring. Expired miles at American can be reactivated within 18 months of expiration for a fee.
United offers customers more ways than other airlines to earn and use miles, says Luc Bondar, vice president of loyalty and president of MileagePlus at United. More customers used miles to book award trips in 2018 than in any year before, he adds.
"We want to demonstrate to our members that we are committing to them for the long haul, and giving customers a lifetime to use miles is an exceptionally meaningful benefit," Bondar says in a release.
The airline has made other recent enhancements to its MileagePlus program, including a partnership with Clear that includes free or discounted Clear membership pricing for U.S.-based MileagePlus members. Competitor Delta has had an exclusive relationship with Clear since 2016.
United claims to offer award travel to more destinations than any other U.S. airline, with service to more than 1,300 destinations through United and Star Alliance partners, and ability to book award travel on United and all Star Alliance partners through the United mobile app.