United extends Premier status for those affected by Tel Aviv cuts

United Airlines Extends Premier Elite Status for Select Flyers

United Airlines has announced that it will extend Premier elite status for travelers affected by the airline’s suspension of flights to Tel Aviv, Israel. The extension will match the existing tier and will be valid through January 31, 2025, with no additional flying required. Premier Platinum and Premier 1K members will also receive a deposit of 40 or 320 PlusPoints, respectively, once the status extension is processed in January.

The criteria for eligibility for the status extension include those based in Israel and travelers who frequently fly one of United’s four routes between the U.S. and Israel. United is the largest U.S. airline serving Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport, offering up to four daily flights between the U.S. and Israel before the Israel-Hamas war broke out. This made United the second-largest carrier in the market, following Israeli flag carrier El Al.

El Al is currently the only airline operating flights between the U.S. and Israel, as American, Delta, and United indefinitely suspended their flights in October following the attack on Israel. While El Al continues to operate flights to the U.S., it remains uncertain when the U.S. airlines will return to the market. United has stated that it will resume flights to Tel Aviv when conditions allow.

Given United’s significant presence in the market, extending elite status to affected travelers is a logical move. The airline has a substantial number of Israel-based Premiers who prefer flying with United over its competitors. The status extension should help United maintain goodwill with its loyal customers, even if its flights to Tel Aviv are not operating currently.

It remains to be seen if American Airlines or Delta Air Lines will match United’s move. However, if either airline decides to extend elite status, it is expected that Delta will be the first to do so. Delta is the second-largest U.S. airline in Tel Aviv, operating three routes to the city from Atlanta, Boston, and New York. In contrast, American only operates one daily flight between New York and Tel Aviv.

In conclusion, United Airlines is extending Premier elite status to select flyers affected by the suspension of flights to Tel Aviv, Israel. This move is aimed at maintaining customer loyalty and goodwill during a challenging period for air travel to the region. Other major U.S. airlines may follow suit, with Delta likely to be the next to make a similar announcement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *