United Hands Out Free Frequent Flyer Miles To Healthcare Workers

To celebrate 40 years of the MileagePlus program this month, United Airlines will hand out four million frequent flyer miles to essential healthcare workers. Four lucky winners will be gifted one million miles each, while a range of promotions and sales throughout May will reward MileagePlus members.

United Boeing 737-800
United will reward four essential healthcare workers with a million miles each. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

A million frequent flyer miles for each winner

United will run a frequent flyer miles competition this month aimed at essential healthcare workers. The airline will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its MileagePlus frequent flyer program by giving away four million miles to four healthcare workers.

United supported healthcare workers throughout 2020 by flying over 3,000 workers around the U.S and Guam in the fight against COVID-19. Winners will get a million miles each which can be redeemed for flights to over 1,000 destinations.

United Boeing 767-400ER
The airline is offering a range of promotions to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the MileagePlus program. Photo: Getty Images

Luc Bondar, Vice President of Marketing & Loyalty and President of MileagePlus at United, said,

“We’re taking this occasion to launch the contest to show appreciation for the healthcare workers who stepped up to protect our communities during the pandemic.”

From now until May 17, 2021, customers can nominate a healthcare worker of their choice for the contest. All nominations will be assessed by a team of experts, including Dr. Pat Baylis, corporate medical director at United, Dr. Jim Merlino, chief clinical transformation officer at Cleveland Clinic, and Luc Bondar.

“To nominate an essential healthcare worker and for the full contest terms, customers can visit united.com/essentialthanks and write a short explanation of why this person, or themself, deserves recognition. No purchase necessary.”

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A month of member promotions

United will also launch several promotions for members of the MileagePlus program. The airline’s award-winning frequent flyer program will offer several sales and promotions throughout May, with more offers to be announced in due course.

United 787-8
New promotions and sales will be announced throughout May. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Promotions include:

  • 40% Off Miles: From May 5th to May 10th, members can purchase miles at a 40% discount.
  • MileagePlus X eGift Cards: 2x miles on eGift cards from 40 select brands from the United MileagePlus X(SM) app until May 31st.
  • United Cruises: Earn up to 7 miles per $1 spent, plus up to 40,000 bonus miles on select cruise lines, until May 31st.
  • Villas of Distinction: Earn up to 3 miles per $1 spent and up to $4,000 in Destination Dollars for villa bookings until May 31st.

A complete list of promotions can be found here.

United’s MileagePlus program

United launched the MileagePlus program in May 1981, soon after rivals American Airlines introduced its AAdvantage program. MileagePlus, which is supported in some capacity by all 28 members of the Star Alliance, was named the 2020 Best Frequent Flyer Program by Global Traveler for the 17th consecutive year.

United Hands Out Free Frequent Flyer Miles To Healthcare Workers
United’s MileagePlus program is frequently lauded as one of the world’s best. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

After making several unpopular changes during a program revamp in 2012, United declared that all Mileage Plus miles would never expire and introduced PlusPoints for its MileagePlus Premier members in 2019. The airline has used the MileagePlus program for charitable causes, donating 3.4 billion miles to charity organizations since 2003.

Are you a member of the MileagePlus program? Do you think the program deserves all the awards it receives? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.