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United Airlines

Introducing new value-based qualifying metrics for loyalty members

Travel credit


  • Project scope: 6 months
  • Role: Product manager/business analyst
  • Product type: Responsive web (desktop, tablet, mobile), Mobile app
  • Tools: Pen, paper, JIRA, Zeplin, Confluence, Slack

The United Airlines loyalty program, MileagePlus, is split between two main sections – general members and Premier members. Premier members get extra benefits for being loyal to United, and the benefits increase as your status increases. Before 2020, Premier members would reach each status level through premier qualifying miles, dollars, and segments that are earned through flight and ancillary purchases.

The Loyalty team stakeholders revamped the Premier program starting in 2020 to have new value-based qualifiers for member status, resulting in a need to redesign My Account experience for United’s responsive web and mobile app.

The challenge

Redesign the My Account landing page and activity page experiences for responsive web and mobile app to account for the new value-based qualifications while also incorporating solutions to other customer pain points received through user feedback.

  • Design needs to clearly show Premier progress with value-based qualifying metrics.
  • Welcome modal with helper text easing members into the new program.
  • Dynamically display current member benefits and future benefits at next status level to increase desire to reach status.
  • Ensure all activity line items are updated with new qualifiers through detailed service mapping.
  • Solution for 2019 and 2020 activity to coexist.
  • Provide more clear direction on requesting receipts post-travel.
  • Update all endpoints for API calls to new services.
  • Ensure timelines are being met for strict release date.
  • Strategize on enhancements to include based on previous user testing feedback and customer comments.

What I did

  • 1:1 discussions with stakeholders to understand current needs and wanted enhancements
  • Lead two different Scrum DEV teams throughout the project
  • Requirements gathering
  • Analyzed backend service with JSON file examples
  • Assisted in service mapping for activity line items
  • Story mapping
  • User story writing
  • Listed acceptance criteria for features
  • Lead grooming/kick-offs/desk-checks
  • Managed backlog prioritization
  • Continuous communication between DEV and QA teams during development
  • Facilitated discussions between product DEV team and backend services team
  • Performed Product Owner review, quality and usability assurance testing, and sign-off on stories
  • Cross-communication between digital teams
  • Release planning coordination

The result

We released in January 2020 with both responsive web and mobile app. We included a welcome modal explaining the new value-based qualifications and experience in My Account. This new design provided a much cleaner look to the My Account landing page and created a more seamless experience. Previously some sections were at half page width and with various background colors. The UX was updated to have all sections at full width for easier eye movement down the page. Outside of the main need with redesigning the experience to have value-based qualifications, we also added stakeholder wants, like the benefits section, and customer needs, like the receipts section.

In the future iterations, we would like to bring a new status tracking experience into the responsive web My Account landing page that is similar to the tracking dial experience mobile app has. This way users can have a visual of how close they are until their next status level which may help influence them to fly more.

Final value-based qualifications UX design by May Cheng with my annotations:

New United Airlines landing page