MIAMI – To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the MileagePlus program, United Airlines (UA) is giving away four million miles to essential healthcare workers.

The contest will award one million miles to four worthy healthcare employees. Additionally, United is thanking MileagePlus members all over the world with domestic and foreign fare sales, surprise customer giveaways, and ten exclusive MileagePlus partner promotions.

Image: United Airlines


According to the airline, UA customers may nominate from now until May 17, 2021, any frontline healthcare worker in the United States who goes “above and beyond” to make a difference in his or her community and embodies some of the airline’s following core values:

  • Safe: They make the world a safer place for everyone around them.
  • Caring: They show appreciation for all members of their community by being welcoming, kind and compassionate.
  • Dependable: They’re the person you can rely on for anything, big or small.
  • Determined (Efficient): They keep things going even when the going gets tough.

A jury of expert judges, including Dr. Pat Baylis, UA’s corporate medical director, Luc Bondar, and Dr. Jim Merlino, Cleveland Clinic’s chief clinical transformation officer, will review submissions.

Customers can nominate an important healthcare worker and learn more about the contest at Customers must write a brief description about why this individual, or themselves, deserves recognition.

In June, four winners will be named, each receiving one million MileagePlus miles, which, like all MileagePlus miles, never expire, allowing them to book award flights to over 1,000 destinations.

United Airlines Boeing 767. Photo: Loan Alonso Gil/Airways

Comments from United Airlines

“Throughout the past forty years, MileagePlus has evolved to meet the ever-changing needs of our members as well as reward their loyalty,” said Luc Bondar, vice president of marketing & loyalty and president of MileagePlus at UA.

“That’s why we celebrate this major milestone by offering our members generous promotions throughout May. We’re also taking this occasion to launch the contest to show appreciation for the healthcare workers who stepped up to protect our communities during the pandemic.”

United Airlines transported more than 3,000 healthcare employees to COVID-19 hotspots across the United States and Guam in 2020.

United unveiled MileagePlus on May 5, 1981, just four days after American Airlines (AA) premiered its AAdvantage program. Then, in 1983, UA launched its Premier program, followed by its first loyalty credit card in 1987. In 2019, the airline revealed that MileagePlus award miles would never expire, and MileagePlus Premier members would receive PlusPoints, allowing its customers more choice in how they travel.

Featured image: United Airlines N648UA Boeing 767-300ER. Photo: Sean Brink/Airways