United adds a new perk for elite flyers: In-flight magazines sent straight to your mailbox

Aug 1, 2020

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To reduce the amount of touchpoints while traveling, many airlines have gotten rid of their beloved in-flight magazines. Sadly, you won’t be able to find them in the back of your seat pocket any longer — at least while flying during the pandemic.

Related: Airline in-flight magazines are being pulled. Will they return after the pandemic?

Hemispheres, the award-winning magazine found on the seat back of all United Airlines planes, stopped publishing in April. The magazine has been (and will continue to be) available digitally on their website.

But United recently announced that it would start mailing copies to its elite members, specifically belonging to United MileagePlus Premier Platinum, Premier 1K and Global Services, starting in August. These issues are part of their “Hemi at Home” series. They will still feature familiar content from normal issues, ranging from route maps to crossword puzzles.

While the physical magazine won’t be available for the vast majority of flyers, the hope is that advertisers can slowly reintroduce their revenue streams.

Flying looks quite different from it did at the beginning of the year, as in-flight service and amenities are much more limited. But as people are eager to travel again, Hemi at Home provides readers with content they can still appreciate.

United, like many other airlines, has taken several measures to keep its elite members happy and maintain their loyalty. For starters, United extended their Premier elite status and announced a bonus for earning Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) through credit card spending back in April. These changes aim to help members earn their way to higher elite status levels, but from the comfort of their own homes.

Bottom line

Airlines have had to adapt their loyalty programs, from changing offerings to lowering status thresholds for aspiring elite members. United mailing its in-flight magazine to its most loyal customers is a nice touch, reminding them of the once-familiar days of travel.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

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