United Continental Holdings Inc. is boosting the rewards for premium-cabin travelers for the next seven weeks, following a similar bonus program offered by American Airlines Group Inc.

Starting today and running through Feb. 28, United MileagePlus members may earn as many as 12,000 bonus award miles per flight segment when buying premium fares on long-haul flights. That’s in addition to their usual base award miles earnings and any other normal bonuses, spokeswoman Karen May said.

U.S. airlines are competing to try to win and keep customers who pay the most for travel. American last month sweetened its awards for passengers buying the priciest tickets even as it continues to reward travelers by miles. It hasn’t followed United and Delta Air Lines Inc. which are both shifting in coming months to rewards plans based on ticket cost.

“It’s a way to reward customers and to show that we value them purchasing tickets in our premium cabins,” May said of United’s program.

United Premier 1K MileagePlus members will earn the biggest bonus awards, with fewer points for members with lower status or those flying fewer than 3,000 miles. Customers buying premium- cabin tickets on United or its United Express regional operation, as well as passengers on United-marketed flights operated by partner carriers, are eligible.

Under Chicago-based United’s new permanent rewards program that takes effect March 1, members will earn five to 11 award miles for every dollar spent on fares and surcharges. Previously, customers have earned one award mile per mile flown, with bonuses for business-or first-class passengers. Atlanta- based Delta has adopted similar changes.

With assistance from Mary Schlangenstein in Dallas.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Sasso in Atlanta at msasso9@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net Molly Schuetz, Andrew Pollack.

This article was written by Michael Sasso from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Photo Credit: In this Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, file photo, Holiday travelers check in at the United Airlines ticket counter at Terminal 1 in O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. Nam Y. Huh / AP Photo