My fiancé has been carefully plotting her 2011 path to Premier, with her plan being to get over 25,000 EQMs about a week before the end of December. She didn't realize how close she was on segments, and apparently if you're a half segment short of Premier, there's a good chance that United will give you an early status bump. That's what happened to her.
Take a look at the screenshot. She's 0.5 segments short of the 30 segments required for Premier Status, and she's already listed as a Premier member.
For those on the edge, though, I wouldn't recommend praying for a bump in status from United. Typically you have to be REALLY close for them to grant you mercy, and even then, it's not guaranteed.