Sunday, May 25, 2008

United's Bogus Rationale

I was just going through some old email and came across this missive from United:

"To ensure that Mileage Plus miles earned toward elite status and award travel on United are aligned with actual miles flown, we are revising our base accrual policy. Beginning July 1, 2008, for flights of less than 500 miles, passengers will earn redeemable miles equal to the actual miles flown. Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) will also be awarded based on actual miles."

It almost sounds reasonable, doesn't it. Only get miles for miles you fly. However, think of it this way. In my experience, the only flights I take of less than 500 miles are shuttle flights like LGA-BOS and LGA-DCA/IAD. On a cost/mile flown, these are among the most expensive flights operating. American at least has the decency to peg its points (as compared to its miles) to fare basis. United is now giving its flyers a double-whammy. High per mile charges *and* fewer miles.

This would bother me more but I almost never fly United any more. After over a million miles on United, I gave up on them a few years ago. I'll probably get into that with other posts but at least I don't have to muster the vitriol about United's actions the way I do American's these days.

As an aside, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised but I guess I am that I haven't heard from United. Something along the lines of "hey, you used to be Global Services, you were VIP before we even formalized the Global Services program, you were good for 50-150,000 miles/year and now you've fallen off the face of the earth. What happened?" You'd think they'd care. You'd think they'd notice. Perhaps they lost sight of what the whole value of LOYALTY programs were all about.

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