Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Short Shelf-Life of "Lifetime" United Airlines Benefits

The complaints of us and of others about the way United Airlines has broken commitments post-merger to its Million Mile Flyers are now being discussed by the Wall Street Journal Middle Seat columnist, Scott McCartney, in an extended comment on his blog, including quotes from fellow FlyerTalkers.

McCartney offers a fair and balanced approach, offering both sides of the story, which can be read here.

While we won't get down in the weeds too much right now, we'll point out that Mr. Jeff Foland, the new young president of UA's MileagePlus program, is quoted as making statements that are untrue in one instance and somewhat misleading or even disingenuous in another.

Contributors to the relevant FlyerTalk thread are speculating more about the possibility of a class action lawsuit, and Mr Foland's comments have provided grist for the mill.

We can only hope that common sense, and a sense of what is moral and right, prevail at United and that they "grandfather" the benefits of us pre-merger Million Mile Flyers, notwithstanding the extent to which their new corporate objective may be to devalue their entire loyalty program.

A professional writer and blogger back in August 2010 described the conflicting pre-merger cultures at UA and CO regarding their respective loyalty programs with great prescience, at least up to his overly-optimistic final paragraph. It seems obvious that the CO attitude has prevailed.

We'll just have to wait and see.

1 comment:

Dennis Warner said...

I remember the Dennis the Menace cartoon when Mr. Wilson paid Dennis twenty-five cents for lemonade, advertised by Dennis as "all you can drink." After one cup Mr. Wilson asked for more and when Dennis refused Mr. Wilson replied, "But you said all you can drink." "Yes," said Dennis. "That's all you can drink for twenty-five cents." Funny in the cartoon but not so funny when United behaves so dishonestly. I'd say a deal is a deal and they'd better come up with a grandfathering system or risk having a court order it.