My letter to United. And I was so pissed when I was on the phone that I actually started to tremble.
19 May 2005 United Airline Customer Relations
P.O. Box 66100
Chicago, IL 60666
I have been a United customer and Mileage Plus member for almost eighteen years. I’ve always had a good experience with United and United Mileage Plus, but I am writing to you today to let you know that I am very unhappy with a recent experience with United and United Mileage Plus.
“Because a little loyalty goes a long way.” That’s the tag line on your website for the Around the World promotion for flyers out of the Washington DC area. I participated in that promotion and earned 8 credits. Today I decided to redeem those credits for the free round trip I had earned. I went to your website and that’s where I made a mistake. I hit the button to redeem 4 credits which is only one regional domestic ticket. I wasn’t sure what “regional domestic” meant, but thought I could use it go to go Colorado to visit my parents. And then I really made a mistake by confirming what I wanted, without ever know that a “regional domestic” ticket meant a ticket good for destinations within 800 miles. That’s not enough for Colorado. When I found that out, I contacted United Mileage Plus via phone to see if I could fix it. The lady who helped me was very nice, but very firm in telling me that I had made the mistake and there was nothing she could do about it. And there was nothing I could do about it either. I couldn’t send the redemption back, get the 4 credits back, and then get the 8 credit award ticket. I couldn’t even redeem the other 4 credit award and then combine the two 4 credit awards for one 8 credit domestic round trip ticket. Four plus four didn’t equal eight. Dumbfounded, I asked for customer relations. I called customer relations and another nice lady listened to my problem and confirmed that there was nothing she could do either. She did offer to send me a discount for a future flight, but a $150 off is not the same as a domestic round trip ticket.
“Because a little loyalty goes a long way.” That’s what the promotion said. I make a point to fly United whenever I can. That’s loyalty. When I tried to redeem the award that I had earned, I couldn’t because of a simple mistake and an unyielding and unsympathetic system. That’s not what loyalty’s about. Now I’m not sure I’ll be making that much of an effort to fly United in the future.
Bitter and mad customer (actually my real name).