Letters – August, 19 2002

Letters – August, 19 2002

Class Action Reality
I just received my Wolens Claim Certificates and, as I was getting ready to cash in some miles for a trip, thought how timely that I would get this settlement that would save me 10,000 miles, 5,000 each for two of us. However, using the certificates would require me to cash in more miles than not using the certificates. I was rather incensed and called the “claims Administrator” number. After listening to a numbing monologue of trivial questions, I finally left a phone message with the “Claims Administrator” inquiring why using the certificate would end up costing me more miles than not using the certificate.

I then searched the web to find out more about this whole situation. (WebFlyer.com) was about the fifth (site) that I visited and I am happy to say, it clarified everything for me.

Once again, the lawyers win. Lawyers must love class-action suits as they are the only ones who really win the suits. It always looks as if the consumer is making out, but once the settlement is examined, we find out that once again, we’ve been had.
-Patricia Ripley

Your article on the United Web Site was not entirely accurate. Mac users, like me, constantly encounter problems such as overlapping graphics on pages that make it hard to read and navigate. Also, you can’t do a full-fare search because of an obstacle for electronic certificates is presented. But if you have no electronic certificates, then you’re stuck.

I’ve called the United tech support several times over the last six months and all they say is that they are working on it.

Can you shed any light on this? Thanks.
-Tommy Murov

Editor’s note:
Our in-house technical support team was unable to come up with an explanation. We are a Mac-centric company. All research for the Web review was undertaken using Macs and we incurred none of your mentioned problems.

Southwest A Shining Example
Kenneth Stevens complains (December letters) about a stealth mileage cap on his Mileage Plus Visa card. I had a similar problem with Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Visa card, which is also issued by First USA Bank. But in my case, First USA has been printing a paragraph on each monthly bill prominently and incorrectly stating that every purchase gives you Reward Dollars and every 1,000 Reward Dollars give you one Southwest credit. No asterisks, no qualifications of any kind.

After getting nowhere with First USA’s staff for my complaint that I should have been able to rely on this paragraph, I wrote to the head of Southwest’s Customer Relations and Rapid Rewards. (Another outstanding Southwest innovation, putting these functions under common management.) A nice lady from First USA’s headquarters called me almost immediately. She was genuinely concerned that they fix the problems in the system. I will get the missing credits on my new uncapped Platinum card, which I had already applied for. Kudos to Southwest and First USA! They have both earned my loyalty.

-Keith Jarett

On page 27 of the December 2001 issue on the right hand side almost at the bottom of the last paragraph, it makes reference to the “Citibank AAdvantage card with special award chart…” I have one of these cards and have been trying to find out what this special award chart is, but have not been able to find out anything about it on either the web sites or by calling either Citibank or AA. Can you direct me to it? Thank you.

-Franz Jost

Editor’s note:
We frequently get asked for directions to this page. Try the following URL, for some reason we had connection problems, but this is the avenue we use: http://www.citibank.com/us/cards/cardserv/worldcard/globe/globe.htm

Avis Away
I have run into a peculiar problem with Avis rent a car and was wondering whether anybody else has had the same experience. For over a year now, I have the hardest time getting mileage credit for my car rentals, and it seems to make no difference whether I have my frequent flyer number recorded at the time of rental (and printed on the receipt) or whether I send in the information later. It also makes no difference which frequent flyer program I use, as I have the same problem getting mileage credit with United and American. Your comments will be much appreciated.
-Peter Brebach

Editor’s note:
Check out this thread on FlyerTalk: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/Forum77/HTML/000092.html. It is possible to submit an online missing credit form at: https://www.avis.com/AvisWeb/customerservice/RequestPastRentalAgreement?ACTION=ADD

Avis responds:
Avis strives to provide frequent flyer miles to our customers’ accounts as quickly as possible. With most of our airline partners, we provide the customer data on a weekly basis.

Problems that arise would not be based on when a customer provides a frequent flyer number (i.e. at time of reservation versus at time of rental), but rather whether the rental qualified for the mileage credit. For example, certain licensee or off-airport locations do not participate in the frequent flyer credit program, or certain promotional rates may not have a frequent flyer benefit.

Details on program partner restrictions can be found in the partner section of Avis.com. If customers have not seen a credit posted in a timely manner, we encourage them to call our Customer Service Department at (800) 352-7900 who can assist in resolving the issue or simply check on the status of the mileage credit. Thanks for the opportunity to respond.

Ted Deutsch, vice president, Communications & Public Affairs Avis

Airport Confusion
On my way tonight to Brazil — checked my golf clubs in at 2 p.m. for a 5:30 p.m. flight on Continental … new procedures!

So … here is the procedure they are “practicing” today (at Continental’s counter at DCA) as far as complying with tomorrow’s new baggage rules.

1. I was checked in, given a baggage receipt for the golf bag but the boarding passes were retained by the counter agent. Then he and I walked over to the $1 million new X-ray Machine (looks like a Cat-Scan machine) … But, be aware, Golf Clubs can’t be screened by these new $1 million machines, so they have to be “done” by hand … an airport security lady (not a Continental employee) then used one of those Swabs to completely swab the outside of the golf club carrying bag, then she swabbed my hands, went back to her small machine and let the swabs get tested … then she said, “fine, I have now to open the bag and check the clubs” … so she did … then she zipped it up, and only then did the Continental agent standing next to me this whole time [and, by definition, not at the counter checking in other passengers] hand me my (first class) boarding pass. (i.e., no special treatment for first class or Platinums etc.)

2. Total time — about 15 minutes (we had to wait at the machine for the lady to be available to “hand check” the golf clubs).

3. Warning to all Flyers taking golf clubs — it will take you 15 minutes (assuming everything else about your ticket is in order).

4. Warning to everyone else, don’t assume that the shorter lines of the past few weeks are going to stay that way. Tip: unless it’s golf clubs, don’t check any bags.
-Bob Thompson

Letters To The Editor
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