Crow Spotted Onboard United Flight

Crow Spotted Onboard United Flight

No, this isn’t another animal-lost-on-airplane story.

For one flight, and one flight only, Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, Sheryl Crow, played to a sitting-room only audience (until, that is, the captain turned off the seatbelt sign) aboard a United airplane traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles in a first-of-its-kind concert to launch a new partnership between United Mileage Plus and Sony.

“I like to think of it as taking in-flight entertainment to all new heights,” said Dave Keenan, vice president of UAL Loyalty Services.

Sony has launched a new online music store, which, among other things, allows United Mileage Plus members to spend their miles for music downloads. Members are able to download 100 songs at a redemption cost of 10,000 miles — an innovative benefit that is sure to appeal to music-loving frequent travelers. And if you aren’t the music download type, you can use the gift of downloads for all your nieces and nephews and let them pick out their “own kind” of music to download. Your miles, their ears.

To begin redeeming miles for music, members should go to http://www.mileageplusmusic.com, where they will receive a “coupon code” upon entering their Mileage Plus number. Members can then go to the Connect Web site ( http://www.connect.com ), download a “SonicStage” software application to their computer, visit the Connect music store via the application, enter the code and begin redeeming their miles for music. MileagePlusMusic.com also has links to allow non-members to join Mileage Plus.

Mileage Plus Visa cardholders are eligible to earn double miles (e.g., two miles for every $1 spent) on qualifying purchases at Sony Style, and 40 miles for every $20 spent at the Connect music store.

InsideFlyer publisher Randy Petersen joined several other invited guests on the flight and enjoyed a 40-minute acoustic set by Crow and an accompanying guitarist.

Afterward, Petersen was interrogated by several Mileage Plus executives, who were eager to learn how best to shore up the Premier program. He stressed deliverability above all, and was impressed with their enthusiasm.

“I think the past few years are starting to be that — the past, and my guess is we’re all going to see plenty of excitement from Mileage Plus through the remainder of 2004,” Petersen said. “I’ve said all along they would make it through bankruptcy and that your miles were safe. So far, so good and if I were a betting man, I’d say they are on a mission.”

Details and pictures of the concert can be found at http://www.webflyer.com/liveflyer.

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