A call to action: an organized response to the MP changes.

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by colpuck, Jun 8, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    Over the past few months there have been a number of changes to the MileagePlus Program and the more specifically the Million Miler program. To date there have been various responses that have received no replies from the powers that be.

    It’s time for some changes we like.

    Who we are.: We are “United Flyers” This group encompasses all MileagePlus members

    Purpose: to systematically reverse changes to the Mileage Plus program

    How: a systematic issue based approach that is designed to force United to reverse changes.

    Specific Steps:

    Step 1: Identify changes we don’t like. Yes the list is long and we all have unique grievances. But a return to the past is not possible. The CO and MP programs were too different to allow for a complete return to either program

    So I posit we create a list of changes we don’t like and work the list one item at a time. I feel that the biggest change to the program is the RDM bonus earnings for Plat down to silver. This change has the biggest long term effect on the majority of MP members.

    So, I suggest that issue number 1 be the RDM earnings.

    Step 2: Identify pressure points where UA can be pushed in order to reverse changes.

    Item 1: DOT complaints. Airlines care about their DOT complaints and it directly effects the bonuses all employees receive. If we flood the DOT with complaints it makes UA look bad in public and directly takes money away from the people responsible.

    Item 2: Customer care. We flood customer care and our respective voice lines with the same complaint. This puts all levels of customer service on notice that we, the United Flyers, are to be taken seriously.

    Item 3: We buy 1 share of stock in United Airlines and attend the annual meeting. This will force Jeff and company to provide direct answers to complaints in person.

    Item 4: An internet campaign. We take one complaint, post it to the internet and then flood Facebook, twitter, comment on any news article., and maybe even a website. We take one voice and flood the internet with it. It needs to be in every signature on FT, every communication, it needs to be everywhere.

    Step 3: Flood. Enough complaints and we will be heard. There have been opeds about this already. If we turn up the volume we will be heard.


    However, with great power comes great responsibility. We will have to raise our standard of conduct.

    Item 1: no personal attacks. That means no SMI/J, $misek, or COdbaUA ect,. We treat UA and its staff professionally. That goes for treating each other same way.

    Item 2: the voice comes before all. We speak with one voice. Whatever the top priority is that’s what we speak for even if it is not our priority. We stay on message at all times. We speak for each other even if the issue being fought for is not our personal top priority.

    Item 3: WE STAY ON MESSAGE.

    Needs.

    Need 1: A set of priorities one issue at a time.

    Need 2: Draft correspondence to the DOT, Customer Care, Twitter, Facebook, and News Outlets.

    Need 3: Bodies, we need to be United.

    This my proposal. What do you all think?
     
  2. mherdeg
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    mherdeg Silver Member

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    Oof, are you suggesting Department of Transportation complaints are an appropriate outlet for someone concerned that a transcontinental flight now earns them 1250 bonus frequent-flyer miles instead of the 2500 bonus frequent-flyer miles they previously received as compensation for their loyalty? I'm not sure I agree.
     
  3. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    Why not? It's a customer service issue. UA has shown an unwillingness to engage with its United Flyers on any level. It is time to hit them where they care, and show that we are United and we will be heard.
     
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  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    What's your plan for speaking with one voice? Do you anticipate some sort of formal organizational structure with leadership, designated spokespeople, ...?
     
  5. mherdeg
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    mherdeg Silver Member

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    I guess I worry that if United starts to get a lot of DOT complaints about the same issue — a customer-unfriendly revenue-maximizing decision which effectively reduces the value of an airplane ticket slightly for some elite customers, but has no other effect on the travel experience — United management might stop using DOT complaints as a strong signal of the company's performance.

    If someone were going to use DOT complaints for something, I'd rather see them used to systematically report and force UA to confront the serious customer service issues we're hearing about weekly or more frequently:
    I would love, love, love to see these tracked in a spreadsheet, with the DOT complaint ID and a link to the text of United's response.
     
  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    :rolleyes:

    If you seriously believe that the DoT should be involved in regulating FF program policies then, well, wow....

    If they are advertising one thing and delivering another then file a complaint vis a vis false advertising. But just because you don't like a change to the published policies that was reasonably well communicated and documented? Talk about misappropriation of energy and resources.
     
  7. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    This is true. But the media takes it seriously, which means shareholders will hear about it. Also, how long do you think it will take for all the other airlines to start pointing out how many complaints they have compared to UA. A lot of the threads you listed can be linked to system integration issues, that will eventually taper off. The RDM issue is here to stay unless we do something.
     
  8. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    I agree. Trust me, while I am more willing than most to file a DOT complaint, but it was never my first choice. All the op-eds, blog posts, and near universal denouncement of the RDM changes have gotten us nowhere.

    It pains me to reach into SFOgate's pocket, but UA listens to DOT complaints. If there is an avenue where UA is more likely to listen that the DOT complaint system, put it out there.
     
  9. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Personally, I'd be far more interested in seeing the issues relating to forced downgrades of fare-paying passengers in preference to any of: NRSA, award tickets, elite upgrades, whatever -- resolved. There have been quite a few reports, which makes me think there is an issue there that's not isolated to one or two incidents.

    That isn't an MP issue per se, though.
     
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  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    But what's the essence of your complaint -- that someone (my wife, Gold) who flies about half as much as the next guy (me, 1K) gets only half the bonus? While I'd LOVE for my wife to continue to get 100%, I have a difficult time seeing the basis for that particular item being a DOT-complaint-worthy offense.

    When I allocate bonuses at work, the people who are half as productive the most productive will get a lower (percentage) bonus. Makes sense to me.
     
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  11. seaflyguy
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    seaflyguy Silver Member

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    What do I think? I think you should take your business elsewhere.

    I don't mean that in a snarky way; I'm in the process of doing it myself, though not with UA. I'm an AS MVPG (and UA 1K) who has become increasingly disenchanted with certain aspects of AS' treatment of its elites. I've voiced my complaints on FT and to AS personnel. It seems clear to me that the issues I have with AS just aren't a priority for them given their current market focus. So I'm taking my business elsewhere. I requalified for MVPG last year, but knew I'd drop down to no more than MVP this year. On my current flying patterns, I won't even requalify for MVP in 2012. I'm happier getting 80-90% upgrades on UA and being in E+ on the few occasions that I'm not. I still fly AS for West Coast hops and my wife and I use our AS Visa companion fares a couple of times a year, but that's it. UA has gained probably 20-30K miles/year from me, all at AS' expense.

    Now, does my loss as an MVPG have a significant impact on AS? No. If many others in my position leave, would it? Yes, though I have no control over that. So the best thing I can do is to do the best thing for myself, and that's to shift most of my AS flying to UA. Perhaps someday AS will refocus on its elites to my satisfaction and I'll go back. Perhaps not.

    I'm quite happy with how UA has been treating me pre- and post-merger. If you're not, move elsewhere. AA has been doing quite a bit to attract disenchanted UA elites; why not take advantage of that and go? You might be happier and your move, though not significant in and of itself, might contribute to a larger movement that could eventually impact UA's behavior and lead you to come back.

    tl;dr: Money talks.
     
  12. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    And?

    Complaining about high fares hasn't seen them come down, either. Should we all start complaining to the DoT about that, too?

    UA listens to DoT complaints which are valid. You're suggesting just making up a bunch of crap because you're bitter. There's a big difference between false advertising and just not liking the policy. Suggesting that the DoT is an appropriate avenue for complaining about a policy you don't like is asinine.
     
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  13. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    This is a valid point. So you would be ok with silvers earning 10% Golds 20% Plats 30% 1Ks, 40%? Where is line? When are the cuts too much?
     
  14. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    Who's listening?

    So what's the alternative? I've had enough and I think so have a lot of people, so this is my idea. You want to hate go ahead and hate. But please tell me you have an alternative.
     
  15. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    I think the debate at this point should first start with whether or not utilizing DOT complaints is the correct method for applying pressure to UA. The debate on which issues should be prioritized can probably be done at a later date with a larger forum after a group agreement that there are several issues that many are not happy with and on the method in how the group hopes to resolve the issues.
     
  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    From where exactly do you derive any kind of entitlement for those bonuses to remain at a certain level? They are defined in the Mileage Plus program, which United can of course change. The market will determine if those cuts are too much. For tom911 (and some others) the Gold cut to 50% was too much, so they left. Reasonable response. If UA were to drop the bonuses as you said, I'd look at my options and decide if it would be better for me to move to another program.

    My company's performance bonuses used to be a lot more generous in the past. Should I sue over that? Or look elsewhere for employment if the bonus doesn't meet my needs and expectations?
     
  17. seaflyguy
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    seaflyguy Silver Member

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    It's this simple. If you're disenchanted enough, you'll leave, and well you should. If enough people do, that will have an impact. If you're not disenchanted enough to leave, well, then, you've made your choice. Trying to gather support for mass action that will influence UA without causing you the bother of switching airlines seems like a dodge to me.
     
  18. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Preach.

    Chances are that you individually not flying with them will go unnoticed. Hell, even if a lot of elites leave they probably won't notice, or won't care, but you have to do what's best for you. If UA's program is getting to the point where you can't rely on your benefits as a frequent flyer and they're not treating you as you think they should, take your business elsewhere.

    And I understand that some people don't like the idea because they've spent all this time, effort and money getting to a certain status, but if it's gonna be hit-and-miss with service and upgrades, then why bother?
     
  19. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I actually have no problems with trying to gather support... collect pledges to leave UA if something isn't done by a certain date and submit that information to UA. I just don't think the DOT route is the appropriate way.
     
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  20. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    I can understand the frustration.
    Here is how I have been dealing with things:):

    AA2050
    AA2074
    AA2311
    AA1613
     
  21. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Take your business elsewhere.

    No. I want to ensure that one of the few very customer-focused options we still have - DoT complaints - don't become a de-fanged joke. The suggestion that we should all beat the company by filing what are essentially false complaints is asinine.

    Again, I think higher fares are a bigger issue than the bonus RDM issue. Should I leverage the DoT complaint process for that, too? Or because I don't like the new boarding order?

    Asinine.
     
  22. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    If you have an alternative what is it. AA did a power grab of top tier UA elites and UA's response was blah. simply crossing you folding your arms and calling everything asinine is not helpful.
     
  23. seaflyguy
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    seaflyguy Silver Member

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    Let me ask a direct question: why haven't you status-matched on AA and switched to them?
     
  24. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    AA lost my business back in 2006 after a deplorable CS issue in MIA. oddly enough they are still in business.
     
  25. seaflyguy
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    seaflyguy Silver Member

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    So then status match to DL.
     
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