Always wondered...why no miles for VDB?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by paladin87, Oct 31, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. paladin87
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    paladin87 Silver Member

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    I am curious if this is not allowed or why they never offer something like $400 voucher or 40,000 miles for a VDB? Would anyone take the miles if it WAS offered?
     
  2. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    At that rate, I'd take the miles.
     
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  3. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    I agree. If it is 10K or lower then I would take the $400 voucher.
     
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  4. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I've gotten 5,000 miles in lieu of a refund for a broken IFE on CO during a 4 hour flight. Compared to the $7 charge, 5,000 miles seems excessive. So 40K miles vs $400 doesn't seem far off. I think it will be more interesting to see if the flat $400 sticks around or if we go to CO's policy that offers $200 and climbs from there.

    I wonder if offering a voucher instead of miles is a legal issue, in that miles aren't "real" compensation, but that doesn't make sense because it's voluntary to begin with. Maybe it's because those 40,000 miles are more likely to be used than the $400 certs. I've heard breakage is as high as 50%, and usually the airline can count on a little extra revenue on top of the redeemed value.
     
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  5. paladin87
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    paladin87 Silver Member

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    Yeah I mean, I was contemplating it on my flight last night and thought "hmm...I would take 40k miles instead...I value them at about $.01 each."

    Maybe they do not get used, but I find it hard to believe people throw away a $400 voucher and never use it. I would think THOSE people would also be the kind who fly infrequently enough to never use the miles if given to them, and that they would expire. Also, seems easier to use the voucher than the miles for the low level traveler.

    I was more thinking about having an option anyway, not just miles as the only choice.
     
  6. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    The voucher is a big PITA since you either have to trust the USPS or go to the airport. Frequently you also have to call UA to book the trip and tell them you're using a voucher. I think they would be a better deal for the frequent traveler, not the infrequent one. I think a lot of people volunteer not realizing how restrictive the vouchers can be. But an option would be nice. :)
     
  7. paladin87
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    paladin87 Silver Member

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    Well in that case...at what point would you take miles against the voucher? If it was $400...how many miles would it have to be to get you to take miles?
     
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  8. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I'd probably do it for 25-30K. I don't have an issue using the vouchers since it's all personal travel and I'm at the airport anyway. I'm just saying, it's not like they just credit your account like iTunes or Amazon so you can get a discount the next time you make a purchase. If they did that, I'm sure the amount would be less.
     
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  9. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    I dunno. I would definitely like the $400 voucher over 25k miles, as I see the voucher as a free (or discounted) flight to visit friends/family and I earn EQM... and I could always use more EQM. Plus availability isn't as big of an issue.

    However, miles can be used for international trips... so maybe at 40k miles I would go for the miles over the $400, but it would also depend on how many more EQM I needed for the year.
     
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  10. cvsara
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    cvsara Gold Member

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    I think, that, #1, If one were to be offered 40,000 miles instead of $400.00 in vouchers, and those miles were put into my Mileage Plus account, the possibility/probability exists that they would not expire.
    #2 - The $400.00 in vouchers have a one year limit on them, so that if they aren't used in one year, they expire. And you have to wonder how many of them, to the non-savvy flier, lay in a drawer, and are long forgotten. The airline has no obligation to honor them after that one year.
    #3 - 40,000 miles is a R/T to to Hawaii, and Alaska. Can't do that from the Midwest USA for $400.00
     
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  11. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    All good reasons why UA doesn't offer miles.
     
  12. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    I have to confess, I once received a $400 voucher and LOST IT! Well, I moved and found it at the bottom of one of my boxes containing notes and whatnots about a week before it was set to expire. I was able to get it reissued, but they levied a charge so I lost $100. Trying to get it redeemed after was a nightmare, so if I had my druthers re: paper certs, I would choose the 40K miles.

    Now, if its an e-cert like the 1K skykits, I would take the e-cert. Why? The flight would apply to my EQMs (and as someone who skims the 1K line, this will become more important), I have the option of upgrades, the 1K bonus miles will double the flight amount. In total its a better gamble (+ I now learned to record my e-cert #s!)
     
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  13. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    At the rate above I'd still take the vouchers. And odds are that they'll move to the CO version going forward (just because that's what the systems support already) so no need to do anything special to redeem further increasing the utility of the voucher.

    I'd want to see a 1.5cpm minimum ration before I considered miles over voucher.
     
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  14. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    I've gotten 4,000 miles from AS when they could NOT give me a VDB- the deal was they needed either two seats or none (because it was a daughter and elderly mother they needed to get on the plane into the seats they'd be VDB'ing), and my VDB "partner" didn't like having to connect in MSP on EWR-SEA (the CO flight we were originally going to take had the seats disappear). So the on duty CSM gave me 4,000 miles as a "sorry she took your $400 VDB from you".
     
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  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Is the CO version redeemable online?
     
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  16. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Yeah... and it's much easier to use online too...
     
  17. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Yup. It also holds residual value so you can keep using it in chunk until it is fully consumed. The only thing that could be better is if they tied it to your FF account rather than giving you a PIN code that can be lost.

    B6 ties the credits to TrueBlue accounts and also has full residual value. Might be the best one out there. Of course they also don't overbook as a matter of policy so it is less significant a benefit there.
     
  18. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    This is a change I'll like.

    I can deal with keeping track of the PIN. I'll just put it straight into the Google Docs spreadsheet that today keeps track of UA's ecert #s.
     
  19. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Thats what I do...
     
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  20. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    To answer the OP's question, the voucher rules have so many restrictions, UA makes it as difficult as it can to redeem (and they probably have plenty of people who forget about them in the one year window). Putting miles out there are a sure-fire way for things to get actually used.
     

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