Losing miles after 18 months 1 day with United

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by sailwinds, Feb 20, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Has anyone else had to deal with UNITED after they take away ALL your miles after not using your mileage account in 18 months? I discovered it within a week of losing them and they would not work with me other then telling me I could buy them back I have a mileage dining account with them too and usually keep a good eye on these things but just missed the cutoff date I offered to get a credit card again with them and they did not care I feel there should be some lenience with these programs as I have a mileage awards with Continental also where my points have never expired Been with them 25 years I feel They should have helped me get my 70000 plus points back the day I called
     
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  2. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Them's the policy, unfortunately. Awardwallet.com will help remind you of soon-to-expire miles. You could also ask if UA will let you do a reinstatement challenge; that could cost less than re-buying the miles (which would be around $900 or so).

    Also, Continental miles will now expire after 18 months.

    From UA's site: "Any member who fails at any time to engage in account activity for a period of eighteen (18) consecutive months is subject to termination of his or her membership and forfeiture of all accrued mileage as of the last day of the 18th month. Activity includes (without limitation) flying on United or earning or redeeming miles with a Mileage Plus partner (as defined in Rule 12), redeeming miles for award travel, buying miles or transferring miles. In cases where mileage is for any reason removed from an account, as for the redemption of awards, and later returned, the return of the mileage to the account shall not count as account activity."
     
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  3. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    The only other option is try and contact someone of authority via email / phone and plead your case. If your a fairly high revenue passenger you may have some leverage.
     
  4. gobluetwo
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    gobluetwo Silver Member

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    Word is that you may also be able to have your miles reinstated if you have "activity" in the last 18 months which was not credited to your account, e.g., a rental car or hotel which was not credited to your MP account. Of course, in order to credit your miles retroactively, you'll also need to make sure they weren't already posted to another frequent flyer account. Avis (or whatever) isn't going to give you miles for both DL and UA, for instance.
     
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  5. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    I'm often on the other side of disputes like this, as a retailer. I often hear the call for leniency.

    I've got to say, I think in this country we all feel a little entitled to exemptions from the rules. But why?

    Of course, it would have been nice for United to notify you when you were about to have the miles expire, but I don't think you can realistically expect that.
     
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  6. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    If United has notified the OP of the upcoming expiration, then they are not really at fault. But otherwise it is really customer unfriendly.
     
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  7. dmc730

    dmc730 Silver Member

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    If there ws no activity for 18 m0s most likely not a high revenue customer
     
  8. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    If part of a corporate account, there still may be some leverage.
     
  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP, sailwinds!

    In my experience (mid-last year) they do send out email notifications about expiring mileage accounts (I was managing an account for a friend with no activity). Doesn't mean that there's a guarantee that this email (I think it was multiple, though) reaches the recipient, due to bugs on UA's side, mail filters, obsolete email addresses, etc. They may potentially even have to exclude you from such mailings if your mail preferences are to not receive emails from them.

    gobluetwo's advice is right on the mark, though, and probably the best chance to get this fixed. There might even be some United partners who are willing to reverse a posting to their own program and issue UA points. I know I had to do it a dozen times with Hyatt when I wanted AA miles for some promo last year. Just make sure they post with the original transaction date that has to be before the expiration date.
     
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  10. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    There was lenience. That was the 18 months they let you keep the miles without any activity, and I think UA has been very good about notifying customers with updates on the new MileagePlus T&C (even if they didn't provide an alert regarding your particular balance).

    UA doesn't care about the credit card. Chase bought those miles from them in the past and is handing them out now to its customers. It's a Chase issue, not United's issue.

    I agree with desamo about asking for some kind of challenge. That's likely your only choice besides paying for reinstatement. However, if you do pay ~$900 for the 70K miles, that's almost enough for three domestic round trips and possibly still worth it if you plan to fly someplace expensive.
     
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  11. We (wife and I) DID get an email telling us that our United miles were about to expire. But we also have Continental miles so we were able to transfer a few miles between accounts and keep the United accounts active.
     
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  12. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Honestly, sounds like they simply followed the rules of the program.

    If you do decide to pursue it further, I hope you'll do it bearing in mind that, in absence of other circumstances, they're in the right. If they were to reinstate the miles they'd be doing you a $900 favor.

    The only mitigating factor I can see is if you really did not receive a notification that the miles were about to expire despite having a valid email address on file with the program. Since other folks here have reported receiving such a notice if you didn't get yours (again, despite trying to get communications from the program) then that might incline a supervisor to give you another crack.
     
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  13. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    Welcome to Milepoint, rcontrera. And that is a very, very easy and instant way to keep UA/CO miles from expiring. - at least until the merger is complete.
     
  14. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Assuming you have already linked the accounts, since that is apparently not possible anymore at the moment. From hub.united.com:

    How do I "link" my MileagePlus and my OnePass accounts?

    Linking accounts is currently unavailable as we prepare for our move to a single reservations system. Stay tuned for details
     
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  15. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    Interesting, I did a transfer this morning. Of course, I linked my accounts long ago.
     
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  16. gobluetwo
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    gobluetwo Silver Member

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    You can still transfer miles between already-linked accounts, but they recently took down the ability to link accounts at all.
     
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  17. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    You can also transfer miles between unlinked accounts so long as the details match. http://continental.com/transfermymiles

    Just log in incorrectly the first time and you'll get the UI for logging into both UA and CO.
     
  18. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    That's great info - I'll get another 18 months for my kids.

    But for one kid, I've got an information mismatch. I just updated an old phone number, but no dice. Maybe it needs some time.
     
  19. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I don't know if it's time or not. A good CO agent told me the secret. Alas, my MP account is linked to an OP account that's been merged into an older OP account, so I can't transfer except using this trick.

    It also means my status on CO can't be updated to 2P until after the MP switchover on 3/3 as there's a freeze on account linking de-linking at the moment.
     
  20. dayone
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    dayone Silver Member

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    Calling it "customer unfriendly" is a bit extreme. The rules are clear and a traveler with multiple FF accounts should be aware of the terms. Also, the OP could have transferred the UA miles to CO by January and they would not have expired.
     
  21. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    True, but not everybody is as savvy as MP'ers are.. A gentle reminder email goes a long way in customer loyalty
     
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  22. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Gentle email #, dated Nov 20, 2010 -- subject: "Your 3xxxx award miles will expire soon"

    Dear Mrs Friend of HaveMilesWillTravel,

    Your 3x,xxx Mileage Plus® award miles are due to expire on February 28, 2011 unless you use or earn* miles before then. It's easy and quick to keep them active.

    Earn miles
    Avoid the holiday crowds and keep your award miles from expiring with Mileage Plus ShoppingSM. Earn award miles at over 500 online retailers, retail stores and catalogs. So cross off your gift list while you boost your award miles. Go shop.

    With our many partners, keeping your award miles is easier than ever. Find out how you can earn miles every day and keep your miles at mileageplus.com.

    Use miles
    There are many ways to use your miles with Mileage Plus: one-way flights on United, Star Alliance Awards, car rentals, hotel stays, merchandise, flowers and more. You even have the flexibility of combining miles with money to get to an award faster. Learn about all the ways to use your miles at mileageplus.com.

    Don't delay!
    If miles aren't credited or debited from your account by February 28, 2011, your mileage balance will expire. And remember, to keep your account active, there must be mileage activity once every 18 months.

    If you have any questions about your mileage balance or your options to keep your miles active, please call Mileage Plus customer service at 800-421-4655.

    Gentle email #2, dated Dec 10, 2010 -- subject: "Final notice: Your miles will expire on February 28, 2011"

    This one was a plug for their credit card, explaining how getting the credit card gets her extra miles and keeps the account alive. It ends with: "Hurry, your miles expire on February 28, 2011. Apply today."

     
  23. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    Those emails are pretty compelling - good reason to check your email settings with UA at least.
     
  24. cvsara
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    cvsara Gold Member

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    Rule #1 "Ya Snooze, Ya lose". The OP signed onto MP today, about 14 hours ago. You would have hoped that he would have checked back here by now to look at some good advise. Yes, it isn't fun to lose 70K miles, but it has been 18 plus months. That says, to me, no cc activity, no rental cars, No hotel stays crediting UA account, no flights, no magazine subscriptions. The OP has no one to blame but himself. But maybe with the original post here, he feels better.
    Sorry, if that sounds rather harsh, and if so, review rule #1.
     
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  25. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    Funny - I thought you were going to say that rule applied to getting offers while they're active, especially since a lot of these seem to end early, like linking accounts.

    You're right about the lack of activity for a long time, but for me, I've got a family of four, each of us having lots of accounts. One rental car doesn't do a lot for us - figure 8 airlines for 4 of us - so 32 accounts that need maintaining.

    Of course, I use Awardwallet and make it work, but a lot of it is with transfers or iTunes purchases just to keep the accounts current.
     
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