Nearly one year has gone by .....

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by RobotDoctor, Feb 20, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. RobotDoctor
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    RobotDoctor Silver Member

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    About one year ago, the official merger of Continental OnePass and United Mileage Plus was launched (10 1/2 months to be exact). How is the new program taken shape for you? Please list positives and negatives of the new program. Also, what are possible solutions that would create a better, outstanding, and reasonable loyalty program. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    With all due respect, isn't there a bunch of threads about this already?
     
  3. RobotDoctor
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    RobotDoctor Silver Member

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    Please forgive me, I didn't think there was a thread regarding Nearly one year has gone by ..... I guess I was wrong in waiting for a year before I posted this thread so that new policies could settle in and a more objective perspective could be gained. Again, please forgive me.
     
  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    First and foremost, the program would be better if the logo was changed back to the Tulip.

    That's all I can think of. I think everything else has been sufficiently discussed.

    (okay, it's a joke, someone was going to bring it up anyway, so why not as the first response. I don't give a rodent's poop shoot about the logo)
     
  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    And now my real thoughts (note: PMUA 1K, no status on CO, based at SFO):

    - even though I am 1K and thus presumably fly quite a bit more than the average passenger, I have not had any significant problems due the computer system switch etc.

    - my wife lost 50% of her bonus miles (Gold: 100% -> 50%), but she dropped to Silver now and thus didn't fly that much last year anyway

    - I lost some Regional Upgrades due to the change in policy; not the biggest deal for me, though of course I would have preferred to keep the old policy of 2 CR1 per quarter with 10k EQM earned.

    - CPU upgrades from SFO have been reasonably good for me. All my GPUs cleared, though in two cases literally as they were already boarding

    - the new UA website has its quirks and feels like it's from 1998, but it generally works reasonably well for the common tasks. Nice to not have to track the random EQMs from Chase in a spreadsheet anymore

    - Looking forward to my MM status with spousal benefit. :D

    - biggest gripe is that international OLCI doesn't work reliably
     
  6. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    Is that because they don't post at all? I had some random EQMs post early last year, but recently nothing posts, despite several calls to both United and Chase (and subsequent finger pointing between the two companies as to why it has not posted, but will post real soon now).
     
  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The program is, for me, largely the same as it was a year ago and probably better than it was 3 years ago. But that's based on my travel habits and what I value from the program. CPUs are probably #5 on my list of things that matter so I don't really pay attention to my upgrade percentages. I fly up front enough to know that I'm doing OK there, particularly given that I'm buying such cheap fares. And I still get a TON of utility from the award points and the ridiculously flexible routing rules.
     
  8. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    Really? So you don't see any difference between Global Services and 1K? The UA folks must have missed the mark in trying to differentiate between these two tiers.

    And hearing how you are getting upgrades on cheap fares must be dis-heartening to the UA corporate folks - after all isn't their stated goal that they want to maximize revenue on those seats up front?
     
  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    All my Chase EQMs posted last year. Often later than historically with UA, but that seems to have been fixed because on Feb 15 I received the EQMs for for January 2013 purchases (my statement closes on the 2nd of the month).
     
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  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I'm sure that GS get more upgrades than 1Ks; among other things they clear into PN instead of R. I don't fly all that much domestically so it is less of an issue for me. There are definitely differences between 1K and GS. Heck, there are even differences within the GS program. But speaking to the program as a whole I think it is largely comparable for me that it was a year ago and better than it was 3 years ago.

    As for my upgrades, I'm sure that the company would have rather someone other than me get upgraded pretty much every time I sit down in an F seat, but they make the rules; I just fly by them.
     
  11. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Looking at your twin thread on FT, I see that these are your own thoughts:

    Sigh. So basically... just another rehash of the same things that have been keeping some people busy ranting about on FT and to some degree here. So tell me again, what exactly did you expect to come out of this thread?! I think Captain Oveur's question was right on the money.
     
  12. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    Ah, so trolling troll is trolling. :rolleyes:
     
  13. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    At the risk of treating trolling as serious, here are my thoughts as a multi-year pmUA 1k...

    Domestic upgrades for me don't seem to have changed much. Maybe a few fewer/maybe a few more, but it's not like I'm routinely down the back or always up front...it's a mix just like it was before the merger.

    Award availability and routing flexibility are much easier. StarNet blocking is no more and agents generally seem to know the rules regarding stopovers and open jaws or be willing to kick things to the rate desk to manually price complicated awards without significant resistance.

    Plus, routing rules are now much more liberal and allow for many more options (for example, US-Australia now allows a number of easy connections via Asia rather than fighting for the extremely limited number of SFO/LAX-SYD seats).

    SDC change policies are hugely improved and I can always get out of town a day early if need be and have routinely been able to move departures back 24 hours or even more.

    IRROPS handling (and I may be an exception) has been fantastic including allowing cancelations and refunds, alternate flights including protection on multiple options with upgrades preserved where there was any availability at all, and other carrier accommodations.

    I suppose it's entirely possible that I'm just an outlier but I fly UA at least three weeks a month most months and, outside of the two or three months immediately after March of last year, I just haven't seen the horror-show that the OP and others seem to believe exists.
     
  14. RobotDoctor
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    RobotDoctor Silver Member

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    Not trolling here. My question was posed in the spirit, and hopes, of a significant calendar event (one year). Nothing more ... nothing less. Glad to see (and feel) a sense of community here. Very nice!
     
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  15. RobotDoctor
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    RobotDoctor Silver Member

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    Not every member here goes to FT. I know some people here who I appreciate their thoughts and insights. What I don't appreciate is people who simply assume. Why not ask me something in a PM instead of a public pile on. I guess I gave some members here credit in civility I should not have.
     
  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I personally have no gripes with asking the same question(s) on FT. It's a different community. Not clear what I should have sent you a PM about.

    Basically, when I saw the thread I was expecting yet another rehash of the same old, same old. Nevertheless I did post my thoughts (post #5 in this thread). Then I saw your post (with your answer to your own question, not posted here) in the FT thread and it confirmed what I had thought. Did you really not have an opportunity in any of the many other "gripe" threads to list out those problems you have and felt there was anything to be gained by rehashing it again? Does it move us forward as a community? Do we learn anything new? Does it make this site a better place?

    If we had all agreed on 3/3/2012 to not comment on UA's transition for a year and give them a chance to work things out, then yes, this might be a good opportunity to see how we all felt about it. But people didn't shut up for a year.
     
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  17. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    You're right. It's been 10 1/2 months, to be exact. In two weeks we can launch another thread to review progress in the past 11 months. And in 8 weeks we can launch a thread to review progress in the past year.

    You can pick any date and make it significant, even though the date doesn't matter at all when programs and customer experience can change on a daily basis.
     
  18. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    One year later - It has been OK. I am from the PMCO side. My experience with UA prior to the merger was poor. My general experience with CO over 27 years had been poor to start but quite good after Gordon Bethune improved it, so quite satisfactory over the last 15 years or so. I second Have Miles and Misplaced Texans experiences. My encounters with customer service since the merger were poor early on, but have been excellent lately (PMCO had been OK to very good).
    I do like: E+ when I am not upgraded, the massively expanded route structure and the improved Million Miler Program (PMCOs was relatively poor). I dislike the ancient IFEs on the PMUA aircraft I have been on lately, the lack of hot food choices on PMUA aircraft and the definite sense that most of the PMUA aircraft are old. I like the website primarily because I am familiar with it and know how to make it work for me.
    I had no problems with the personnel, but then I always assume that my attitude at the time of encounter is the primary determiner of the outcome.
     
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  19. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It's been all good since they smoothed out the computer integration glitches post-03/03/12. The big determinant for me is int'l upgrades and I missed just one last year, and have hit 4 segments of 4 (two on the Dreamliner) so far, with 3 clearing at booking. On the domestic side, I recently burned a couple of RPUs to upgrade an April trip to SLC and 3/4 segments cleared at booking (could have waited for CPU but I happen to have RPUs, which I am not sure I will use otherwise). So, other than for the "massively expanded route structure", which I'd liked about the merger, no difference for me -- and that is a Good Thing.
     
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  20. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I loathed the impact of the merger on customer service for the first 90 days or so. They really caused me a lot of inconvenience and didn't care enough to even reply to my emails.

    Things have steadily improved since, however, and I'm now relatively happy again. I came from the CO side, and I was extremely happy there. Perhaps I would be happier if they hadn't raised my expectations so high pre-3/3. Every ad, agent, FA, pre-flight announcement, etc. told me how great things were going to be, and they were convincing.

    Things aren't close to as great as they promised, but they are competitive. The unusual disasters seem to have gone away, and now we're left with the normal travel inconveniences. I still think that they have the friendliest employees (overall) that I've ever experienced with an airline. Sometimes they jump through some hoops that really impress me in their attempt to help meet my travel needs. It is much more common on UA than it ever was with AA (IME).

    The one consistently problematic area that does not seem to have improved is the baggage handling. I've had bags destroyed, damaged and delayed so many times that I now try to plan for it. I now know some of the baggage managers by name.

    In the end - and I didn't think I would ever say this as late as last May - I'm glad I stuck it out.
     
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  21. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    The big thing that has had an impact on me is how much the new UA has restricted OLCI for non-U.S. passport holders. As a practical matter, I can travel visa-free to far more countries that U.S. passport holders. However UA has largely adopted the policy that I can never do OLCI if my PNR includes a foreign country. Even at the airport after scanning my documents at a kiosk, there's a big yellow screen that requires a UA ID badge. It can be a pain to track these folks down since there's really no queue for service at the kiosks, and then they really don't do anything material (given that the system already has my passport number and expiration date).
     
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  22. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    A comment in regards to the OP’s creation of this thread. Milepoint was founded to further the free flow of discussion, so a request asking for other’s views on the changes to United post merger should be encouraged. Posting across different internet forums is intended to increase the diversity of respondents. With respect to the changes to Mileage Plus, this is my personal analysis.

    Continental management took over United Airlines. The use of TODs upgrades has created dissatisfaction among many United elites. The inability of United Silvers to pre book E+ in advance has made them unhappy. The reduction in RDM earnings for 1Ps and Platinums has also left this group dissatisfied. The reduction of RDMs to a 50 percent bonus for United Million Milers and their loss of 2 annual CR1s and 3 SWUs upon MM qualification has also raised their ire. 1Ks now receive 4 CR1s for earning 1K instead of 8 CR1s for flying 10K each quarter. Not being able to request same day SWUs for flights is not acceptable, but I know United is working to fix this.

    On the positive side, StarNet blocking has been eliminated and award travel routings are much more flexible. Star partner awards may be booked online, and the adoption of the CO website for United seems to produce fewer errors when creating bookings and seems to be more reliable than UA’s old website. The ability to request 24 hour SDC is a great improvement over the previous UA policy. With regards to the Million Miler program, United implemented the allowance of sharing status of a partner of a MM flyer, so this has the potential to be a major benefit for one’s partner or family member. With the merger, there are many more flight choices to international destinations and a better choice of hubs. IAH & EWR are welcome additions to those coming from United’s side of the merger. There is nothing better than departing or arriving in IAH & EWR and having the ability to use the showers in the United Club.

    I hope the integration of the two sides of the company continues to progress in a positive fashion. United has the best network of any major US carrier for travel to international destinations, and I plan to remain a loyal United elite and look forward to many years of good travel to come.
     
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