New 12-month SWU expiry policy will hurt some of us

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Fredd, Apr 10, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Fredd
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    Fredd Gold Member

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    On the bright side, we can expect more posts in future like this one by jswong, offering soon-to-expire SWUS.

    On the negative side, if your flying patterns result in your earning a lot of EQMs early in the calendar year and early requalification for 1K, UA's terms and conditions will now result in SWUs that you will only have use of for 12 months from the date you qualify for 1K, rather than for the entire calendar year.

    I've already e-mailed my concerns to 1K Voice, and received a polite - even friendly - reply stating that they would be forwarded to the marketing department for review.

    In our situation Mrs. Fredd and I still have unused SWUs for the current year and are scheduled to requalify for 1K unusually early for us, leaving us with relatively little time to use them in 2012. This is resulting in our contemplating travel on other carriers, because we'll apparently be "penalized" by this new policy for being good UA customers. :eek:

    I suggest that anybody who might be negatively impacted by this change now or in the future write UA and request that they make SWUs valid at the least for the balance of the calendar year that the customer is a 1K.

    N.B. this has been discussed extensively on FT here and here and I think worth considering here as well.
     
  2. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    I agree with you, I am going to cross 100K by April 19 and I chose UA as my carrier for the CR1s and SWUs... So apparently mine will expire in May 2012 :(

    Not good and I will not be able to use them for the summer travel season in 2012....

    It so much easier to make any SWUs earned in 2011 expire in Jan 2013, because those who will earn more SWUs later in the year will have different sets of SWUs expiring at different dates :confused:
     
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  3. RichardInSF
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    RichardInSF Silver Member

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    Of course it's a negative for most. What else is new? In my case, if I do make it, I have the flexibility to decide to make it very late in the year.
     
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  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I'm pretty sure the policy is bad for everyone. I cannot think of any group that benefits from it. Maybe the folks who want them as soon as they qualify versus waiting until the end of the year, but really not much of a surprise on this one. I'm pretty sure that 1Ks can call in this year to get them extended, just like they get the old and the new rules for CR1s this year but the rules are changing and such changes are rarely in favor of the customer. Such is life. We learn and we adapt and we try to make the best of the hand we're dealt.
     
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  5. Gtitan
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    Gtitan Gold Member

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    I would not be surprised if this "set in stone". Guessing that a little push-back by folks collectively might influence to make them extendable for the applicable "program year."
     
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  6. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    1Ks were never able to get "them" extended, it was only one....and that was by three months.

    That said, I wouldn't be surprised if they would bend in this year of transition and allow an extension of all of them, or some kind of modification of the rule. I can't see this being the permanent thing without some sort of middle ground,
     
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  7. jason8612
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    jason8612 Gold Member

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    It's a shame that it works like this, but then again there won't be a bunch of peoples expiring SWUs in Jan.
    I planned out my flying where I wont hit 1K till the end of the year
     
  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I believe that the ability to extend them this year, much like the CR1 earning grace period, is a set policy if you call.

    I would not expect them to change the policy or offer additional leniency going forward.
     
  9. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    Just another change we will like™ <feh> :mad:
     
  10. Fredd
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    Fredd Gold Member

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    You may well be correct. The new rules obviously work to the detriment of anybody who re-qualifies early, up to and including the end of November, since SWUs have historically been valid until the end of January of the following year, ie. almost everybody.

    As I mentioned though, the response to me from 1K was that my concerns were being forwarded to the marketing department.That's why I'm suggesting that it might be worth the time to e-mail 1K, CR, etc. :)
     
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  11. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Which, to me, seems like customer service-speak for "we're not going to help you, but we'll forward your message."
     
  12. Fredd
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    Fredd Gold Member

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    Yes, it could well be a variation of the Bedbug Letter. Since 1K already has a good inventory of copy-and-paste non-replies*, this was one new at least to me so color me hopeful and optimistic that it might be worth an e-mail. ;)

    *Thank you for your post Captain Oveur.

    I appreciate hearing from my fellow posters. It helps give me an opportunity to make significant posting improvements. My goal is to create the highest level of fellow-member satisfaction within this forum.

    Thank you for your time. Your satisfaction is important to me and I look forward to responding to you better in the near future.

    :D
     
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  13. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    I'm not in favor of the change ... if you are flying a lot, the only thing you can do to delay the receipt of the SWUs is to play with where and how you're earning EQM.

    #1 is not to combine your accounts. If you've already done this, you are SOL :(
    #2 is to keep the total EQM in either account below 100K so as not to flip over to requalification level

    At the end of the year (or whenever you're ready), combine the accounts and you'll get your requalification by adding the two EQM balances together and your SWUs at that time. In the meanwhile though, you may lose out on a domestic upgrade here and there.
     
  14. u600213
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    u600213 Silver Member

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    I'm still a segment guy and with the new 120 segments for 1K that Jeff thinks I will like, qualifying early may not be a problem, but if I get close too early I will just try some other carriers in October and November, to postpone my requal. date. An unintended consequence but they changed the rules, now its up to me to game them.
     
  15. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    The new SWU expiration policy is terrible, and United could have left the current policy alone and still allowed for an early deposit for those needing the SWUs sooner.

    It was posted on FT that United would be monitoring April calls to the Mileage Plus center and listen to feedback from 1Ks in regards to the new SWU deposit and expiration policy. I urge every 1K, whom dislikes this policy, to call 1K Mileage Plus and voice your opposition to this policy.

    It has also been mentioned that there is to be a 1 time exception that allows the expiration of 2012 SWUs until January 2013.
     
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  16. Anglo Large Clawed Otter
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    Anglo Large Clawed Otter Gold Member

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  17. I have written to the 1k dept. Lets hope this changes.
     
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  18. Gtitan
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    Gtitan Gold Member

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    As soon as I cross to 1K at the end of the month, I'll do the same .... If AA can make it so its SWUs extend an entire next "program year", so can the new "United".
     
  19. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    The most effective thing is to call Mileage Plus for 1K-1Ps now in April (and also call 1K customer relations as well) as they are monitoring feedback from 1Ks on the SWU expiration issue this month.
     
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  20. sdcarver
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    sdcarver Silver Member

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    I have written to voice my unhappiness with the new SWU policy as well...

    sdcarver
     
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  21. sonoma

    sonoma Silver Member

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    I just called Mileage Plus and was asked to send an email to 1Kvoice instead.
     
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  22. Fredd
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    Fredd Gold Member

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    In that spirit, maybe they'll amend it.
     
  23. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    A reduced validity period for SWUs is NOT an enhancement, it is a reduction of benefits, plain and simple.
     
  24. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I agree that the expiration should probably be extended through to the end of the year, regardless of when you earned it. So you could potentially have a SWU that lasts two years if you manage to get 1K in January. That even makes sense because you are apparently a hugely loyal flyer if you got 1K that early.

    But this is also likely to be a temporary issue due to the transition. Your SWUs that you earn in April this year will expire in April next year. But if travel habits remain similar, you will earn a new batch of SWUs by April next year. This is just shifting the start/end dates and will probably sort itself out. Not that it makes for better policy, but it isn't the end of the world.
     
  25. Fredd
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    Fredd Gold Member

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    Yes, but that's a big if, isn't it? The point is that my travel habits do not remain similar from year to year. We aren'tt weekly or twice-monthly road warriors. We fly when we find attractive fares for places we would like to visit.

    Again, it's an imperfect comparison, but if we requalify for top-tier status in a hotel chain by April, I would expect to maintain my lounge access, free Internet, and any other perks for the duration of my status. I suspect that perhaps the employees who thought this up didn't think it through if it's truly supposed to be an enhancement.

    For me a true enhancement would be the ability to use SWUs as soon as I've earned them, but maintaining them for the entire following calendar year.
     
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