Posthumous 1K status?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by PhlyingRPh, Feb 18, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. PhlyingRPh
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    PhlyingRPh Silver Member

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    Here's a interesting situation. I have, or rather had, a colleague who met his demise last October. He had been a 1K and/or GS for a number of years. His daughter mentioned to me that she had control of his MP account and that she wanted to book some travel. Based on my questions of his daughter, it appears he missed 1K status by 1,432 miles, or 22 segments. He had paid tickets booked for last Nov and Dec that would have put him well over the 110,000 mile mark, and he had over 700,000 miles in his account upon his demise. I was thinking that it would be nice if his daughter could access the widest possible array of award options, which clearly she won't be able to at this point, since he passed away as a Premier Executive rather than as a 1K.

    Obviously, and T&C's go, this might be a little dodgy, and I'm sure you see the question trundling toward you as clear as day... do you think it might be worthwhile his daughter putting a call in and requesting posthumous 1K status for her father? On the one hand, she has access to a good 2/3 million miles worth of points now, and a call to MP might cause that to disappear. Any thoughts?
     
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  2. qasr
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    qasr Silver Member

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    I doubt they would give it to her (err, him) but I suppose there is no harm in trying.

    Unless she's planning on booking Y tickets there isn't any availability she's missing out on. The ticketing fees would be a big deal though if she's booking close in or making changes...
     
  3. PhlyingRPh
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    It's what he would have wanted.
     
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  4. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    You can try calling, but I would be scared that the airline will close the account and take everything away... Some airlines are reasonable about this, and some aren't... I have no experience or idea of how UA handles this, but be careful since it would suck if she can't put those miles to a good use...
     
  5. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    If she doesn't want to try to keep the account active long enough to spend them, she could try transferring them. Although then you have the pesky fees.
     
  6. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    If she has access to his account and he has a lot of miles, my bet would be that she would like to use them. In that case, I wouldn't wave any red flags.
     
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  7. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    Don't rock the boat. Redeem what you can without having to call UA.
     
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  8. IMH
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    IMH Silver Member

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    When do we get to vote for silliest thread of the year? We have a strong candidate for the top 10 here, after just 10 days or so of public beta.
     
  9. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    It is a valid question that was posted.
     
  10. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    We all have different levels of experience and knowledge. I think the goal here is to be as kind and supportive of all members as we can possibly be,and never make disparaging remarks about those who may have less experience or knowledge.
     
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  11. Rambuster
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    Rambuster Silver Member

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    Some airlines allow mileage balances to be inherited.
    Others close the account upon death notification.
    No idea in which category UA falls, but I would strongly recommend to check this first.
    I however doubt they will grant 1K status posthumus ?
    (If they do, can I have the SWUs ...;) )

    Personally, I'd simply try to redeem the miles quietly. I'd also try to keep the account alive by trying to crediting to it.
    (Not sure how this can be done, perhaps by online transactions, hotels in places/countries where they don't check IDs?)
     
  12. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    Just using miles every year will keep the account alive.

    I think the smart thing to do is to first teach your heirs to use your miles when you are no longer around, and second create a legal codicil leaving them your miles.

    That way they can use the miles until they get caught and then, if they do get caught, they can apologize for their mistake and suddenly discover that they actually had indeed inherited the miles. At least that would be my plan.
     
  13. IMH
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    IMH Silver Member

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    I agree. But we all know that PhlyingRPh, with around 7,000 posts in another popular frequent flyer forum, cannot be accused of having less experience or knowledge. And of course saying that a thread is silly doesn't amount to attacking the OP or any subsequent posters.
     
  14. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    Even the world's best sushi chef may not know how to bake French bread.

    No question is silly if it is asked in good faith.

    A silly questions would be something like, "Do you think Dovster will be chasing women in Las Vegas?" ;)
     
  15. PhlyingRPh
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    PhlyingRPh Silver Member

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    To address the emerging sub-topic of whether or not PhlyingRPh is silly, I would like to say that if one is familiar with my blogging history of 7,000ish entries on the above-referenced forum, one might also recall that I have a proclivity for melding the silly with the serious.

    In this thread, the question is really two-fold; one serious, one silly. First, the serious...

    a) Do 1K's have an appreciably larger universe of opportunities to bag an award flight over Premier Executives? I've been a 1K since 2003, and while I realize Mileage Plus makes "more inventory" available to 1K's than other levels, I genuinely do not know how much more inventory I have to choose from over those of other Mileage Plus tiers.

    Now, the silly...

    b) Determining whether or not Mileage Plus would consider granting 1K status to a member who would have earned 1K status, and who indeed had paid tickets on the docket for which refund requests have not yet been made (should have pointed that out in the OP). In essence, this element of the question is a parody of those "If I call Mileage Plus and tell them I missed 1K by x miles, do you think they will grant my request?" threads. However, the facts, mileage gap, and other details are accurate.

    I suppose melding the demise of a colleague with a silly subject could also be considered off-colour, but it is certainly not my intention to be disrespectful to his memory.
     
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  16. IMH
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    IMH Silver Member

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    Indeed. And thanks for not taking offence here as quickly as a couple of other people. None was intended -- and, as I tried to point out, finding a thread silly isn't the same as saying a question lacks merit or (perish the thought!) finding the asker silly.

    There's also the underlying question of why some people apparently think that silliness is something negative.

    I didn't find the initial question disrespectful, or fail to see the element of genuine enquiry -- but the parody did make me laugh. Thanks.
     
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  17. PhlyingRPh
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    I think the reaction to your original post was secondary to Randy Petersen's request that we be conscientious of the tone being set in this pre-go-live period. I don't think anyone took offense, and from reading the responses it seems like the other posters were merely trying to uphold the spirit of Randy Petersen's request. Regardless, if one of my threads doesn't make the Top Ten Silly Threads Chart, I'll be very disappointed.
     
  18. PhlyingRPh
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    [Bolding mine]

    I think this is excellent advice. Incidentally, my colleague who passed away last year had a will (his only survivors are a married daughter and an ex-wife) and he did not apparently specifically bequethe access to and points in any of his affinity programs. However, his daughter had access to his affinity programs as she had booked hotels and airline tickets for her family while he was alive. Were this not the case, I don't think anyone would have thought about this aspect of his estate.
     
  19. I like the thread, I like the info.

    I don't think you needed to defend yourself, but it is your thread :p
    The points are valid, but it hijacks the topic :)

    I intend to will all my miles to whatever living pet exists at the time of my demise. Being I have no pet at this time, then I suppose it should go to a relative or a charity :p
     
  20. kiwi
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    kiwi Gold Member

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    I know people whose heirs lost access to millions of miles. OTOH some programs expressly state accounts cease on death of a member and miles are not transferable posthumously, thus leaving them in a will only legally helps for programs which allow posthumous use.
     
  21. Punki
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    Kiwi, how did it happen that they lost use of the miles? How did the airline know the owner was dead?
     
  22. A new low...
     
  23. kiwi
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    kiwi Gold Member

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    Reported in the newspapers.
     
  24. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    :confused:

    With AS, technically the miles goes into the coffin when the account owner passes away, but they will make exceptions to allow the family to transfer miles to an active account for free after submitting a copy of the death certificate, etc. I think that is a great thing and all airlines should do that, because the deceased person has earned those miles and showed their loyalty to the airline over the years... It is the least the airlines can do for the families and it is hugely helpful in defraying travel costs for funerals or memorial services.... Often we see families who have close relatives that lives abroad and last minute airfares are insane and bereavement fares do not really do any good.

    All in all, miles is something of value that has been earned by someone and is not something that should be taken away in this kind of circumstance, at least out of goodwill... With proof of kinship and everything I think the airlines should waive transfer fees or charge a nominal flat rate processing fee of $75 to transfer miles from the deceased's account to the benefactor's account...
     
  25. Why do you think they "should" do this? Because that's what would be beneficial to you? :rolleyes:
     

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