Protest against United's planned changes to MileagePlus

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by jcooperstock, Nov 10, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. jcooperstock

    jcooperstock New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status Points:
    15
    As the maintainer of the passengers' rights website, Untied.com, I've been asked to publicize the protest action by a group of long term MileagePlus members in response to United's planned changes to its program. Starting December 4, they're calling on MileagePlus members not to fly United or purchase any United services on the first Thursday of every month.

    Their hope is that United will listen and reverse the planned changes.

    Further details (and links) will be made available through untied.com

    Here's their letter:

     
  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    The "no buy" part is probably going to be just as effective as the gas purchase boycotts -- http://www.snopes.com/politics/gasoline/nogas.asp (aren't we all buying out tickets on Sundays now when they are the "cheapest" :D)

    Welcome to Milepoint!
     
  3. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,217
    Likes Received:
    61,749
    Status Points:
    20,020
    This has virtually zero chance of success, either in implementation or impact. But have fun trying.
     
  4. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,831
    Likes Received:
    14,598
    Status Points:
    11,070
    I think the most profitable flyers at United like the new changes. Which are the customers that United is trying to keep. Where is @Steve GadFly when you need him?

    I also don't really consider it a "bait and switch." The FIRST rule of general terms and conditions of the program is:


     
  5. ssullivan
    Original Member

    ssullivan Gold Member

    Messages:
    27,358
    Likes Received:
    60,275
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Yep. Not thrilled with UA and think the grass may be greener elsewhere? Then take your business and go there. Status matches aren't that hard to get. But don't fool yourself into believing you're making UA suffer by doing that.

    And of course this boycott assumes everyone flies on Thursdays. I've flew about 90 segments on UA this year between January 1 and when I switched to DL in September, and only two of those were on a Thursday - and that wasn't the first Thursday of the month. Even if I hadn't switched airlines, I could participate in this boycott by changing absolutely nothing. And I certainly can't be the only weekly business traveler who falls into that situation.
     
  6. ssullivan
    Original Member

    ssullivan Gold Member

    Messages:
    27,358
    Likes Received:
    60,275
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Oooh, we could turn this into another fun with frequent flyer math thread. :D

    Yep, and they gave us how many months notice it was changing? Bit late to start organizing now. :rolleyes:
     
    mht_flyer and Newscience like this.
  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Who are the "we" in "we have decided on a protest action" ? Signing an open letter with "Your dissatisfied customers" makes little sense (like the entire thing, I guess).
     
  8. Steve GadFly
    Original Member

    Steve GadFly Gold Member

    Messages:
    6,415
    Likes Received:
    18,161
    Status Points:
    11,795
    I won't weigh in on the individual claims that @jcooperstock makes in his letter. What I will say is that I can guarantee his opinion doesn't represent a "substantial number of long-term Mileage Plus members" and that the upcoming change doesn't negatively affect a "majority" of passengers.

    There are some things I am occasionally dissatisfied with when it comes to UA but this guy sure as sh!t doesn't represent me or my opinions. If he's not a one-and-done poster and does come back to read these comments, I would like to see an amended copy of the letter specifically excluding me from the grossly generalized "your dissatisfied customers" signature.

    :cool:
     
  9. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,739
    Likes Received:
    5,086
    Status Points:
    4,270
    All that is necessary for the triumph of plutocracy is to have a "fifth column" of corporate apologists among the masses.

    I, for one, applaud this move, as Quixotic as the corporate apologists predict it will to be...;)
     
    SnowDogDad and Newscience like this.
  10. seaflyguy
    Original Member

    seaflyguy Silver Member

    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    166
    Status Points:
    395
    My feeling is that if the program doesn't work for you, you leave it. If enough people do that, things may change. Or not.

    Personally, after 7+ years as a 1K, and nearly 850K BIS miles with UA, I status-challenged with AA and am now an EXP there. I just decided the time had come to make a change. So far, I'm delighted. I route my East Coast flights through DFW, enjoy the Centurion Lounge there, and every time chuckle that I used to put up with the gulag that is UA's domestic United Clubs. My logic may or may not work for someone else.

    If you don't like UA, and you think there's a better alternative, switch. If you happen to let UA know what you're doing and why, well, that might help. Or, again, it may not. Who knows?
     
  11. ssullivan
    Original Member

    ssullivan Gold Member

    Messages:
    27,358
    Likes Received:
    60,275
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I'm not thrilled with the MileagePlus changes.

    However, I'm also not stupid enough to believe that me not buying tickets on the first Thursday of the month or flying UA on the first Thursday of the month will make a dent in their bottom line, especially when I don't typically fly on Thursdays or buy tickets on Thursdays (usually buy on weekends or Monday mornings because that's when my schedule gives me time to do it). If you want to boycott, fine. But at least organize the boycott in a way that makes some sense. And, the time to start such an action was months ago when the change was announced, not now, when the change is just a few months from happening. I don't see how any of what I just said was being a UA apologist.

    And, as I've said before, if you're not happy with the changes, there are other airlines that fly in this country. I made a change to the bulk of my flying a few months ago and have been quite happy on DL.
     
  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Oh, they now serve borscht in the UCs? :)
     
    8MiHi, radonc1951 and Newscience like this.
  13. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,739
    Likes Received:
    5,086
    Status Points:
    4,270
    Agreed. I have been with UA for 12 years, 7+ years as a 1K, and nearly 850K BIS miles with UA. I have already created an account on the dAArk side but have not yet taken the status-challenge only because (a) I'd look silly jumping ship only for AA to announce that they too were migrating to the revenue system, and (b) I must fly with UA until I make 1MM before I abandon their ship. By that time, AA's long term view with respect to the r-b.s. might be clearer.

    However, there is nothing wrong with long time loyalists expressing their dismay at UA for abandoning the legacy loyalty-based system in favor of a plutocratic system. At least when their bottom line starts to suffer they won't have any doubt about the cause...
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  14. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,739
    Likes Received:
    5,086
    Status Points:
    4,270
    I've already stated ad nauseam what I intend to do, and have just done it in the preceding post. Moving on I will...

    But to address your larger point, I would simply say the neither the French nor the American Revolution would have happened if everyone who was dissatisfied had felt that they could not make a difference. All it took was a spark to start a raging fire. More to the point is that with the r-.b.s being nothing short of a plutocracy that will soak the wide majority of fliers (claim to the contrary cannot be taken seriously), it is unclear to me why common folks should rationalize its adoption for a corporatocrat, like $Smi$ek. The Stockholm Syndrome or apologia?
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
    Newscience and MX like this.
  15. ssullivan
    Original Member

    ssullivan Gold Member

    Messages:
    27,358
    Likes Received:
    60,275
    Status Points:
    20,020
    It's not that I don't think customers can make a difference. I believe they can. However, calling for a boycott of a business on 12 days of the year, without changing any habits on the other 353 days of the year, doesn't do a damn thing, especially when many of those customers likely weren't buying from the company or using its services on those 12 days. As I said, I could participate in this boycott and not change anything, and it wouldn't make a difference to UA, because I'm not taking away any business. And, if I did take away the one trip I did fly on a Thursday this year, SNA-DCA, we're only talking a few hundred dollars. To really make an impact, it would require much more change to my travel habits than saying I'm not flying UA on the first Thursday of a month.

    As I said, if you're going to do a boycott, do it right. Take all your business and go elsewhere and convince large numbers of high value flyers to do it as well. And by all I mean ALL. Not just the flights that fall on a certain day each month. Maybe that will get attention. Telling the company that a handful of people are going to stop flying UA on 12 days a year because of the change in the frequent flyer program is laughable, and the only thing more laughable is that some folks apparently are convinced change will happen as a result.

    But seriously, there's plenty of evidence that such boycotts have no effect at all, and very little evidence that they are successful.
     
  16. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

    Messages:
    774
    Likes Received:
    912
    Status Points:
    795
    After many years as a 1K, I've cut my revenue flying on UA down to the point where I would not qualify for Gold this year.

    Mrs. ttm, also a former 1K, would not even qualify for silver.

    We're in the happy position that I have 1MM, so we both have gold status for when we do choose to fly UA, but we're doing so less and less often. With the cuts to RDM accrual, I imagine we'll be drawn to (revenue travel on) UA even less next year.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  17. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,421
    Likes Received:
    2,111
    Status Points:
    1,225
    Im in the process of moving more travel to United. I hate boycotts. If you dont like it, dont use it.
     
  18. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    My wife and I are in the same situation. With status maintenance no longer part of the equation, I have a lot more flexibility in my choice of airlines. I am not avoiding UA if the numbers and the schedule/routing tell me that it's my best choice, but I probably wouldn't reach Gold this year if not for MM status. My days of 1K-ness are likely over for good.
     
    Newscience and traveltoomuch like this.
  19. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    So I take it you are going to participate in the boycott? How much revenue are you going to take away from them by not flying or booking on those Thursdays?
     
    ssullivan and Newscience like this.
  20. HeathrowGuy
    Original Member

    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

    Messages:
    7,131
    Likes Received:
    10,591
    Status Points:
    12,520
    More importantly, the wrong people are being organized. Only one element of the customer base has the heft to singularly force United to fully re-think the move -- namely, Fortune 500 corporate travel departments that could plausibly be concerned about more directly tying benefits to their employees' spend. Anything else can be dismissed by United, and will be, as the operating assumption is that American will engage in similarly strong revenue-focused measures as its merger integration concludes.
     
  21. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,739
    Likes Received:
    5,086
    Status Points:
    4,270
    Too late. I have already booked all my travel until January 2015 otherwise I would have. Should I need to book an emergency trip, I would fly with another carrier (AA).
     
    Newscience likes this.
  22. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    So you are flying United on Dec 4 or Jan 1? I guess you could at least refrain from making new bookings on those days if you wanted to join in on the fun :)
     
  23. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,739
    Likes Received:
    5,086
    Status Points:
    4,270
    I really have no stomach to engage in a lengthy discussion on this, so I will tell you exactly how I feel about it. Is it likely to make a difference? Probably not, but what is there to lose? I am gratified that people are willing to take a stand, no matter how inadequately or quixotically. I simply view this as sending of a message of dissatisfaction, as opposed to complete silence, which would give the impression that UA's adoption of the r-b.s. has widespread and tacit approval.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  24. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,739
    Likes Received:
    5,086
    Status Points:
    4,270
    I have no idea what this means. I have already booked all my trips for the rest of the year so I do not need to refrain from doing anything. However, if I should need to book any emergency trip, I would not book it on UA because I already have booked all the trips I need to make 1K. I would just fly with AA -- I have an account w/ them into which I would happily add any extra miles rather than to fly with UA. Clear now?
     
  25. MX

    MX Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    4,805
    Status Points:
    2,545
    I share your enthusiasm, but that's not how those revolutions succeeded. They were started by members of the ruling class who loved their country and knew what they were doing. If our founding fathers went around asking for validation from "dissatisfied peasants", we would never have a republic. ;)
     
    Newscience likes this.

Share This Page