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How cheap can United get? (2018 Elite Cards)  

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Counsellor
(@counsellor)

I don't know if it's just we Million Milers, but today I got in the mail an envelope from United Mileage Plus. I was expecting the 2018 Gold membership card as usual, but there was no card inside. Instead, there was a cryptic note saying I should access something on my "app" (which I don't have). The card, as most folks probably know, is what identifies you as a current Star Alliance Gold, and gets you access to other carriers' lounges.

Further, usually my "companion" also receives a card showing her as having the status, too, so she can take advantage of Star Alliance lounges when traveling without me. No card. Careful reading of the note in the (cardless) mailing disclosed a side comment -- apparently in passing -- saying that my companion "can share {my} status this year." Whoopie Ding Dong. Maybe I should give her a Xerox copy of the unsigned note to carry around?

What a bunch of cheapskates! Does that plastic card really make the difference between United's profit and another spin through bankruptcy? Munoz, I'm not impressed.

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Posted : January 23, 2018 10:30 pm
Counsellor
(@counsellor)

Follow-on:

I called the Mileage Plus Service desk about this, and they said they understood why folks who flew Star Alliance partners needed (or wanted) physical cards showing their status and that it was current. They also said that on request they would send out actual cards for me and my companion.

However (there's always a "however" it seems), they couldn't do it yet but if I'd call back next week with the request, they were sure a "replacement card" could be ordered. I pointed out that it wasn't a "replacement" since they had not sent me an original card to be replaced, and she said she knew, but that's what they're calling them.

So, if you want a physical card, you'll have to call them (but not this week) and ask for a "replacement" card. I'm just sure this is taught at the business schools as an excellent way to maintain goodwill with your customers . . . .

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Posted : January 23, 2018 11:50 pm
iolaire
(@iolaire)

I wonder how much they save not printing the cards versus paying for a phone call for every print on demand request? I'd think the phone calls are fairly expensive relative to the card cost (or in your case two calls for print on demand) - but then postage does add up these days.

Various trip reports related to traveling with dialysis and experiencing in center dialysis treatments at Traveling and in center hemodialysis

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Posted : January 24, 2018 12:44 pm
charliep
(@charliep)
Silver

Same thing happened to me. I read even the tiny print in the letter to make sure it did not say that the card was coming at a later date. Will call next week I guess.

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Posted : January 24, 2018 9:16 pm
schnitzel
(@schnitzel)

I never carry and/or use the physical cards. I always use the app at any lounge (except Amex Centurion and Priority Pass).

Too many to carry and fumble through and then I have to swap it out when I get a new one.

For me, the app is much easier.

AA, SPG, United, Delta, and Hilton are my main programs. I also go for MR and UR points.

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Posted : January 24, 2018 9:36 pm
EllenLM
(@ellenlm)
Silver

I don't carry physical cards--agree with Schnitzel about numbers and fumbling and replacing, and I also don't like generating more plastic to be thrown away.

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Posted : January 24, 2018 9:44 pm
mattsteg
(@mattsteg)

EllenLM, post: 2808507, member: 97214 wrote: I don't carry physical cards--agree with Schnitzel about numbers and fumbling and replacing, and I also don't like generating more plastic to be thrown away.

In the past, I've used physical cards primarily for getting benefits related to FF accounts that I was not crediting to. Either way, I would welcome a digital version. I don't see anything like this in my united app.

Silver Gold Executive Platinum Classic Plus Exec Elite Platinum Gold Diamond

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Posted : January 24, 2018 10:05 pm
saigon
(@saigon)
Silver

I use so many different airlines that I get to silver on various networks but never gold. So I buy a United lounge pass that covers me for any Star Alliance business lounge. They sent my first card to my home address while I was travelling, so I arranged a photo to be sent to me from home, and for the next year I only ever showed the photo on my phone at Star Alliance lounges on 4 continents. I did the same with each renewal, and even when I had my card I never used it.

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Posted : January 24, 2018 10:06 pm
kenwarner
(@kenwarner)

Counsellor, post: 2808439, member: 858 wrote: I don't know if it's just we Million Milers, but today I got in the mail an envelope from United Mileage Plus. I was expecting the 2018 Gold membership card as usual, but there was no card inside. Instead, there was a cryptic note saying I should access something on my "app" (which I don't have). The card, as most folks probably know, is what identifies you as a current Star Alliance Gold, and gets you access to other carriers' lounges.

Further, usually my "companion" also receives a card showing her as having the status, too, so she can take advantage of Star Alliance lounges when traveling without me. No card. Careful reading of the note in the (cardless) mailing disclosed a side comment -- apparently in passing -- saying that my companion "can share {my} status this year." Whoopie Ding Dong. Maybe I should give her a Xerox copy of the unsigned note to carry around?

What a bunch of cheapskates! Does that plastic card really make the difference between United's profit and another spin through bankruptcy? Munoz, I'm not impressed.

I can't believe they didn't send out personalized cards; also, I thought last year we received larger luggage tags with our name printed on them. Very poor marketing to their million milers.

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Posted : January 25, 2018 1:19 am
Dublin_rfk
(@dublin_rfk)

I agree with [USER=284]@schnitzel[/USER] in that I don’t keep my physical cards in my wallet. I do keep them close (as well as CCs that don’t see everyday usage) as sooner or later you will run into some situation where the ‘app’ isn’t accepted or your phone decides to go blank.
[USER=858]@Counsellor[/USER] I was somewhat disappointed when I opened my MM package as a 1K it was a small box loaded with redundant dunage. When I went through it for a second time I discovered my +1s companion card stuck between a couple of averts.

http://my.flightmemory.com/DublinRFK

"Good judgement comes from experience and experience? It comes from BAD Judgement."
Unique points in 2018: EWR, LAX, SIN, SFO, IAD, IND, ORD, SAT, PHL, RDU, FLL, GRB, CLT, MSN, GRR, SNA, MCI, CLE, SAN, IAH, FRA, CVG, NRT, LAS, ABQ,[SIZE=4"> PDX[/SIZE">

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Posted : January 25, 2018 1:56 am
kenwarner
(@kenwarner)

iolaire, post: 2808462, member: 250 wrote: I wonder how much they save not printing the cards versus paying for a phone call for every print on demand request? I'd think the phone calls are fairly expensive relative to the card cost (or in your case two calls for print on demand) - but then postage does add up these days.

They are taking requests now for the membership card. I also requested a luggage tag w/ name printed on it (since mine was destroyed last year in handling). I'm totally disappointed how they treat their Million Milers, after all those flights & hours we gave them.

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Posted : January 25, 2018 2:14 am
czarza
(@czarza)
Silver

It’s true with the app you do not need the plastic, BUT try to enter another Star Alliance loung (as Lufthansa or even worst try Air China) without plastic or a due plastic and you will see the difficulties.
Wow !
United is every time worst and worst : super narrow seats in “Economy plus”, garbage food in intercontinental flights, Very poor amenities in their lounges ...
It’s not the plastic card itself, it’s that you can see that their million milers (and their passengers in general) are not valuable for them while other airlines offer better.

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Posted : January 25, 2018 11:45 am
customdirect
(@customdirect)

As a die-hard Continental fan from way back, it is extremely hard to see the many changes in the degree of dis-respect for the customer since the UA/CO merger. The culture has changed. Cramped economy cabins, folks being ejected from airplanes due to sloppy crew planning, meals even in First that I would be embarrassed to serve, a boarding process that leaves top elites even those traveling in F without a pre-board, sporadic customer service especially when problems arise, minimal premium cabin award availability on UA metal, certain United clubs closed for over 6 months at a time ...and now this.

As a MM lifetime 1/K, I assumed I would get my new wallet candy, replace my very worn tags and possibly get my free drink coupons since upgrades are harder to come by lately, but most of all, I wanted to receive that once a year recognition that my business over 30 years is regarded as meaningful and is considered something of value to UA and that message can not be replaced by an APP!!!

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Posted : January 25, 2018 4:21 pm
customdirect
(@customdirect)

Whoops, I spoke too soon. I guess you can not believe everything you read (even in Flyertalk).

Thank you UA for the beautiful presentation box just received containing two 1-K cards, one for me and one for my girl, as well as luggage tags and a 2018 surprise: An attractive set of five drink coasters. Very nice, UA! You certainly have my business.

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Posted : January 31, 2018 9:14 pm
Dublin_rfk
(@dublin_rfk)

customdirect, post: 2808928, member: 213675 wrote: Whoops, I spoke too soon. I guess you can not believe everything you read (even in Flyertalk).

Thank you UA for the beautiful presentation box just received containing two 1-K cards, one for me and one for my girl, as well as luggage tags and a 2018 surprise: An attractive set of five drink coasters. Very nice, UA! You certainly have my business.

Five coasters? I only received four. I did however receive three cards of drink coupons.:D That said I’ll use the drink coupons must faster and sooner than the coasters.

http://my.flightmemory.com/DublinRFK

"Good judgement comes from experience and experience? It comes from BAD Judgement."
Unique points in 2018: EWR, LAX, SIN, SFO, IAD, IND, ORD, SAT, PHL, RDU, FLL, GRB, CLT, MSN, GRR, SNA, MCI, CLE, SAN, IAH, FRA, CVG, NRT, LAS, ABQ,[SIZE=4"> PDX[/SIZE">

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Posted : January 31, 2018 9:30 pm
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