Yesterday I posted that award tickets booked on United.com or via United phone agents were pricing very strangely. The exact same flights could cost 80K, 92.5K, or 110K miles depending on if United.com found them automatically or how you searched for them.
It turns out that it’s not a bug. It’s #UnitedUnfriendly rearing its ugly head again. Gary writes that he assumed it had to be a glitch as such a change without sufficient prior warning would constitute an unfair and deceptive practice worthy of a DoT complaint. United told him that,
“There is not a glitch on the new site for multi-city — that functionality is working as we previously announced. The new MileagePlus award changes are designed to make multi-city searches easier, give our customers greater flexibility, offer the Excursionist Perk, and provide efficient options that meet their travel needs. Selecting the multi-city option will break up the search into separate awards. We believe our multi-city pricing is consistent with the industry.”
Except nothing is easier, the Excursionist Perk is a massive downgrade from a stopover, and more flexibility just means pay us more miles.
There was a nice run of improvements from when Smisek was fired. United started improving their clubs, business class, in-flight snacks and coffee, free snacks for elites, and more. Employee morale went way up which made for far more pleasant and on-time flights.
American fired their President, Scott Kirby in August. United immediately hired him and named him their President. Scott Kirby is the man who said in a press conference that the Philadelphia-Tel Aviv route was “extremely lucrative” before canceling the route due to the route “always being a money-loser.” He came over with Doug Parker from America West to destroy USAirways and obliterate American’s operational performance and AAdvantage in record time.
And now United has removed the ability the manually pick your own saver award flights. If you take United.com’s suggestions then it will give the saver award rate for the route, but if you try specifying valid saver award flights you’ll pay a separate rate for each flight. That applies whether you select the flights on United.com or with a phone agent, though there are a couple reports of rare agents that are willing to sell tickets from the old system where you can string together your choice of saver award flights without paying additional miles.
United claims this is in line with industry practices, but that’s a farce. Even American still allows you to combine saver flights on a single saver award as long as the routing is legal and you don’t have a stopover of more than 24 hours on an international flight and most carriers allow you to do the same.
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— DansDeals (@DansDeals) October 11, 2016
If you feel deceived by MileagePlus’ lack of proper notification of the change you can file a a DoT complaint as well for their deceptive and unfair practices.