20-60% chance of losing UA frequent flyer miles

Discussion in 'United Mileage Plus' started by melicity1, Nov 26, 2004.

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Will we lose UA frequent flyer miles?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  1. melicity1

    melicity1 Newbie

    Nov 1, 2004
    Hi all,

    In my efforts to decide between joining UA and TG's frequent flyer program, I stumbled across http://www.uawatch.com/

    Most of you probably know of this site, however for the newbies out there like me, you may find this site of interest. Of particular interest is a recent article by "travel expert" Theo Brandt-Sarif:

    I now predict one of three scenarios, and have assigned probabilities for each:

    * United obtains private financing provided it pares back costs even further, which will almost certainly require halting of payments into pension plans, more salary cuts and possible union resistance. However, success under this scenario would place United in the best competitive position relative to the other majors. Probability 40%

    * United is liquidated, and another airline or private equity firm familiar with financing airlines cherry-picks United's best assets (including prime routes and aircraft), possibly honoring frequent flyer miles in an attempt to retain the loyalty of United fliers. Probability 40%

    * United is liquidated, and ceases to be an operating entity. Probability 20%

    There you have it. Certainly these are "wild" predictions without much to go by in terms of precedents, but I do want to help those of you with United frequent flyer miles get a sense of risk. My guess is a 20-60% chance you will lose all your frequent flyer miles if you do nothing in the next 12 months.

    Any comments on this? If this is anything to go by, the future certainly does look bleak for UA frequent flyers, and is definately making me think long and hard about joining the UA mileage plus program (despite their excellent accrual and redemption rates).....

  2. rooman

    rooman Newbie

    Nov 25, 2004
    Earth , our known Universe
    another scneario
    United sells off unprofitable routes and expands new routes where it sees opportunity to max profits (more into China- less into Sth America), it dumps its pension plan, screws its staff even more with a 1113 order and creates a new entity to float, all along staying Star and building perks for its execs at the expense of its crews and ground staff.
    this would suggest that at least its MP members would get a continuation of the strong MP program and maybe extra benfits to attract more pax .

    As a UA NRSA (Non Rev Space Available) flyer over the years I know they have great people in the crews, not so great on the ground, especially at US domestic gates (egLAX yugh, sloppy, scruffy and ambivalent... thats another storey), but if you can get on, and you have a fat seat, you're in for a treat.
    If you are crammed in the back in Y and its a heavy load....just take a painkiller, get as comfortable as you can and slink down low for the duration....( this could be said in the back of TG's MD11s too, especially in the middle of that huge centre row....)

    but I digress, MP is a great (if not the best of all the FF/Loyalty plans, and hopefully it will stay around and not be eroded, unlike the ROO's and what they are trying to do now (in the name of efficiency?- what a load of codswallop, QF are into micro billing, micro economics and micro excisions of everything revenue centric, so it wont end there for them, they will continue to erode QF FF ...
    enough...time for a walk to smell the roses !
  3. ozstamps

    ozstamps Member

    Aug 30, 2003
    Sunny Sydney
    MP is very safe IMHO. UA are predicting today a BILLION dollar profit.
  4. QF WP


    Jun 20, 2002
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    Predicting a future profit and actually making it happen are two independent events...although I do wish UA well (not due to the fact that I only have 3,500 UA points and won't cry if I lose them, but rather I have friends who are UA employees).
  5. ozstamps

    ozstamps Member

    Aug 30, 2003
    Sunny Sydney
    Well I as a 5 year 1K have south of a million miles and I am comfy.

    And the World's leading FF Guru by miles is happy and says don't worry:


    You can please yourself, stay negative (despite knowing nothing much about the plan it seems) and miss out, or listen to folks who actually know something about the program. :)
  6. NM


    Aug 27, 2004
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    Has a major US FF program ever collapsed the way we have seen happen in Australia? Some airlines may have ceased to operate under their original names, but as far as I can tell, the FF programs have been picked up and merged into another program, hence protecting the miles, at least to a reasonable extent. Look at TWA's move into AAdvantage as an example.

    So my belief is that even if UA ceased to operate as UA (and I doubt that will happen), another airline would pick up the MP program just to buy the loyalty of an extremely large and strong following.

    Same goes for CO and DL just now.
  7. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    Or to avert that, they could spin off the FF program to raise cash, similarly to AC Aeroplan.
  8. infoworks

    infoworks Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    JP Morgan (BancOne) has so much riding on the UA cards affinity/FF program they are the major financiaers of the coming out of chapter 11 party. I have lost the link, but there was quite a bit written in the financial press about it last week.

    I believe it's also true for Citibank and the other major providers with the different airlines.

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