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Is it lame or a way to earn UA miles?

Is it lame or a way to earn UA miles?

Old Dec 9, 98, 12:23 am
  #1  
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Is it lame or a way to earn UA miles?

Okay, it's been an undetermined amount of time so I receive a UA mileage statement today. Who the hell knows when you'll get these things so its always a special treat when they arrive.

Anyway, included in my Exec Premier statement is a silly little yellow booklet that contains "brownie point" coupons. (Rudi, I'll explain brownie point to you...) You are supposed to fill it out and give it to an exceptional UA employee of your choosing. There are 4 coupons. I was about to toss the stupid thing in the trash when I noticed that there is a line to place a Mileage Plus number. Hmmmmmm....I bet I will be rewarded with some undetermined number of miles if I fill this out and give it to someone. Okay, I'll try it in 2 weeks when I next fly UA.

I think I will feel stupid handing this "golden ticket" to an employee but then again, maybe if I give the gate agent the whole thing, I'll get a first class upgrade!. Ha ha ha.....
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Old Dec 9, 98, 12:58 am
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Interesting. I also got my statement not too long ago and I wondered about the same thing. If you notice on the back, instruction #1 specifically says:

"1. For each complete certificate you wish to present, please complete the front, checking all examples that apply, as well as the 'Premier Member' section on the back."

I actually mailed it to an employee before. She worked at the Red Carpet in Miami and was very helpful. But I never got miles or anything of that sort.
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Old Dec 9, 98, 2:21 am
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Hilton did something similar recently. Giving the voucher to an employee provided them with an entrance to a staff competition. The more they got, the more chances they had to win. There was nothing in it for the giver, apart from using it as a 'sweetener' to try and get that extra upgrade etc.

Do you think UA has employed the same group of management consultants ???
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Old Dec 9, 98, 6:48 am
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Air Canada has the same thing. There are no direct benefits (that I know of) for the flyer. Hopefully, it does help to improve the level of service over time. I save them for truly monumental efforts (e.g. getting me on an oversold flight at the last minute) or for flight attendants that are having fun with their jobs (I was kept in stitches by one from Houston to Toronto in June--he told several good joke -- in addition to paying attention to detail, being professional etc., was obviously having fun on the job).
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Old Dec 9, 98, 7:45 am
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If it is anything like American's program, you do not get any credit for submitting the rewards -- the employee can get gifts, be entered into contests and can receive free flights (I know they already do receive "free flight" but on some flights they do pay if they do not want to go standby)

I think it is a good tool to encourage customer service and you would be surprised at the better level of service when you give one out.

--Jim
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Old Dec 9, 98, 8:42 am
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in 96 and 97 (not in 98 yet) I received some UA-"brownie points" and I gave them regularly to "my" UA-employees in Switzerland (rarely also at other places).

UA-people told me then, that they enter a ballot with attractive (and unattractive) prices - but were quit keen to get them.

Already than a mileage plus number was asked for on these "brownies" - to help against fraud of UA employees filling them out themselves ?
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Old Dec 9, 98, 11:24 am
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I LOVE those things. I received a bunch over the past two years. When a gate agent, phone agent or FA is extra nice, I'll give 'em one and they do get very excited and appreciative.

On long flights, I'll give on to the FA who brings me my 1st drink. This usually guarantees me superior service throughout the flight. (I feel wierd giving it to him/her before they have done ANYTHING). ON a recent trip, I gave on to each of the crew in 1st for their obvious dilligence on a crowded flight. By chance, one of the FAs was working my connecting flight, and she treated me like a king all the way from Chicago to Seattle.

I also sent one to a phone agent once after she was very helpful in making reward travel reservations. About a month later I noticed something VERY, VERY, VERY nice that I can only assume she did for me that I dont want to mention for fear of UAL getting mad at me or her about it...

So while it is supposed to be a "reward" thing and you should not assume quid pro quo, those of us who believe in karma know that what goes around comes around!!!!

BTW, I have no idea what they get for receiving one, and those who I have asked have been circumspect...
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Old Dec 9, 98, 1:57 pm
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I've always made a practice of writing to Ron Allen (or whoever Delta's CEO happens to be today) whenever I experience something I think is unusual (especially good) on a flight. I also find that just asking the FA, "Do you have a card?" (they never do, but I'll usually get a complete list of both the cockpit and cabin crews, scribbled on a napkin, as a result). Delta, at least, usually passes on my comments, and it apparently really means something to the employee. One Red Coat at DCA, about whom I wrote a laudatory letter a couple of years ago, still recognizes me by name - even though my name never got into our discussion when he helped me out. I'm not sure about the form cards. It seems to me they sort of cheapen the process. If I were the employee, it would mean a lot more to me to get a personalized letter of congratulations than a postcard that amounts to a form letter. If I were the manager, it would mean more to me, too.
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Old Dec 9, 98, 2:00 pm
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BTW: I've never seen any direct advantage - extra miles, etc. - from recognizing good performance by an employee. I have, though, seen a lot of smiles from emplopyees who recognize me. And there may have been some bennies that I did'nt know about in the background.
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Old Dec 9, 98, 3:18 pm
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As I probably mentioned on the UA board... I too got these Yellow "you did a nice job" cards and a few times I have used them. I'm wondering if these cards go into the employee's "personal record" so when it comes time for raises and promotions they'll also consider the nice comments they got from
customers. I fill out the cards with this in mind, so the pretty flight attendant can save for her kid's college bills or the captain can retire a few months early.

BlondeBomber: Your F-A sounds like the same guy I had on my A-C flight EWR-Toronto on the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. he sang, told jokes and was very helpful. He even gave me a restaurant to go to ("The Kit Kat restaurant") since he noticed my cat pictures. I made sure I wrote out a comment card to A-C telling them how wonderful he was.

As for miles, there are dozens of ways I can earn them. I don't care if I get miles or a letter for being nice to an overworked airline employee.

OMNI related: Nordstrom workers send thank you notes, call when I make a BIG purchase even tell me when the sales are on. I like that personal service. It's always a surprise to me when I am thanked for shopping there. No freebees, but a very nice gesture. CATMAN
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Old Dec 9, 98, 9:51 pm
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Rudi...you nailed it! A United manager told me that the MP number is just a fraud deterrent to keep employees from giving them to themselves. For each one they get an entry in a contest. After receiving 10 of these slips, the employee gets a special pin to wear (I'm sure many of you have seen them).
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