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First-Half 2012 MP Elite Cards will be Stickers (confirmed and stickers sent mid-Jan)

First-Half 2012 MP Elite Cards will be Stickers (confirmed and stickers sent mid-Jan)

Old Nov 21, 11, 4:30 pm
  #1  
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First-Half 2012 MP Elite Cards will be Stickers (confirmed and stickers sent mid-Jan)

Although there is a separate thread on the "style" of the new 2012 elite cards, I thought this new/important info. -- straight from the MP Service Center -- deserved a separate thread since:

It concerns not the "style" of the cards, but whether there will be "cards" at all for part of the 2012 year; and

It concerns the 2012 release date of the actual cards, not just the "style" of the cards.

That said, and keeping in mind that both our current OP and MP cards expire on 1/31/12, here is what I was told when calling the MP Service Center about the mailing date for the 2012 elite cards:

'We will not be issuing any new elite cards, for either program, in advance of their January 31st expiration dates. Instead, we will be issuing either temporary stickers, or possibly letters, to extend your current expiring cards. Permanent plastic cards will only be issued AFTER the program merger is complete in March or April, with cards getting to you in the mail by mid-year'

I was told a formal meeting was held about this this past week.



For those that have ever experienced trying to get customer service help, or lounge access, when flying on a partner airline, overseas, this is entirely unsatisfactory. No matter how many SA partners, agents, and lounges they talk to abroad about this unusual move, there is no way a piece of paper or a sticker is going to work everywhere -- there will be problems (I can just hear the response to: "I know the card is expired, but I have this sticker/letter that says it is not"). And one problem is one too many on an international trip.

I am much less worried about U.S. travel, but still always feel better having something solid to prove status if/when necessary -- and I've had a few instances where it helped.

Here's the issue in a nutshell:

Any new card we get from CO would become obsolete within two to three months of being issued because the program itself will end.

Similarly, any new card we get from UA would have to be replaced two to three months later when MileagePlus numbers get changed to conform to the eight character OnePass model.

I understand the issue, but I think a two to three month gap (maybe longer when you figure in mailing time) is just too long a gap without real credentials for your ENTIRE 2012 elite base.

They should spend the extra dollars to issue us real cards, then replace them with new ones once the programs merge (much as CO did the year CO switched from ST to SA, issuing new "Star Alliance" branded cards mid-year).

Last edited by J.Edward; Jan 18, 12 at 11:12 am Reason: Update thread title.
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Old Nov 21, 11, 4:47 pm
  #2  
 
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Maybe United will disseminate this info out to the Star Alliance lounges worldwide to reduce complications? Maybe they'll start selling snow chains in hell.

I know a ton of lounges that this will cause issues at. Unacceptable.
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Old Nov 21, 11, 5:08 pm
  #3  
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So CO & UA were willing to send status-matched cards for linked accounts to members this year, but aren't willing to send cards to anyone who has earned 2012 status while they drag their own feet figuring the new program out?

I can tell you right now that this is one of the most poorly considered/thought out decisions of the merger. People may think I'm being trivial, BUT:
  • Many lounges insist on the card. I can see them right now saying, "You just put a sticker over there; we're not taking it."
  • As much wear & tear as my card already gets, I see a sticker lasting all of one or two international trips. Once it comes off / wears through, we're back to partners et al saying, "Sorry, that card is expired.
  • Partners are also notorious for not accepting letters--not that letters are convenient to carry around, either.

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Old Nov 21, 11, 5:17 pm
  #4  
 
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How about doing the reverse?

Send new cards out before then end of January under the existing program. Then when you get your act together, send out stickers with the new program name and logo that will fit nicely over the old program name and logo but not affect the *G logo or 2013 expiration date, which are what really matter in *A lounges.

May I remind you, CO/UA, that when you pulled our Elite year expiration date back by a month, it was because you assured us you could get the cards out to us by the end of January?
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Old Nov 21, 11, 5:30 pm
  #5  
 
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Did I miss something? This sounds like something the governement would do.

Seriously United, you really need to get your act together. I'm a 1K that will be dropping down to Platinum, but I have serious doubts as to ever having anything showing that 1P+ status until at best the middle of next year.

Mr. Smisek, please consult someone, maybe even Tilton, prior to making any more boneheaded decisions...
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Old Nov 21, 11, 6:04 pm
  #6  
 
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worst decision ever.....no *A lounges will allow us to enter after JAN....maybe thats why UA is doing this to safe money from having to pay other lounges?
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Old Nov 21, 11, 6:12 pm
  #7  
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I can't say I'm surprised, just another $misek (noun)
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Old Nov 21, 11, 6:16 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by exerda View Post
[*]Partners are also notorious for not accepting letters--not that letters are convenient to carry around, either.[/list]
Years ago, when CO was with ST, I bought a US Airways Club Membership for the sole purpose of lounge access for some upcoming Star Alliance overseas trips. The card did not arrive in time for the first trip, so US gave me a very official looking letter that they assured me would work for partner lounge access overseas. It did not; I was denied admission everywhere I tried to gain entry: They all wanted the card. When I called US to complain, they said the agents were "supposed" to accept it, and so it was not US's fault.

Again, there is no way UA will get to every overseas agent to accept whatever letter/sticker they come up with. They may get to the managers, but it is the gatekeepers who will make the on-the-spot decisions. I can only assume that the decision-makers at UA have never actually had to deal with this issue, and the different cultures in some places overseas, or they would never even suggest this. If they don't reverese this decision, it is going to be a mess.
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Old Nov 21, 11, 6:36 pm
  #9  
 
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Even though this information is reported to have been provided by a Mileage Plus representative, I always (in this and other things) leave open the possibility that the information provided was inaccurate, incomplete, or obtained before a related decision was finalized by others...AKA a rumor.
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Old Nov 21, 11, 6:40 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by CThomp79 View Post
Even though this information is reported to have been provided by a Mileage Plus representative, I always (in this and other things) leave open the possibility that the information provided was inaccurate, incomplete, or obtained before a related decision was finalized by others...AKA a rumor.
We can only hope this is a rumor, because the idea of giving us stickers to paste on our cards is one of the dumbest things I've heard in a long time.

This is going to make my February international trip very interesting. Maybe I'll have to fly OneWorld after all.
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Old Nov 21, 11, 6:44 pm
  #11  
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USAirways had an issue several years ago where it failed to get new cards out in time and told customers to use expired cards. It worked more reliably at some lounges than others and it was somewhat of a gamble in terms of premium check-in and/or security lines if flying economy class. They too said they informed partners to accept the cards as valid despite the expiration date.
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Old Nov 21, 11, 6:52 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by tarheelnj View Post
May I remind you, CO/UA, that when you pulled our Elite year expiration date back by a month, it was because you assured us you could get the cards out to us by the end of January?
It was because they thought they could save/make money by shaving one month off the 14-month membership year. And indeed it was for the benefit of airline management at the expense of passengers.
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Old Nov 21, 11, 7:01 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by CThomp79 View Post
Even though this information is reported to have been provided by a Mileage Plus representative, I always (in this and other things) leave open the possibility that the information provided was inaccurate, incomplete, or obtained before a related decision was finalized by others...AKA a rumor.
CThomp79,

You are correct, this information, as I said, came from a MPSC rep.; and I, too, have sometimes been given incorrect information when calling the OP/MPSC.

That said, she talked about a meeting that had been held on this issue and also went back and forth with her supervisor, on the spot, to make sure she got it right. She seemed very certain of the information she was giving me. At least from that, it appears solid; though it is such a terrible decision, one hopes that somehow the rep. got it wrong in one of the ways you describe.

In any event, it would be good for UAInsider to let us know what the deal is.
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Old Nov 21, 11, 7:10 pm
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by exerda View Post
So CO & UA were willing to send status-matched cards for linked accounts to members this year, but aren't willing to send cards to anyone who has earned 2012 status while they drag their own feet figuring the new program out?

I can tell you right now that this is one of the most poorly considered/thought out decisions of the merger. People may think I'm being trivial, BUT:
  • Many lounges insist on the card. I can see them right now saying, "You just put a sticker over there; we're not taking it."
  • As much wear & tear as my card already gets, I see a sticker lasting all of one or two international trips. Once it comes off / wears through, we're back to partners et al saying, "Sorry, that card is expired.
  • Partners are also notorious for not accepting letters--not that letters are convenient to carry around, either.

When they insists, aren't they in siting on a club card and an ID not FF card?
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Old Nov 21, 11, 7:10 pm
  #15  
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This is a bad idea. Nice one Smi, J.

For those moving from *S to *G this will be an even bigger mess, they wont even have an old *G card to present along with their letter or sticker.
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