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MP Accounts Closed by UA Alleging Fraud/Misuse

MP Accounts Closed by UA Alleging Fraud/Misuse

Old Jan 19, 20, 9:36 pm
  #1576  
 
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
It's not even necessary to click a link to see them when enrolling in MP...they're directly above the "Accept and Enroll" button and easily Google-able if someone wants or need to refresh their memory in the future.
Technically that says you can't purchase "mileage", which is clearly different to "Miles".
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Old Jan 19, 20, 10:11 pm
  #1577  
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post
Technically that says you can't purchase "mileage", which is clearly different to "Miles".
No, that is not going to fly

for example from the full T&C
Miles will be accrued in a Member’s account only when the Member avails themselves of a means of accrual recognized under the Program. Members may only accrue mileage as a result of their own utilization of services, whether air transportation or otherwise, except to the extent that mileage may be earned for purchases made through authorized debit or credit cards or as expressly allowed under the applicable offer.
And I doubt anyone is confused by the wording.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 20, 20 at 11:45 am
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Old Jan 20, 20, 11:20 am
  #1578  
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
UA is happy to take your money as long as you haven't caused a disruption in flight (e.g. assault a FA or other passenger, etc.) -- you'll certainly be aware if UA has prohibited you from flying with UA.

MP on the other hand rules say


Which implies that there is some possibility of receiving a special dispensation or pardon from MP, but it likely depends on the specifics of each case, must explicitly be requested, and is not guaranteed. In other words, probably best finding another program/airline to be loyal to.
UA could interpret the "not eligible to participate in any aspect" rule to say that the person also cannot receive gifted upgrades from some other person's MP account.

Originally Posted by samcmontreal View Post
He never bought or sold before. It was 1 million miles worth of flight awards booked. He used all existing miles for future flight awards. He bought 150K miles. United canceled all the tickets worth roughly 1 million MP points and closed his account. At least they refunded all the taxes. Sounds pretty harsh.
This sounds like he bought award tickets and not literally miles, although it also sounds like he was aware that these were award tickets (versus confusion about whether the broker is a discount travel agent) that were being purchased.

Sorry, no sympathy.
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Last edited by MSPeconomist; Jan 20, 20 at 11:49 am Reason: Correcting autocorrect
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Old Jan 21, 20, 8:09 am
  #1579  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
UA could interpret the "not eligible to participate in any aspect" rule to say that the person also cannot receive gifted upgrades from some other person's MP account.
That's certainly how I would interpret it -- to clarify my comment up thread when I said "still free to fly UA" I mean "fly UA using the basic, paid-for, transportation with none of the special frills, period"

I tend to be paranoid (but that doesn't mean they aren't out to get me ) but if I were on the gifting end of the equation I'd be somewhat reticent to gift an upgrade to anyone on UA security/compliance's radar for fear of a guilt-by-association impact.
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Old Jan 21, 20, 8:41 am
  #1580  
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Me too, but I wouldn't trust someone to necessarily tell me about previous encounters with airline corporate security departments.

BTW, DL requires a FF number for someone to be eligible for a (free) upgrade as the traveling companion of an elite, but I've never klooked carefully at the rules regarding needing a FF number or not for an instrument supported upgrade. [Under certain conditions, an expensive ticket for a DL flight can be upgraded using certain partner airline's FF program miles, which should in principle still work after one is banned from participating in DL's FF program.] OTOH DL rules permit gifting of SWU-equivalents only to someone (one person only) on the same flights as the elite, which makes it virtually impossible for someone to attempt to sell these upgrade instruments. I like this.
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Old Jan 21, 20, 1:22 pm
  #1581  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Me too, but I wouldn't trust someone to necessarily tell me about previous encounters with airline corporate security departments.

BTW, DL requires a FF number for someone to be eligible for a (free) upgrade as the traveling companion of an elite, but I've never klooked carefully at the rules regarding needing a FF number or not for an instrument supported upgrade. [Under certain conditions, an expensive ticket for a DL flight can be upgraded using certain partner airline's FF program miles, which should in principle still work after one is banned from participating in DL's FF program.] OTOH DL rules permit gifting of SWU-equivalents only to someone (one person only) on the same flights as the elite, which makes it virtually impossible for someone to attempt to sell these upgrade instruments. I like this.
PMUA also requires the upgrade beneficiary to have a MileagePlus account as well. The rule no longer applies, as I just upgraded someone without an MileagePlus account with PlusPoints.
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Old Jan 21, 20, 2:50 pm
  #1582  
 
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Oh please let's not encourage UA to limit a system because of the bad actions of a few. I have gifted miles and upgrades to friends and family over the years - some had a FF# but many did not. One of the benefits of the program is the ability to share my love of travel with others. Often we would be flying to the same place but point of origin was different so on different flights.

Well run organizations have the rules for the many who want to do the right thing and not the few who want to game the system. You deal with the few differently (that is the role of management). Think sick leave policies. Well run organizations provide unlimited sick leave with no need to provide a medical certificate as employees are adults and treat them as such. Organizations that limit the leave and require medical certificates are treating their employees like children and they will act that same way. I have worked in the latter organizations where employees "plan" their sick days as the rules make it seem like an entitlement rather than what it is - if you are sick stay away.

I like the current UA rules, do not abuse them and applaud United for getting rid of the few bad apples.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 1:50 am
  #1583  
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Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
If you are sick stay away.
And if not, go to school, Johnny!
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Old Feb 15, 20, 4:58 pm
  #1584  
 
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Does blocked by United mean that you are out of the star alliance program too?

Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
There is a difference between high-revenue and high-profit. Besides, what if they lose two $25K per year customers because they can’t clear their upgrades, because the $12K per year customer has sold them to people without status?

More to the point, though; the real reason that they don’t structure the program the way you’re suggesting is that they count on a substantial amount of breakage in the certificates. It’s a marketing program, meaning that they’re going to tout the benefits without pointing out that it won’t be possible for everybody to receive all of them (like the complimentary upgrade for Silver members). If they made the upgrade instruments transferable, and thus decreased breakage, they’d have to give out fewer certificates. Not only would this hurt people who had been able to use their instruments in the past, it would also hurt the attractiveness of the program. One of UA’s sales pitches for 1K status is a minimum of 6 GPUs (now 8 GPU-equivalents, with PlusPoints), and an unlimited ability to earn more with continued travel. If they roll that back to match DL — 4 GPU-equivalents, full stop — it’s going to be seen as a major devaluation by a lot of the people they’re targeting, and only a minor upgrade for people who can now sell the upgrades. That’s because the apparent value of a GPU is much greater than its actual value, and UA is selling them, aspirationally, based upon the apparent value.
I completely agree and I think you hit the nail on the head. Since 1k and GS feel they have earned the status, people want to ensure that they make the most of their earnings/rewards. Hence the reason that you see so many ads on craigslist and ebay selling these vouchers - people have the perception that they earned $x worth of status and if they are unable to use them they have lost $x. Tell me you have not felt bad about unused GPU's/RPU's. Its not that these people trying to sell them are trying to intentionally trying to defraud the airline, nor are they living hand to mouth.

Originally Posted by ExplorerWannabe View Post
In point of fact, they did give them to you for free.



$60K is big revenue? You were certainly a loyal customer since you made 1K for five years but give me a break on "big revenue". That's just a laugh when you look at the millions of passengers they carry annually and the total revenue stream they're looking at. You could quit flying United (and maybe have) and the dimple on their financials wouldn't even be perceptible.



It actually might work. Just title it, "For our valued Premium Elites who follow the rules, we got rid of ### cheaters this month. You won't have to compete with people illegitimately using their accounts for upgrades because they're gone."



They are.



By all means. As an engineer and physicist, I love math.



Because United would like to get the $1000 or so of revenue themselves or give the upgrades to loyal customers (many of whom spend a lot more than $12k per year) who follow the rules instead of having that seat go to a non- or low-status customer who bought the upgrade cert on the Internet and deprived a higher status customer (who is also spending a lot of money annually) of that upgrade. Let's flip that equation: Why would a person who can afford enough travel to amass over 1M award miles endanger their status and account for $1000? That's right up there with someone owning a high-end sports car driving miles out of his/her way over a bumpy dirt road to avoid taking a toll road.



So again, why exactly did you intentionally endanger that retirement fund for travel to garner a few hundred dollars? Did you at least enjoy the proceeds?
$60k is big compared the the $300 that I could have gained from the sale of the GPU.

Also, cheating would be if I got more than the 6 GPUs given out to 1k's. I was just using the 6 given to me (in return for the 100k miles flown and the $12k funds). So I fail to understand that other members will benefit. Infact look at it this way - if the GPU is sold most likely to a regular member, they are at the bottom of the upgrade list - so the 1ks and GS will never have any competition against them since their upgrade will clear first.

Why did I intentionally endanger? Couple of reasons:
1) I didn't think United cared. I've seen people use the advice thing and thought it was ok and United had no issues. I never thought I was jeopardizing my miles
2) The marketing logic above - the fact that you earned benefits worth $x and want to make the most of them.
3) With the hope that if I sold a few GPU's, I could use the funds and apply for one confirmed upgrade purchased through United

Did I enjoy the few hundred $ - no, I returned it back to the buyer without her asking for it. I really didn't need the money.

I don't think this is limited to a few bad apples, there are more than a few - take a few mins and go to craigslist. Everyday there are 100's of new listings. These are placed by loyal United travelers since they are the only ones who get the GPUs.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 15, 20 at 6:04 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Feb 15, 20, 9:21 pm
  #1585  
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Originally Posted by lovestache View Post
Tell me you have not felt bad about unused GPU's/RPU's.
I can tell you that, as I've never had any expire. Nor have I ever sold any, although I've given some to family.

Originally Posted by lovestache View Post
Its not that these people trying to sell them are trying to intentionally trying to defraud the airline.
If they weren't trying to defraud the airline, they wouldn't put up wink-wink posts about "advice" along with a "free" GPU. Later you state that you thought UA was OK with it, but if they were OK with it, wouldn't people have just posted "selling an upgrade?" There wouldn't be any point to the charade.

Originally Posted by lovestache View Post
Also, cheating would be if I got more than the 6 GPUs given out to 1k's. I was just using the 6 given to me (in return for the 100k miles flown and the $12k funds). So I fail to understand that other members will benefit. Infact look at it this way - if the GPU is sold most likely to a regular member, they are at the bottom of the upgrade list - so the 1ks and GS will never have any competition against them since their upgrade will clear first.
I suppose that depends upon how good your "advice" is. I've only ever waitlisted one long-haul flight, and that was P->F on LH. (It cleared, but it wouldn't have been the end of the world if it didn't). If someone buys an instrument and clears into confirmable space, it can absolutely affect a passenger with higher status later.
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Old Feb 15, 20, 10:01 pm
  #1586  
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
If someone buys an instrument and clears into confirmable space, it can absolutely affect a passenger with higher status later.
Absolutely. I've cleared quite a few advance GPUs where the flight ultimately went out booked full with a long waiting list for J.

This was a particular issue with GS instruments back when you could earn unlimited RPU - it was a total friends and family gravy train, with 1Ks and lower often left out in the cold.
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