Thank you for being 1K

Old Nov 8, 19, 11:55 am
  #1  
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Thank you for being 1K

It seems like this line is suddenly everywhere. Every transaction with UA, even when they scan my BP at the gate, ends with "Thank you for being a loyal 1K member..." This morning when I had to call an agent with an issue it ended with "I hope you'll be able to keep your 1K statusfor next year." It's just part of every single conversation. It must be part of the instructions all agents have received.

Yesterday when they held a flight for me for 5 minutes at IAD to avoid a missed connection I heard it at least five times as they were rushing me through the gate area and onto the flight. This made it clear to me that they held the flight BECAUSE I was 1K - and I know several others on my incoming flight were trying to make the same connection and they were somewhere behind me when they rushed me on board and closed up.

A little bit is great, but this is getting a little annoying, especially since there is no way I'll be 1K next year, and will ride out my 2020 as Gold while explore other options for 2021 and then jump ship when my status goes away.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 12:16 pm
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Funny, I experienced the same "congratulations" from the GS line just yesterday, before I was even able to give my name or MP #. Maybe from a pop-up screen on the agent's system.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 12:19 pm
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I thought that as well. It's almost as if they know that, from 2021 I won't be 1K and that in 2020 I won't be flying UA much, and are trying to persuade me with flattery that I should stick with UA.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 12:19 pm
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I had this about five times during my ten flights week before last. "Thank you sir for being such a loyal 1K member, we appreciate your business." At least it's better than "get it yourself".
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Old Nov 8, 19, 12:26 pm
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I've also recently noticed this trend, and while it's a small gesture I do appreciate it. I haven't had a scenario requiring special handling, but I hope the treatment extends to those if and when they arise.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 12:34 pm
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Originally Posted by cesco.g View Post
Funny, I experienced the same "congratulations" from the GS line just yesterday, before I was even able to give my name or MP #. Maybe from a pop-up screen on the agent's system.
UA uses caller ID to identify you, at least if you call from a number you've put into your account.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 12:35 pm
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Now, if they could find a way to give me a upper body massage in-flight, then I'd be happy.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 12:46 pm
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I felt "hammered" with this mainly when checking in to UC's
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Old Nov 8, 19, 12:47 pm
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I overheard a FA mention it to the guy in 2B last night as she wished him a Happy Birthday.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by jhayes_1780 View Post
I felt "hammered" with this mainly when checking in to UC's
Yes, there as well, I'd forgotten about the UC. It's everwhere! I got it when I checked in and again as I left.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 1:06 pm
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Old Nov 8, 19, 1:12 pm
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It has picked up for me also...along with the dreaded Hertz rental car attempted sell...
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Old Nov 8, 19, 1:21 pm
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I'd like to hear this at the gate when they hand me a boarding pass for my upgrade....then I would start to feel appreciated again.....!!
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Old Nov 8, 19, 1:34 pm
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Well if you're not going to retain customers with a loyalty program you have to retain them with either lower cost or superior product. For those of us who travel internationally and have the option of a non-American carrier there are a lot of airlines that offer a superior product, often at a lower price and with fewer connections. If United wants to make flying a commodity, that is their privilege, but there are consequences to moving away from brand loyalty based system.

The other key point is United has spent the last 40 years training its customers on how to maximize the MileagePlus loyalty program. Milage runs are a great example. They are now blowing-up this model completely, which confuses everyone, putting them all outside their comfort zone, making changing to another airline much easier. Risky at best.

As a guy with almost 5M BIS miles on United, plus being ~15 months away from retirement (when my travel will shrink dramatically), I don't have a dog in this fight. So I think I can look at this objectively and all I see is confused marketing, undecided if it's going up market or down market or both. Somehow the history of how customers are attracted and retained has been cast aside and now it's only focused are market segmentation and financial ratios. In the long-run brand loyalty is extremely difficult build and very easy to destroy. I'm afraid United seems interested in testing the limits of how easy it is to destroy.

Last edited by John Aldeborgh; Nov 8, 19 at 1:40 pm
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Old Nov 8, 19, 1:43 pm
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Originally Posted by seanp7 View Post
It has picked up for me also...along with the dreaded Hertz rental car attempted sell...
the hertz thing is starting to annoy me. not that it's the agent's fault - if anything, i feel bad that they're being forced to pitch it.

it just leaves a cheesy taste after an otherwise productive and genial call. "i'm being used transactionally" cheese, not pecorino.
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