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Temporary UA Gold - wont chase permanent status

Temporary UA Gold - wont chase permanent status

Old Apr 10, 2024, 9:27 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 310
Temporary UA Gold - wont chase permanent status

InfrequentFlyer got a new job... need to fly a bunch more and to UA Hubs. Also, my company has a contract with UA.

So.... Gained UA Gold with a challenge through my company. I'm AA Platinum. I Could/can have moved a few other flights I flew through AA to UA, enough to qualify for UA Gold, but after my 1st 4 flights on UA, I don't think I will.

Reason 1 and only 1 to stay - the FA's... WOW, they're amazing. Every flight I flew in FC, proactive PDB, immediate snack basket after 10,000' on short hops. Never had to ask for a soda/cocktail refill. The effort was genuine.

Reason 2-4 to not to chase status/move business

2 - upgrades are impossible w/o paying. Every flight was packed with 4 or more UA pilots sitting upfront (Yes I know, covered ad nauseam). being #2 or 3 on the UG list with 6 seats open and watching 6 pilots take those open seats.)
3 - Premier check in experience at EWR... WOW.. so premium to use a self check in kiosk, wait for a very uninterested UA contract EE (or it seems that way) to ask for my ID and heave my bag onto the belt. SERIOUSLY? This is your PREMIER check in?
4 - LOST BAG... 2 our of 4 trips my bags were "RE-ROUTED" and arrived 6-12 hours late. Bags get lost... happens, but 50% is not a good percentage. Not once was I offered miles or some sort of compensation. Totally get baggage gets screwed up, but with my AA status, I'm always tossed a few miles w/o asking.

My travel moved to UA bc of the 90 day Status match through my company. I could have flown AA, but thought, hey, why not give UA a shot, perhaps the grass is really greener. AA isn't perfect but my equal status gets me upgraded at a higher % against other flyers, even if they are CC spenders, my bags don't get lost as often, and when they do, I'm treated as a valued customer. And when flying through a AA flagship hub, its not a 3rd world experience. UA has some great FA's, that might be enough for me to stay... well, probably not.
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Old Apr 10, 2024, 9:50 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: AVP & PEK
Programs: UA 1K 1.9MM
Posts: 6,546
Pretty much the exact opposite UA experience here, albeit as a 1K.

1) FAs are hit-n-miss, sometimes great, but definitely not always

2) At 100% upgrade rate with PlusPoints for over a year

3) Premium check-in for 1K and Polaris at EWR isn't what I call super premium, but it's usually pretty fast

4) Haven't had luggage lost in well over 15 years with UA and CO before that. Admittedly I only travel with checked luggage maybe 30% of the time.
narvik is offline  
Old Apr 11, 2024, 6:43 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: None - previously UA
Posts: 4,933
If your company has a contract with UA, youre likely going to fly with United right? Or do they not mind if you chose non direct or more expensive options to stick with AA?
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 6:50 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: ORF, RIC
Programs: UA LT 1K, 3 MM; Marriott Titanium; IHG Platinum
Posts: 7,088
Originally Posted by narvik
4) Haven't had luggage lost in well over 15 years with UA and CO before that. Admittedly I only travel with checked luggage maybe 30% of the time.
My last luggage mishap was DEN-RIC in February. Two bags were checked in from Wenzhou, China to RIC via ICN, SFO, and DEN. One of the two bags arrived at RIC with me but the other one was stuck in DEN although the connection time was over 1 h. It finally arrived about 30 h later (VIA ORD). This bag got an extra PQF.
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 8:24 am
  #5  
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: FLL, MEL, SIN, WAS
Programs: UA*Lifetime GS, Hyatt* Lifetime Globalist
Posts: 12,463
4 flights are a small sample. Sorry I have a researcher mind. It is premature to reach a conclusion on a small sample size.

I had 5 flights on AA recently, and everyone was delayed by more than an hour. Does that mean AA have a systematic delay problem? I don't think so.
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Last edited by UA_Flyer; Apr 11, 2024 at 8:43 am
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 8:31 am
  #6  
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Join Date: May 1998
Location: CT/NY
Programs: UA 1K/1MM, AA EXP, Marriott LT Titanium, Hyatt Globalist, IHG Plat Amb
Posts: 6,088
If you checked in online, one of the magical things with the kiosk is that, by scanning the mobile BP, the checked bag tags comes out automagically, faster than an agent typing away. Versus on AA, I have to deal with the madhouse of long Priority lane or questionable slow kiosks. I had a situation where the bag tag was printed incorrectly (ran out of tape), or the kiosk went into spinning mode and never recovered. In both cases I had to wait in the long Priority line to get the situation resolved.
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 9:26 am
  #7  
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Houston
Programs: UA Plat, Marriott Gold
Posts: 12,720
I assumed #1 was sarcasm. Atypical.

2 and 3 are very real, and 3 especially at a dump like Newark.

4 is atypical as well; UA's bag mishandling rate is typically pretty average, not at either extreme relative to other US carriers.
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 10:12 am
  #8  
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 21,800
Originally Posted by mduell
I assumed #1 was sarcasm. Atypical.
I wouldn't expect a Gold passenger to be anywhere near the top of the list out of EWR -- but, as always, it depends upon the routes.

My upgrade rate as an AA Plat is similar to my CPU rate as a UA 1K, but, again, part of that is because of where I'm flying.
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 10:29 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Berkeley, CA
Programs: UA Gold, peon everywhere else
Posts: 989
Honestly, as someone with natural gold-level flying patterns, the three primary reasons I push to keep gold are
1. Economy plus at booking time (for me, at least, the extra few inches of space are what keep me on UA),
2. group 1 boarding (even if I get to the gate after the lineup but before boarding, I still can usually get an overhead bin near my seat), and
3. lounge access when I fly internationally (which is nice, but not nearly as important as the other two)
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 2:58 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: OSL/IAH/ZRH (time, not preference)
Programs: UA1K, LH GM, AA EXP->GM
Posts: 38,312
Originally Posted by InfrequentFlyer2018
..4 - LOST BAG... 2 our of 4 trips my bags were "RE-ROUTED" and arrived 6-12 hours late. Bags get lost... happens, but 50% is not a good percentage. Not once was I offered miles or some sort of compensation. Totally get baggage gets screwed up, but with my AA status, I'm always tossed a few miles w/o asking.
So I'm not the only one!

This year, I lost my bags around once every three flights. That rivals flying BA.
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 3:25 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: San Francisco
Programs: UA MM Plat, UA 1MM, Hilton Lifetime Gold, Marriott Gold, Hertz Gold, CLEAR, AS MVP Gold
Posts: 3,666
Originally Posted by narvik
Pretty much the exact opposite UA experience here, albeit as a 1K.

2) At 100% upgrade rate with PlusPoints for over a year

4) Haven't had luggage lost in well over 15 years with UA and CO before that. Admittedly I only travel with checked luggage maybe 30% of the time.
A 100% PP upgrade rate! I didn't get that as a GS! Go buy a lottery ticket. Currently as a Plat they are virtually worthless.
Delayed bags happen a few times a year, just went through it and what a hassle. Now I can't say I have had out right lost bags in years.
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