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... how do we fight back to UAL's latest devaluation of our points

... how do we fight back to UAL's latest devaluation of our points

Old May 22, 2024, 10:25 am
  #61  
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Originally Posted by willliamjia
it is annoying UA devalue its partner award chart without early announcement.
They gave the announcement five years ago when they eliminated the charts.
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Old May 22, 2024, 10:26 am
  #62  
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Originally Posted by willliamjia (Post # 60)
I canceled my UA quest card. it is annoying UA devalue its partner award chart without early announcement. . . .

The most effective way is to cancel its credit card since mile devalue a lot.
Did you tell Chase why you cancelled? If not, it's not too late to send them a secure message through the Chase website you used to access the account.
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Old May 22, 2024, 10:54 am
  #63  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
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Originally Posted by goodeats21
Noticed my United Quest has been getting multiple, even stackable, promotions lately. Currently I am getting 3x bonus on dining + 1,000 points a month for >$500 spend for the next three months + bonus miles for doing all 3 months, etc.
So they are trying to drive spend and transactions to United cards. Of course, all the extra bonus miles creates points inflation, so it is all part of the devaluation.

I burned down all my UA miles long ago. I keep a reasonable balance for when value opportunities strike but they are more a by-product of domestic travel I am doing then a concerted effort to collect points. Amex/Chase are where I try to amass points, but now I am even starting to question if cash-back card is a better option. I have Charles Schwab Amex Plat, so I guess that is a form of cash back. I have put thousands into my brokerage account lately.
This assertion about "inflation" has been made several times in this thread, but I am having trouble understanding the supposed mechanism. UA could give every MP account holder 100K miles tomorrow, and unless UA changes the miles required for redemptions (which UA has complete control over), there is zero point inflation at all. Unless I'm missing something, simply issuing more points--even vast numbers--doesn't have any effect on its own whatsoever on the value of a point.
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Old May 22, 2024, 10:57 am
  #64  
 
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Originally Posted by SPN Lifer
Did you tell Chase why you cancelled? If not, it's not too late to send them a secure message through the Chase website you used to access the account.
I'm skeptical that a couple of us cancelling cards would be enough of a signal to them. I agree it's a good signal to send, they know a customer without a card is less engaged. But they have this whole grand scheme built around personalization and relationship management to minimize the cost of loyalty and maximize revenue from Mileage Plus. I suspect we're just noise around the edges.
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Old May 22, 2024, 11:01 am
  #65  
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Originally Posted by escapefromphl
I'm skeptical that a couple of us cancelling cards would be enough of a signal to them. I agree it's a good signal to send, they know a customer without a card is less engaged. But they have this whole grand scheme built around personalization and relationship management to minimize the cost of loyalty and maximize revenue from Mileage Plus. I suspect we're just noise around the edges.
This. The only individual customers that UA really values and cares about are the top tier GS members, especially those that give UA good publicity. The rest of us are sheep to be sheared.
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Old May 22, 2024, 11:40 am
  #66  
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Originally Posted by physioprof
This assertion about "inflation" has been made several times in this thread, but I am having trouble understanding the supposed mechanism. UA could give every MP account holder 100K miles tomorrow, and unless UA changes the miles required for redemptions (which UA has complete control over), there is zero point inflation at all. Unless I'm missing something, simply issuing more points--even vast numbers--doesn't have any effect on its own whatsoever on the value of a point.
The argument, such as it is, is that because miles are earned based upon spending, as airfare rises, so too will the number of miles in circulation. It's true as far as it goes, but like any one-variable analysis, it's a broad stroke at best.

Originally Posted by halls120
This. The only individual customers that UA really values and cares about are the top tier GS members, especially those that give UA good publicity. The rest of us are sheep to be sheared.
That is to say, without the loaded terms, that they're "running a business."

I've said it before, but the one question I have about an airline run by FlyerTalkers is whether it would declare bankruptcy within six months of its inaugural flight or prior to flying at all. When your customers are demanding historically-low prices, with luxurious service and in-flight comfort, plus a significant refund in terms of free product, along with massive discounts for their repeated business, in a highly-unionized, highly-regulated environment with huge fixed and operating costs well, the customer isn't always right.

I'm disappointed -- but not surprised -- about the recent price changes. But the reaction appears to be over the top. If passengers were only flying UA because of the ability to fly for "free" (TANSTAAFL), well, UA doesn't want their custom, and if we're being honest with ourselves, we can see why. But very few passengers are forced to fly UA -- CNMI residents are, but Houston residents certainly aren't. If you value a nonstop flight more than participation in a "better" frequent flyer program, that's your choice -- but that's what it is, a choice. AA and DL both serve IAH.
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Old May 22, 2024, 11:57 am
  #67  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan
The argument, such as it is, is that because miles are earned based upon spending, as airfare rises, so too will the number of miles in circulation. It's true as far as it goes, but like any one-variable analysis, it's a broad stroke at best.


That is to say, without the loaded terms, that they're "running a business."

I've said it before, but the one question I have about an airline run by FlyerTalkers is whether it would declare bankruptcy within six months of its inaugural flight or prior to flying at all. When your customers are demanding historically-low prices, with luxurious service and in-flight comfort, plus a significant refund in terms of free product, along with massive discounts for their repeated business, in a highly-unionized, highly-regulated environment with huge fixed and operating costs… well, the customer isn't always right.

I'm disappointed -- but not surprised -- about the recent price changes. But the reaction appears to be over the top. If passengers were only flying UA because of the ability to fly for "free" (TANSTAAFL), well, UA doesn't want their custom, and if we're being honest with ourselves, we can see why. But very few passengers are forced to fly UA -- CNMI residents are, but Houston residents certainly aren't. If you value a nonstop flight more than participation in a "better" frequent flyer program, that's your choice -- but that's what it is, a choice. AA and DL both serve IAH.
Indeed it is a business and got a chuckle over "what if FT ran UA", I am still laughing... so true. I recently posted a UA 4 digit coach fee (something like $1200) on a SFO-LAX flight. Passengers out of San Francisco to your point have numerous option including even charter flights at that rate, that fare was laughable. Having said that I have a friend who just visited me in Kona on the UA SFO-KOA run for $279, go figure.
Miles are another issue and as many have stated the pursuit to accumulate them has faded for multiple reasons.
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Old May 22, 2024, 12:29 pm
  #68  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan
The argument, such as it is, is that because miles are earned based upon spending, as airfare rises, so too will the number of miles in circulation. It's true as far as it goes, but like any one-variable analysis, it's a broad stroke at best.
Yes, that part I understand. But what I don't understand is how an increase in number of miles in circulation can itself lead to "inflation" (by definition, a decrease in the purchasing power of miles). The only thing that can decrease the purchasing power of miles is UA changing redemption prices.
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Old May 22, 2024, 1:09 pm
  #69  
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Originally Posted by physioprof
Yes, that part I understand. But what I don't understand is how an increase in number of miles in circulation can itself lead to "inflation" (by definition, a decrease in the purchasing power of miles). The only thing that can decrease the purchasing power of miles is UA changing redemption prices.
Presumably the idea is that if more points are chasing the same number of award seats, the average price of awards will increase. There seems to be an idea that UA cares about having the liability of billions of miles on their books, so they'd raise prices in this scenario.

I'm not sure I buy it, but that seems to be the argument.
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Old May 22, 2024, 1:18 pm
  #70  
 
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I don't think it's rocket science. What do you do in business when a vendor changes pricing and conditions? You re-assess the relationship. Sometimes, you can make a change, other times you just gotta take it on the chin because in spite of the negative change it's still the best option available.
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Old May 22, 2024, 1:47 pm
  #71  
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Originally Posted by physioprof
This assertion about "inflation" has been made several times in this thread, but I am having trouble understanding the supposed mechanism. UA could give every MP account holder 100K miles tomorrow, and unless UA changes the miles required for redemptions (which UA has complete control over), there is zero point inflation at all. Unless I'm missing something, simply issuing more points--even vast numbers--doesn't have any effect on its own whatsoever on the value of a point.
Originally Posted by jsloan
The argument, such as it is, is that because miles are earned based upon spending, as airfare rises, so too will the number of miles in circulation. It's true as far as it goes, but like any one-variable analysis, it's a broad stroke at best.
.....
Maybe my use of "inflation" isn't technically accurate - Econ 101 was a LONG time ago.
Award miles aren't solely tied to costs of flights. Lot of bonus miles, credit card miles, etc. are flooding the "currency". I thought that was a cause of inflation, but maybe there is a better term? And it seems a reasonable assumption that when tons of miles are chasing a limited supply, then redemption costs will go up...just as they have.

Originally Posted by jsloan
Presumably the idea is that if more points are chasing the same number of award seats, the average price of awards will increase. There seems to be an idea that UA cares about having the liability of billions of miles on their books, so they'd raise prices in this scenario.

I'm not sure I buy it, but that seems to be the argument.
I think that is a part of it. Of course, depending on how redeemable miles are carried / computed by United on their books, their devaluation could mean a lessening of booked liability.
Or I wonder if miles are computed as more of a "cost to service" type of formula? I don't think I have heard much discussion on exactly how GAAP is applied to these.
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Old May 22, 2024, 3:28 pm
  #72  
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Originally Posted by jsloan
That is to say, without the loaded terms, that they're "running a business."
You really think businesses don't try to fleece customers if they think they can get away with it? When my Dad was shopping for a new car, he liked a model, but he didn't like the price, so he walked. That particular dealer called him twice, both times lowering the price. When I was shopping for a car once, I really liked a particular car that was on the floor. I asked about it, and was told that another customer had a hold on it, but if was willing to deal "right now," the car would be mine. I walked, and never came back.

Yes, businesses have to make a profit in order to survive. I get that. But UA - and AA and DL - is no longer a business whose main goal is to transport people from point A to point B. That aspect of their operation is critical, of course, but where they really make their money is with credit cards and to a lesser extent, their so-called "loyalty" programs, which have devolved into the worst kind of "bait and switch" operation there is, short of an auto dealer, of course. They bombard us with credit card pitches, complete with promises of "premier" treatment like early boarding, upgrades, and free flights. Only after you get sucked in do you realize you're being played. They improve the business cabin and roll out a decent soft product, and then gradually roll that back because it's expensive and they think they can get away with offering vending machine food and drink.

I still fly UA because of the professionalism of the flight and maintenance crews. But their front office? They aren't much better than the Boeing C suite these days, worshipping Wall Street and their bonuses over everything else.
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Old May 22, 2024, 3:42 pm
  #73  
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Originally Posted by halls120
You really think businesses don't try to fleece customers if they think they can get away with it?
I think businesses, in every industry, attempt to maximize profit, and that there is nothing unethical about not offering your best price up front in a negotiation. I choose not to denigrate either businessmen or customers by using offensive metaphors that suggest otherwise. Rather, I go into the transaction with open eyes, understanding that my interests are not aligned with the companies' interests, and that therefore it is my responsibility to ensure that I do not accept an offer that I later regret. Caveat emptor.
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Old May 22, 2024, 3:46 pm
  #74  
 
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There are still a few exotic routes and airports I want to experience which are not economical (even for economy class) to use my own money, where my remaining balance (over 300K miles) at MileagePlus will help make it happen. After that, except for situations where lounge access is critical (e.g., with long layover or in need of showers during the time at the airport), there is no special reason to fly UA or Star Alliance metal, but schedule and overall price will determine the choice of carriers.

I still feel lucky as I have been benefiting tremendously from the old good days of frequent flyer programs with different airlines including NW, DL, CO,UA and to a less extent with WN, AA and F9.
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Old May 22, 2024, 3:52 pm
  #75  
 
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Originally Posted by tth6133
I'm not sure that is still the case with UA, but US airlines these days often make more money from credit card spending than from flying.
The joke is that theyre credit card companies that fly planes.
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