Where has my RPU gone? (United 1K travails)

United has an increasing array of rules for passengers and people who are part of their MileagePlus program. I get the impression that sometimes, they’re a little too hard for the various teams at United to keep up with.

In this instance, I found that using one 1K benefit (the ability to change flights free of charge within 24 hours of takeoff) through the United app caused another benefit (an upgrade request using a Regional Premier Upgrade RPU certificate) to fall off my reservation and disappear. And nobody could help prior to takeoff.

Here’s my exchange with United’s 1K desk, submitted through the comment intake page at United.com.

This evening I boarded a 5pm flight from EWR to SFO. I was originally booked on the 6, and it’s nice that the app enabled me to switch so easily, as my business concluded early in NYC. Less nice is that the RPU upgrade that I had requested somehow fell off my reservation. It remained deducted from my account, but was no longer attached to my itinerary. I hope your IT team fixes this. The ability to change flights without charge within 24 hours is an elite benefit, as are RPUs and GPUs grants. Why does the system force me to give up the uncleared upgrade request when switching a flight? I’ll never know whether mine would or would not have cleared. But two passengers’ requests did clear and I wonder if one would have been mine. Secondly, when I called the 1K desk about 20 hours before boarding, the woman I spoke with told me that the lost RPU could be reattached by the attendant at boarding. The gate agent was not be able to do anything. How disappointing.

United wrote back the next morning. Pretty good response time, I’d say.

Dear (me):

I appreciate you taking the time to share your comments with us.  We work hard to consistently provide superior service.

Your constructive comments give us an opportunity to correct problems that may not have otherwise come to our attention.  Because we value your concerns, they have been forwarded to our management team to assist them as we continue to make positive changes within our company.

Again, we always welcome your comments, questions or ideas at united.com/feedback . As a Premier 1K member, thank you for choosing United and MileagePlus.


(name withheld)

MileagePlus® Service Center

I was wondering how they’d handle my message, as nobody in the Service Center would have any power over the back end system or the takeoff process at the gate. I think this is a 4/5 star reply.

For a while the Service Center used to hand out what I call ‘I’m sorry miles’ if I offered similar kinds of feedback. It was interesting to see what remarks merited how many miles. I think this note works better.

What would make this an outstanding experience is if someone got back to me and told me that the problem was fixed. And what would totally floor me is if at that point, United offered a thank-you gift — maybe another RPU cert, especially one that actually clears before takeoff!

A girl can wish.


Author: ararhan

i love retail. it could be a whole lot better. let's figure out how.

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