Yesterday United Airlines tweeted the following:
This in itself didn’t raise an eyebrow with me. But on FlyerTalk, people were going nuts! It reminds me of that “Chicken Little” story with the way some people are panicking! Most people are expecting the worst, a devaluation of miles. Some people have rushed to redeem miles in anticipation. Elites are worried their benefits my be reduced. Others are not quite panicking but taking a “wait and see” approach. It’s pretty clear that United has a lot of damage control to do when most of their members think so little of them that they assume any mysterious tweet is going to be negative. Then again, maybe they want to get some miles off the books and were hoping people would panic and redeem.
So what could this mysterious “new reward experience” be?
I don’t think a change in levels of redemptions (devaluation) is likely. That wouldn’t fit as a “new reward experience”. And I don’t think United would want to create a social media buzz behind it when they know it’s going to upset people, but then it wouldn’t be the first time I was being logical to my detriment.
For it to be a “new reward experience” it needs to either be something new in the procedure of booking rewards or adding new rewards to be redeemed with UA miles.
If it’s the former, it could be something like adding a slider such as Avianca LifeMiles where people can pay partly with cash and partly with miles. If it’s the latter, it could be something like an email they sent me with some kind of auction to attend the Emmys. Whatever it is, I hope they don’t mess with the program as it is as I happen to like it and I like the online booking engine. I’ll keep you posted when the details are officially announced.