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United airlines silver wings plus an elder fraud
Posted by Tobytessa on 05/22/2009
SAN FRANCISCO/OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA -- A couple of years ago I purchased silver wings plus which promised a lifetime membership discount/mileage program for United Airlines senior customers. I received a silver wings card, but every time I flew United I was told their were no discounts and no benefits and in fact most United Agents didn't recognize the card even though the card states it is the property of United Airlines. I believe that the program was an elder abuse fraud and I'm asking my County District Attorney to look into a consumer fraud complaint.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-22:
I attempted to view the web site for that program. Can't view it because the site certificate expired Jan 30, 2009.
Posted by Suusan B. on 2009-05-22:
My research reveals that United discontinued this program on July 1, 2007. The fact that this program was discontinued does not constitute "elder abuse fraud" and I seriously doubt that your County District Attorney's office is going to accept this as a "consumer fraud complaint" as the program was discontinued almost two years ago.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-22:
I think that a month or so ago, there was a very similar complaint here.
Posted by Tswhite on 2009-11-22:
Susan--you need to do more research. The basic program was discontinued BUT the lifetime members were told they could continue to get senior fares via ual.com. However, every time I check for such fares (in "V" class) ual.com says none are available even though "V" class is listed as available. So, fraud or shoddy business practice?
Posted by pmpctc on 2011-01-17:
It is still in place it is just higher fare which ubder the program was called ZONE fares
Posted by pmpctc on 2011-01-17:
I just called UA and was told they still have the zone fares
Retired Travel Agent. Now you know why it is RETIRED
Posted by dgcpaphd on 2011-02-16:
Can anyone give me information on the "lifetime" Silverwings program? I know that United sometimes allows the "zone" fares but often their web site is down for the Silverwings portion of United.com-

Thanks in advance for an answer.

Posted by Fly Guy on 2012-08-21:
A class action suit has just been filed against United on behalf of Silver Wings Lifetime members. Information is available on FlyerTalk here:
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Lost Baggage
Posted by Angie85 on 08/07/2007
WASHINGTON DULLES/ TORONTO PEARSON -- I am writing to you in regards to an issue I have with United Airlines. I’m hoping you can help me with my story because I think that consumers should have some sort of voice as well as valuable information before they chose to fly with various airlines. My matter started on Wednesday July 25, 2007. I flew from Aruba to Washington (UA974) and than Washington to Toronto (UA7794). I was in Aruba for 2 weeks on a vacation as well as visiting a friend. When I arrived in Toronto both of my bags were not there, this is where my nightmare started. Not only did they misplace one bag but both of my bags did not arrive. After all of the baggage was picked up from our flight I went to speak to a United representative. He assured me that one of my bags was on the next flight, landing an hour or so after mine. I waited 3 hours after my flight arrived to see if my bag was there and it wasn’t. The United representative made me fill out a lost luggage report and again reassured me that they were both still in Washington waiting to be placed on the next flight to Toronto. This unfortunately was not the case at all. Since it was 2:30 am by the time I left the airport I left everything for the next day since I was exhausted.


The very next morning I called the lost baggage customer support number and again was told that both of my bags were last scanned in Washington and still waiting to be placed on the next flight to Toronto. He told me that because of weight issues they May not have been put on the plane, therefore once again left behind. He told me to call back in 3 hours and check for any updates. Following their instructions I called back again. With every phone call I placed I had to give every possible piece of information (my name, my address, phone number, airport I filled out my lost baggage report, my baggage claim number, the flight which I flew on etc… taking at least 5-10 minutes before I could even voice my issue). After giving the representative all my information I would be placed on hold for another 5 minutes, with the explanation that they are inputting my information and checking for any updates. The representative would than come back on the line and tell me to please continue waiting. The music they play while on hold is perhaps the most unappealing music I’ve ever heard; it has the potential to drive a person crazy.

From the very first day I was patient and understanding with the representatives and aware that humans make mistakes (mistakes meaning misplacing my suitcases). Once the representative came back on the line for the second time he told me that he would call me in an hour because he was positive that they would both be on the next flight. From the very beginning I was told that they were sending priority messages to the Dulles airport and would have some response within the next few hours. I waited and waited at my house because I did not want to miss any phone call regarding the whereabouts of my suitcases. Two hours later I still did not receive a phone call so I called back again to see why I didn’t and check for any updates. After going through the initial information stage I was told now that it ‘seems’ that my bags are in the Washington airport because they were last scanned there. So I went from being assured that my bags are there awaiting a flight to it ‘seems’ that they are there. With that being said I began to feel as though each representative had lied to me so they would not have to deal with the problem themselves and get me off the phone in order to place my problem on someone else’s shoulder. I was told again that the rep. was sending another priority message to the Dulles airport because they still did not respond to the previous ones. I was told to call back the following morning at 9 am to check for any updates which I agreed with.

DAY 3 – DAY 6

Through out the following days I had placed the same phone calls. I spoke to various representatives that told me the same thing; it seems they are in the Washington Dulles airport and because of weight issues on the plane they are still being held at the Washington airport. I spoke with representatives at least 3 times a day, each time I spoke with a different representative. It is torture for a person to go through the agonizing process of providing information, staying at or close to home in case of a phone call as well as hearing the same speech over and over again in regards to sending priority messages and saying that they understand. In one phone conversation I was told again that a rep. would call me back in 3 hours with any information good or bad therefore I stayed home waiting for yet another phone call which again never came. So once again I called back asking why I did not receive and phone call and this time I was told that someone tried to get a hold of me but I was not available. This was a blatant lie because I was sitting at home the entire time. Even if I was on the phone, which I was not, we have call waiting as well as voicemail therefore I could be reached at all times. The rep. asked me if there was another number to reach me at which I’m not sure why because I’m fully aware that they did not try to get a hold of me. I told her that there was not because my cell phone charger was in my baggage therefore I don’t have it on me but there is a voicemail that would pick up if called. In the end I did not give her my cell phone number because I knew it was useless and overall a lie that they told me. This time I asked to speak to a manager or someone with more authority and I was told that it could not be done because it was a call centre. The fact that there was no supervisor frustrated me and made me feel like the size of an ant in a big world.

This caused me to take matters into my own hands, well try to anyway. I went online and tried searching for any possible information I could. I got the Dulles airport number and contacted them. I left two messages saying that I’m looking for two bags that were misplaced in the airport. I gave detailed information and said that United representatives have continuously tried contacting reps. at the airport and have not had any response. After the second message I left a nice lady returned my call and left me a message saying that she had one bag in the lost and found that matched my description but she had already located the owner of the bag. She also provided me with the number of the United lost and found at the Dulles airport (703-572-7799). I began calling and calling that number but to this day (August 7th) no one has answered this number and there is not answering machine to leave a message. Once again I left overwhelmed with despair, hopelessness, and frustration.

In the mean time I continued calling the lost baggage centre and was repeatedly told the same thing over and over again. This call centre must be outsourced somewhere because each person had accents as well as ethnic/cultural names, which I have no problem with, and also had no further information to give me. I believe all they have is email and some sort of switch board to relate messages. I’ve asked them numerous times to personally call the Dulles airport reps, some reps. told me that could not be done, while some put me on hold saying they will do so and come back on line saying no one is answering their call. Therefore I don’t even know if they in fact tried making the call or if they just put me on hold and waited a while, came back on the line with me and said no one is answering. With each phone call I felt smaller and smaller and more helpless in the matter but I continued to be patient and kind with every individual I spoke with.

In this time I also wrote various emails to any email address I could locate on the United website as well as consumer story web pages. All I got in return, with the ones that actually emailed me back, was that they would forward my information to the lost baggage department. I basically completed one big circle and did not gain one ounce of progress.

Basically after a week of phone calls and emails I was still at a dead end. All I managed to get was lengthy conversations with unhelpful representatives, busy signals, useless emails, zero information regarding the whereabouts of my luggage, frustration, loss of employment, stress, frustration, and anger that simply no one with United cares about these issues. My life has been turned upside down because I have no casual clothes, no work clothes, no shoes, no dresses for upcoming weddings I must attend, no personal hygiene products, no electronics, no memorable items I bought in Poland while visiting my grandparents early this year. This situation is so very overwhelming and in order to understand it one must personally go through it themselves.


One week had gone by so I decided that Maybe there is more information out there that could help me with my situation. I decided to go to a travel agency and see if they could give me any advice or contact numbers that would be useful with this matter, First, I went to CAA, I figured that since they are a travel agency as well as insurance providers they would definitely have some sort of information. This was very untrue. All they told me was to call the lost baggage telephone number and that is the only I can do. I was discouraged to hear that but I tried one more place. I went to a local travel agency and a lady helped me as best she could. I was, and continue to be, very appreciative of her kindness. She took all of my information and did the best she could to contact the United customer service as well as find me any other numbers that could be useful for my case. She provided me with another number for the United costumer service at the Dulles airport. I called this number but all I got was a recording that stated that they no longer take voicemails regarding bag descriptions because of the volume of messages left, instead they said to email the description to an address. I did as they said. I provided every ounce of information regarding my flight, times, bags etc… All they respond back to be is that they are sorry about my missing backs, provide me with a form I need to fax or mail in and that is all. It once again gets me absolutely no where.


Out of the couple of hundreds of phone calls I made to the customer service department I was told a few times that one of my bags was forwarded to the Toronto airport but it was not scanned there after arrival. With that being said I thought that perhaps my one bag was sitting in the lost and found at the Pearson airport and possibly had its name tag ripped off.

I phoned the Toronto Pearson Airport to see if I could speak to a United rep. from the airport but I was told they do not deal with phone calls and the best way to contact them is to personally come speak with them face to face and even then they May not be useful. It wasn’t a surprise that the gentleman at the help desk told me they are uncaring.

With that information I called a friend of mine up and we drove an hour and a half to the airport. First we went into the lost and found in Terminal 1. When I saw the complete mess and lack of security in the airport my heart sunk. There were rooms of lost luggage that did not have any doors, luggage thrown and left sitting by the walls, and people every where waiting for their own luggage by the carousels. The lost and found was in the same giant room where travelers on Canadian flights where picking up their luggage. Basically if anyone wanted to take an extra suitcase or two it could have been done in a heart beat with no questions asked. I walked around to each pile and room with suitcases. I saw damaged suitcases, where the entire contents of a people’s bags were lying on the ground, empty suitcases piled up at the corners of the walls in the room. Actually when I was in one room there was a man loading all the empty suitcases on a cart, most likely destined for the garbage. I was so angry to see this sort of chaos and lack of security and professionalism.

There is an incredible amount of security before boarding a plane (you cannot bring water bottles on some flights or lighters or nail files, you have to take your shoes off and your belt off while going through customs, you must place all your items through various security measures before boarding a plane but afterwards it is all out of your hands. I understand why we have such security in customs but why is it that then is comes to an individuals personal property they provide no security at all. My one and only thought was that if Toronto Pearson is so unorganized, lacks security, and is much smaller than the Washington Dulles airport, I cannot imagine what goes on there. I’m sure it is a 100% worse with all the concourses, shuttle buses, and volumes of people.
When I finally reached the front of the line at the lost and found desk (at least a half hour later) the gentleman I spoke to was very unfriendly. I questioned the security of the lost luggage and he cold heartedly told me that if I want to steal a camera than I should go ahead if I want to be placed in jail. I was shocked by his response. I had no words to say to him because I knew if I did I would lose my cool. I simply said that I myself would never do such a thing but there are people in this world that would and because people like that exist there should be more security protecting peoples’ property, especially after I saw the condition of some lost suitcases and the lack of care for them. He than said there is security at the doors but surely enough when we walked out there was not one person standing there to even look as though they have any sort of security. I honestly could not even fathom his response and the disorder of that airport. The lost and found rep. provided me with a sheet and told me to wait in the main section of the airport and someone will escort into the international section of the airport, where I initially waited for my luggage on July 25th. My friend had to wait outside for me because only one individual can go through customs at a time. The man eventually came and took me to that section of the airport. There I found some more lost luggage, not nearly as much as in the other section, but here at least you needed to be escorted and pass customs. I looked for my luggage and nothing. I went up to the United information desk where I found an unpleasant man. I asked him to help me or provide some assistance in locating my bags. All he did was type in my claim number and told me that they have not been located.

With all the new technology within airports it stuns me how 2 bags can be traced, misplaced, and then not located. The incredible tracing systems they have are nothing more than a joke. He told me to call the customer service number which I told him I’ve been doing for the past week, 3-4 times a day. And this is how he left things with me, he turned his attention to something else. I was so upset with the lack of competence any of the United employees have. The nice man that escorted me into the that section told me to go upstairs and try speaking with the manager there, so that is exactly what I did.

I went to the section of the airport where passengers were checking their baggage with United. After waiting in line with the current passengers it was obvious that it would take way too long to get to the front of the line. I told the others that I was simply asking the reps. to radio a manager and it would only take a minute to do. Most were understanding but the lady working pretty much shrugged me off until I repeated that all I would like is to speak with a manager and not her. She finally did and then told me he would be there in less than 5 minutes. A gentleman came and all he did was radio another manager. After roughly 15-20 minutes a man by the name of Philip, a United manager, came. He was extremely pleasant and told me he would personally follow up with my case. He took me to a room where after 72 hour lost baggage sits. In this room there was a man opening up baggage and checking the contents, I’m assuming to help identify the owner of the bag. Here again I did not find any of my bags. Philip reassured me once again that they would be found. He said that Dulles is located in the capital of USA and that it would be found. I felt confident after speaking to him that my bags would be located and safely returned. My friend as well thought the same. He also says bags are often misplaced but 99% of the time they are always located. He said himself that he had lost a bag and it had been 6 weeks and he still hasn’t found it. Again he stated that they would find the bag and I would get it back soon. He provided me with a direct number to reach him at and told me to call him the next day around 3 pm, he even told me that I might hear form him before than but if I don’t and he doesn’t hear from me he will call me anyway. I was overjoyed to hear his words and left the airport that day feeling sure that I would see my bags again.

Philip also told me at some point in our conversation, that I was responsible for my baggage in the Dulles airport. He said that I was supposed to pick up my bags and go through customs there which I know for a fact is not true. My friend that I visited never once has had to do that because you go through the US customs in the Aruba airport. I told him I did not have to do such a thing while flying down to Aruba and he responded by saying I did not have to do that because I went through US customs in Canada. That is true I did do that in the Toronto airport. But I also had to in Aruba. It was humorous that he was trying to place the responsibility of my lost baggage on me and my failure to be an informed traveler.

The way he spoke about it made me question if I in fact I did have to pick up my luggage in Dulles and go though customs there. Once I got home I spoke to my friend who lives in Aruba and I was reassured that not once have they ever had to do such a thing because there is a US customs in Aruba.


That morning I once again called the lost baggage customer service number, I never stopped checking for any updates with them, but all I was told was that they were still not located. It did not affect me as much because I was under the impression that Philip was personally looking into it himself and he would have more information for me. I waited for 3 o’clock to roll around and I made my call. There was no answer all it did was ring and ring and ring. I was understanding because I knew that they are constantly busy around the airport, dealing with customers and searching for bags. I called numerous times that day and still no answer and I did not hear from Philip either. So once again I became discouraged. Once again I hit a dead end, back to square one.

DAY 10 - 12

I continued calling the lost baggage service line, once again speaking to a variety of reps. that asked the same questions and told me the exact same things; no updated information has been provided to them. Not even one bit of information has changed since July 25th . I’ve been wearing the same clothes repeatedly and the same shoes. I do not have money to purchase new items because I am a university student that has tuition to pay for, books, rent, bills etc… The ticket itself cost me $800, therefore leaving me with a decrease in my finances.

Day 13 (August 7,2007)

Today I finally reached Philip and he had nothing to say. I honestly do not think he even remembered who I was. This time he was very unpleasant. It seems as though the only reason he was kind to me at the airport was to get me out of the airport as fast as he could. I asked him if it seems they are permanently lost now and he said yes. I now have to fill out a claims form which takes 6 weeks to be processed again leaving me with no money or progress. He got me off the phone as quick as he could by just saying fill it out send it in and that’s all I can do. I even offered to fly down to Dulles many times to look myself for my bags and speak to representatives down there but he said , as well as the reps., that is just a waste of time. I now feel hopeless and angry.
After getting off the phone with him I went online to check for the telephone number for the United headquarters in Chicago. I found it and called. First they say to punch in the extension or punch in the name of the individual you are trying to contact or wait on the line. I waited on the line and an answering machine picked up and said to leave a message but after the voice stopped talking the machine hung up, thus making sure no one who does not know anybody within the building can leave a message. I tried back once again and a lady picked up, I told her I would like to speak with someone with authority regarding an issue I’ve had with United, she did not say anything and a couple seconds later another lady came on the phone, she asked which department I would like to speak with and I told her I’ve already spoken with the lost baggage department but as soon as I said lost baggage she put me through to the headquarter number again. The same menu came up but instead of picking up the phone again no one answered and the line went dead. I called back again and still no answer. Basically they do not want to deal with any complaints about lost baggage. They could not care less about their customers’ issues and why would they when they are getting paid an incredible amount of money while everyone suffers. United simply does not care about its passengers.

What I don’t understand is how my baggage could have been lost, not one but both bags. First of all it was last scanned in the Washington Dulles airport and did not make it to the Toronto Pearson airport. Therefore it was left behind. There is no way BOTH of my bags grew legs and walked out of the airport, so all I can say at this point either it was stolen by a traveler or employee of United or the Dulles airport or it was thrown on another flight somewhere in the world and United is not doing anything to locate it within the world by systematically tracing it.
The way in which the customer service representatives handled my problem sickens me, the fact that no one, I mean no one, cares about it is discouraging and should not be allow to happen within today’s time. No explanation was ever provided to me. People every where should be informed of the lack professionalism and competence United has to offer. It disgusts me how big conglomerates can walk all over the ‘small’ people of the world and their property.

By writing my story I am hoping that all travelers will be informed of United’s true intentions and professional identity. I am aware of the fact that I will most likely never see my luggage again but if this story prevents someone else experiencing the nightmare that I have had to deal with than it is all worth it.

I am forwarding this story to all possible news outlets and customer report agencies and defenders in hope that someone will help me share my story, along with many others’, and to eventually modify the responsibilities of airlines and in this specific case United airlines.

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Posted by dogsisland on 2007-10-04:
Thank you for all the time you spent writing your story. UAL lost my luggage in August '07 & I too filed a report & went nearly through all the same experiences in trying to locate my luggae that you did. I've let go of the possibility that I'll ever get my luggage back, so now I'm just waiting to see if UAL takes care of me in 6 wks. Did you get an acceptable compensation?
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United Airlines Silver Wings Plus
Posted by Mex123 on 04/02/2009
Some ten years ago I purchased a Lifetime Silver Wings membership for my wife. She received a Lifetime membership card and packet of discount coupons which we used for two years. Then we received nothing more. Nevertheless, we continued to travel using the airline. My wife flew at least once a year to San Antonio, once to Denver and once to Mexico City. Last fall on returning home to Saginaw she stopped at the Chicago Red Carpet Lounge (where she also has a very rare Lifetime membership card). She asked about the Silver Wings program and was advised that it had been disbanded.

Since she had paid for a lifetime membership I contacted United and was eventually able to speak with someone at their SW desk. I insisted that since she had only received two years' benefits she was due a pro-rata refund. I was instructed to contact Customer Relations. I did so (and spoke with someone in India) and was told that any and all refunds had to come from SW. My efforts to work with SW were unsuccessful so I sued in local Small Claims court.

Notice of the suit was mailed to SW but they refused to pick up the notice. Fortunately I had exchanged several emails with SW and was able to prove that they knew of the suit. The judge ruled in my favor. I am awaiting their check.

My advise to anyone with a dispute is to sue. That's the only way you're going to get the airline's attention.

Charles Schlereth
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-04-02:
Soaring Consumer is proud of you
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-04-02:
The fact that the court ruled in your favor doesn't necessarily mean you'll ever get a check. Who's going to enforce the ruling?
Posted by RestaurantGuy on 2009-04-02:
Soaring you have a fan!!!! You will never see a dime of that money. They will never pay you. Sorry to break that one to you but alas I see Ken beat me to it
Posted by jimworcs on 2009-04-14:
Why can't you get the bailiff's to enforce the order? United has deep pockets.. just ask the bailiff's to seize their property.. a 737 should cover it
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-04-14:
mex123--Sometimes it's good to make the extra effort to get back what is rightfully yours. Too many people just give up and walk away.

There was recently someone else posting on the site who had taken one of the airlines to small claims and did receive a check when it was ruled in their favor. I am sure you will receive yours too.
Posted by Old flyer on 2013-02-20:
A class action lawsuit on behalf of lifetime members was launched against United Airlines a few months ago. It will be interesting to see how far it goes.
Posted by Curious George on 2013-07-01:
I had forgotten about my "life-time membership" until I tried to organize my file. I sent an e-mail to UA and was told to all 8007211765 about it. Has anyone had any success?
Guess as far as UA is concerned, life-time only means the time it takes for a boarding customers to reach an economy class seat. What is happening to the class action suit?
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Frequent Flier Fraud
Posted by CTyler on 02/10/2009
INFURIATING BAIT AND SWITCH AWARDS PROGRAM: I am a frequent flier (Silver Medallion level) on United and have several times used my miles for international r/t business and first class tickets. When I book, the agent tells me they only can confirm my desired class on the outbound because Singapore Air does not release their partner award seats until two days before travel, so they issue the return ticket as economy class, but still deduct up to 120,000 miles from my account as if I am receiving first or business both ways. I have been told that it is possible that Singapore would release the return award seat within a few days of departure, and I should call them to request my upgrade to the proper class. In each of the cases, I have been denied the return flight in the class that I "paid" for with miles, even though once I boarded the flights both classes nearly were empty.

I was even denied entry to the first and business lounge, even though I spent 120k miles to receive the service, which was especially infuriating since my layovers were typically more than 8 hours, and I had to sit in the airport through the night (one time while very ill). I pleaded with both airlines to accommodate me, and showed them that I paid with miles, according to their own awards program rules, but they each passed the buck to the other. Singapore told me they could not upgrade me unless United requested it, and United told me the same about Singapore-- a classic catch 22. It was recently revealed to me by a Singapore agent that they couldn't possibly authorize an upgrade or let me use the lounge because United only paid them for the upgraded class one way WHEN THEY INITIALLY BOOKED THE TICKET, which means United never intended for me to get the full value of my miles.

I then requested United reimburse my miles for the unused portion (since I was forced to return via economy) and was refused and referred to customer relations, who also stonewalled me. I know this has happened with every other awards program traveler to Asia, and probably other international destinations because it is INSTITUTIONALIZED POLICY, and I have witnessed other fellow travelers having much the same heated exchanges with airline agents. In my view constitutes CONSUMER FRAUD and should be exposed by the media. Perhaps the airlines feel that award travelers are "getting something for nothing" and they deserve to be shortchanged, but miles are earned with loyalty and FREQUENT TRAVEL,, (and I suspect higher airfares to cover the award flights), so is in effect a "volume discount" and not a "gift". It seems that there is a possible class action lawsuit that could be filed that would at least compel airlines with such hidden "bait-and-switch policies to, at the very least, reveal them to frequent fliers before they sign up for programs or book award flights. Additionally, they should only deduct miles to reflect what the award traveler actually uses. I would like to be compensated for all of the flights where United deducted my miles, but did not give me what I paid for.

I would like to see posts from other travelers and encourage them to report similar complaints to all consumer fraud blogs, websites, and write to the airlines with your complaints.
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Posted by dan gordon on 2009-02-10:
you might wish to ask or post this on flyertalk.com. They have people very familiar with ff programs.
Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-02-10:
I suggest that you consult Christopher Elliott, the Travel Troubleshooter, at celliott@ngs.org.

You can see what he has done for others here:
Posted by jimworcs on 2009-04-14:
You are right, and this is a systematic attempt to con the passenger. Frequent flyer miles are most certainly not a gift, they are an incentive to buy. Have you considered going to small claims court?
Posted by flyhi152 on 2009-06-05:
The same happened to me: I had a First Class Lufthansa ticket and United did not give me access to their First Class Lounge, despite the information on Lufthansas website that a First Class traveller can use any (!) Star Alliance lounge. I submitted letters to Lufthansa as well as to United. Both Airlines refused to comment this.
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167,000 miles stolen by United Airlines
Posted by Tadinport on 12/24/2007
It is interesting to note that United Airlines has dropped the slogan, "Fly the Friendly Skies of United." Either United knows that they cannot keep this promise (of "friendly skies") or they simply do not care. I believe it is the latter.

Throughout the 80's and early part of the 90's, I was spending a lot of time on planes flying for work. While it was difficult spending time away from my three pre-school children and my wife, it was some consolation to know that at least I was racking up frequent flier miles. United had built my loyalty with the promise that if I flew with them I would some day be able to treat my family to a nice vacation after years on the road.

I did my part. I flew almost exclusively on United Airlines. This was before the days of "expiring miles." Later, my miles were broken out separately on my statement as "non-expiring" miles.

Now my kids are in their teens, and I wanted to take them on the trip I had EARNED by trusting United Airlines (i.e., that if I did my part by spending thousands of dollars with them they would provide the trips promised me). You must be able to imagine my surprise when I called to find out my balance. Instead of the 165,000+ miles, I was told that I only had 5,000 miles in my account. I was stunned and assumed that there must be a mistake. I was later to find that the mistake was in ever trusting United Airlines.

United made the decision that they would, in fact, expire the "non-expiring" miles. Since I hadn't traveled over the past few years they would wipe away all of these miles. I do want to point out that American, Delta, and Alaska airlines had similar classifications of miles, i.e., those that expired and those that didn't. I had much lower balances on these other airlines, since I had used United for most of my travels. This is important to bring up because (unlike United) American, Delta, and Alaska air kept my "non-expiring" miles intact.

I made frequent calls to both Mileage Plus and United. Each pointed the finger at each other. The response that I got was consistent. They needed me to fly with them over the past few years and since I didn't they didn't consider me to be a loyal customer. I pointed out that I wasn't flying with anyone during that period. Apparently, they expected me to rush out and buy a ticket that I didn't need just to keep their airline afloat.

United has made it very clear that they do not intent to live up to their promise of giving me ticket rewards for my loyalty in the 80's and 90's. I feel as though my bank account was wiped out by a criminal. The bank account was my mileage account, and you know who the criminals are.

Read the complaints of others, regarding United Airlines. Don't let this happen to you. Make a conscious choice not to end up like me. I urge you to trust your flying dollars to airlines with integrity, such as American, Delta, and Alaskan Airlines.

You will undoubtedly see many complaints that United Mileage Plus members find it impossible to use their miles (i.e., planes don't have seats available for rewards travel). I find it interesting that I had little trouble getting reward travel on American Airlines to and from Miami for a cruise that I have planned. United believes airline travel is a commodity. I disagree, and I appreciate the service provided by other customer-focused airlines.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-24:
Thanks for the heads up. I'm sorry this happened to you.
Posted by autumn35802 on 2007-12-25:
Go to www.theconsumerist.com

See if there is a contact email or phone number on that website that can help you. Companies DO monitor that website for complaints so maybe if you post your story there you can get some results. Good luck!
Posted by autumn35802 on 2007-12-25:
Sorry! That website is: www.consumerist.com

Its CALLED "The Consumerist" and if you do a search on that name you will find it.
Posted by Noneill on 2007-12-25:
I would be upset too. I think airlines should send a warning letter out on inactive accounts before taking away the miles. My bank tells me when my VISA points are about to expire 8 months in advance.
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Lost Luggage/Poor customer service
Posted by MRSCARP on 07/07/2005
FAYETTEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA -- I must express my dis-satisfaction with United airlines, the customer service department and the baggage claim department. As a consumer and passenger of United Airlines, no person(s) should have to endure the turmoil and frustration that I have had to endure over the past 6 days. I was visiting relatives and attending my sister's wedding in Chicago IL. My flight departed Fayetteville, NC at approx 11am. It is at this point that my bags are checked in and shipped to my final destination of Chicago Midway. Upon my arrival into Charlotte, NC I was notified that there would be a 2hr delay with my connecting flight to Washington DC Dulles Airport and that I should report to a United ticket agent to rebook a connecting flight into Chicago Midway. The plane departed Charlotte and arrived at Washington DC approximately 5:45. After standing in line for approximately 1 1/2 hours to speak with a ticket agent, the agent notified me that there was nothing that they could do for me except refer me to the customer service department which had a line with approximately 150 passengers or I could utilize the customer service phones located along the walls. After holding for approximately 30 mins, a representative picked up and informed me that I should report back to the ticket agent and ask that I be placed in a stand-by slot to Chicago. Again, after standing in line for approximately another 45 mins, the agent refused to place me on standy-by status because "there are 160+ passengers on stand-by already, therefore I must report to the customer service desk for help." After standing in the customer service line until 12:15am (approximately 4 hours) the customer service manager notified everyone that was standing in line that customer service is now closed and that we should try again tomorrow morning at 5:30am. (WHY WOULD YOU CLOSE IF YOU HAVE PASSENGERS WAITING IN LINE AND MOST HAVE ALREADY WAITED FOR HOURS!) She also named a few flights that had mechanical problems and provided hotel coupons to those affected, all others including myself and my children were left with no choice but to spend the night in the airport. It is at this point that I am very hungry and frustrated and all restaurants are now closed. At 5:30 am, I am one of the first in line and given a boarding pass for the next flight to Chicago. Upon my arrival to Chicago on July 1 at 11am, I noticed that my luggage was not there. I was notified that my baggage which consisted of 6 bags was at Ohare Airport and will be delivered between 2pm and 6pm. After waiting and waiting until 10pm, I attempted to contact the 800 number that was provided to me (800-221-6903)(THIS NUMBER IS TOTALLY USELESS!) the estimated wait time to speak to a representative was 121 minutes. The person who delivered the bags called my mother's residence and informed us that he would be delivering the bags between 10am and noon but the luggage did not arrive until July 2 at approximately 4pm however there were only 4 bags and my luggage was not included in the 4 bags therefore I could not participate in the wedding that was scheduled to begin at 6pm. After jumping in the car and riding to Midway airport to find the missing bags, your representative #### (also the same person who originally filed the claim) notified me that Ohare failed to see the other 2 ticket numbers on the claim and that the bags would arrive that night. At approximately 8pm, I attempted to call the baggage claim again and the wait time was approximately 39 minutes. After holding for 39 mins, I was finally able to speak with a live person who informed me that the bags would be delivered between 6pm and 2:30am on July 3. These bags finally arrived July 4 at 12pm. (much of the vacation was spent waiting for our luggage to be delivered) We were scheduled to depart Chicago on July 5 therefore my entire vacation was spent without clothing and other necessary items. I had to result in spending unwanted funds on toiletries and clothing for myself and my children. To make matters worst, I also went through the same turmoil with my departing flight which was also delayed causing me to spend yet another night in the airport and my baggage was lost when I arrived back home to Fayetteville,NC. Those bags were delivered to me within 6 hours. This airline has caused me much frustration with my 5 day vacation which was involuntarily extended to 6 days causing me to miss a day of work as I was scheduled to report back to work on July 6 however I arrived back into Fayetteville on July 6 at 12pm. 4 of those days were spent without luggage while 2 was spent sleeping in an airport and I was forced to miss the main event that I was attending which is my sister's wedding. No airport meal vouchers were provided to us because they apply only to those affected by "mechanical problems." and I was shifted from one airport to another. I will never flight United ever again! To anyone reading this, please read the reviews provided by us consumers because we are telling you the truth, beware or fly United at your own risk!
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Disappointment Disapproval
Posted by Bjkimmel29 on 03/06/2014
KINGSPORT, TENNESSEE -- United Healthcare Secure Horizons mailed 2 checks with same check number for $1.26 each. I deposited to our bank on 2/26/2014 knowing that Secure would deduct from next check issued. They, instead, withdrew or stopped payment on one of the $1.26 check and caused the bank to issue a $6.00 fee against our checking account. I called the help desk hoping to find a solution. I got the runaround instead. I was transferred to 4 different departments with no results. I asked to speak to the supervisor and was told to hold and not hang up. Twenty minutes later I did hang up without results.
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Posted by CUontheFlipSide on 2014-03-07:
I am not sure what you expect them to do. You seem to have been aware that one of the checks was in error, but you deposited it anyway. Then, after they asked you to hold, you hung up anyway. Maybe they were trying to figure out what could be done.
Posted by olie on 2014-03-08:
I agree with the first part of CU's response, but I'd hang up, too, after 20 minutes of being on hold after I'd escalated to a supervisor.
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"Network" Providers not available
Posted by LindaTerrell on 02/18/2014
me post op
me post op
TREASURE COAST, FLORIDA -- As some may or may not be aware United Healthcare terminated 70% of the "Network" providers from their panels. Of course as an insured with UHC notification of this action was not given until after "Open Enrollment" ended thereby locking me in another year with UHC, had this information been available before "Open Enrollment" ended I would not be with UHC anymore however UHC carefully navigated the timing of the terminations of the network physicians so as not to become know till it was too late.
My experience began January 21, 2014 my doctor had ordered "fasting" blood work, I called the lab the day before just to be sure I knew where I was going and confirm the hours, of course there was nothing more than a recording providing the address, directions and hours they are open and informing me there would be no live person to speak to at this location (I should have know right then there was a problem) I arrived at the address provided yet there was no sign, no indication a lab was there upon checking with neighboring properties I was told the lab had closed "months ago". While standing right there I called UHC and after 25 minutes of checking of course I was told the lab was right there I mailed them a picture of the empty office and then was provided another location to go to have my fasting blood work done without even an apology, I arrive at the next location provide to me by UHC and again the lab had closed months ago, went thru the same scenario with UHC and they sent me to a 3rd location where a lab should have been and yes believe it or not that location had also closed (Lab Corp was now the ONLY network lab for UHC they did not have to be convenient as we have no other choice) the fourth location was the charm. I arrived at the fourth location went to the reception desk to sign in on the sign in sheet for everyone that came in to see I had been there (so much for privacy) and was then told by the receptionist I would need to provide my credit card for them to copy and keep on file for any charges to be put on my credit card if not paid by UHC (now understand probably 80% of the time a charge is denied or not paid correctly and they would just put through the charge to my credit card leaving me to fight the battle with UHC and that being the least of the problems leaving your credit card on file for any "authorized" or maybe not even authorized person to use. NOT! I will not leave my credit card with anyone for an incase scenario. It is now 12:30PM and I am still fasting the room is spinning and I am feeling very light headed and still no blood work done because without my credit card there will be no blood work done. I finally left went down the street to our community hospital and had the blood work done and did not provide my credit card to be kept on file and we all know UHC is not going to pay them and I am screwed because UHC only allows Lab Corp as a "network" Lab... what other choice did I have? 3 Locations I was provided to go to by UHC turned out to no longer exist and the fourth wanted to keep a copy of my credit card just in case!
No the nightmare does not end there! I have been under treatment and had a Mohs surgery (for Basil Cell CA) done April 2013 had a couple of complications so January 2014 I was still under care for skin cancers or lesions that left go can become cancer. In December there was another lesion on my back this time I did not know UHC was terminating 70% of the network providers as of January 1, 2014 and my doctor was one of them I had an appointment the beginning of January so I mentioned it to the doctor his response was "this doesn't look good" so the biopsy was done immediately it came back a week later Melanoma and surgery needed to be done it was schedule to be done Feb but 3 days before the surgery UHC canceled the surgery and called to tell me to find someone in "Network" I am distressed as I already am under treatment for Basal Cell and I must go elsewhere but I moved forward as my doctor said I must get this taken care of. I go to the UHC web site put in my zip code and low and behold 51 doctors come up but that was not to be so true, 10 of the doctors are listed as many as 5 times with different addresses, 4 of them are more than an hour each way to get to but none had an available appointment until March 26th and it could not be with a doctor it was with a nurse and she would decide when and if I needed an appointment with the doctor (I am not taking the treatment or non treatment of my Melanoma to a nurse!) No wonder they advertise on TV constantly any quality competent physician does not need to advertise on TV for patients! They want to bill my insurance the same amount for a nurse as a physician they are not on the same level as an MD, sorry! After much back and forth with UHC they found me an appointment with another doctor, I waited patiently for my appointment day, arrived with all my records in hand anxious to finally be seeing a doctor and moving forward with the treatment for the melanoma... NO that did not happen! Though United Healthcare made the appointment and insist this physician was in "network" his office insisted he did not accept my UHC even after speaking with UHC on the phone at length I was left with no treating physician and a melanoma on my back that can be spreading or even moving to other organs and no "Network" physician to see and treat me! I spent more than 3 hours on the phone again yesterday with UHC and still do not have an appointment for what can be a deadly form of cancer, I am 58 years old there is not excuse, no justification for this to be happening. United Healthcare decided to terminated 70% of the "Network" providers because the fewer providers, the fewer appointments, the fewer appointments, the fewer procedures or surgeries can be done and guess what that all converts to ... United Healthcare pays less money and makes larger profits without regard for the health and welfare of those of us locked into UHC until 2015!! This should be criminal.
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They Never Deliver My Drugs on Time, and They Always Have a New Lame Excuse.
Posted by Robertbubello on 02/14/2014
FORT PIERCE -- Optum Rx constantly fouls up my prescription orders, and they constantly have a new excuse. Several weeks ago I ordered a prescription, it did not come as scheduled. I called, and was told that I needed to approve the payment prior to it being shipped. I approved the payment [new requirement], they promised overnight service because I was running out. Overnight took 7 days.

I talked to them today because a two week old prescription order had not arrived. They said the automated system did not call me for payment confirmation. The supervisor I talked to next said it was not their fault, but a system problem. Told them that they own the system.

They have major problems and do not want to take responsibility for problems.
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' United Healthcare Does Not Exist '
Posted by Alphonns on 01/09/2014
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- . After nearly two months and more than one hundred attempts to communicate my need to enroll in United Healthcare Medicare Solutions Plan #2 Shared Partners Passport. I have been lied to, deceived, ignored, and made a fool of by ignorant representatives who did not remember me or any records prior to December 7 enrollment date. As I was promised that my enrollment would be extended because of a personal crises, this outfit never once honored my pending membership, pleas for help or the National Passport Program of insurance Coverage insurance. In my opinion, this all-encompassing carrier is either an illusion or fraud .
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