And so it goes; the 4 mile awards are to be revoked

Just posted by United Airlines officials on both and

Hi Everyone, over the weekend, we discovered a programming error that allowed customers to obtain Mileage Plus travel awards to and from Hong Kong for as little as four miles roundtrip per person, substantially below published levels, which we disclose to customers. We have since corrected the error and will be in contact with customers who have tickets issued at the incorrect award amounts. Customers will be given the choice to redeem at the correct mileage amount or re-deposit their award with all fees waived. We regret any inconvenience this has caused you, and appreciate your understanding.

I’m not at all surprised that this was the approach they’ve taken. Slightly bummed as I would have quite enjoyed the trip for free, but I’ll survive.

It will be interesting to see if DoT complaints are filed similar to those associated with the fares ex-RGN. In that case the booking agents relented and reinstated the tickets. It is not so clear that the same will happen this time or that it ought to.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. It was fun while it lasted! We’ll have to drown our sorrows in SQ F 🙂

  2. I’d like UA or SQ to confirm if SQ F will be honored or not. I would like to decide if i’m drinking Dom or Krug 🙂

  3. seems reasonable enough. What happens to the people who flew yesterday on 4 mile flights though?

  4. My e-tickets are still in my UNITED account, with a receipt and charged to my credit card. No miles deducted.

    1. Yes, the tickets are still there. The note clearly says they are going to contact folks before canceling the tickets. Don’t bet on them being honored just because they are still in your account as of tonight.

      My guess is that the people who already flew get their freebie. It would be MUCH harder for UA to go after them after delivering the product.

  5. Can’t say I didn’t see it coming. Most posts on FT people seemed like they were expecting it, and then it happened and people are saying they will sue and file complaints. Lawsuits related to this seem even more frivolous than the lawyer from NY who sued because he left his wallet in the checked bag and couldn’t buy headphones on his flight back from HNL.

  6. I am sure some will file DOT complaints. I don’t plan on it but others will. One thing is clear: United.bomb lives on!

  7. Still not quite clear what they want to do. If you do nothing, and you have no miles, will they just go ahead and cancel it?

  8. I posted on ft but haven’t it an answer
    Bk 2 o/w from hkg to ewr. Same receipt as all, 4 miles per tkt. UA took out the publoshed saver award of 60k pe rtkt.

    So now the fun is over and I go to xl the res. UA is telling me my refund wil be 71. And change and my EIGHT MILES will be put backin my account . OK fine but where is the rest of the miles that they took out, namely 199,992. Miles.

    I’m afraid to xl and have only 8 miles put back and o thru a new circle of hell.

    1. I wouldn’t do anything yet, Cruisr. Although UA has made that statement we haven’t heard the end of this issue. Unless you absolutely need the points immediately I’d give it a week or two for things to play out.

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