A couple of weeks ago, I flew legacy Continental Airlines from Los Angeles to Houston and overheard the gate agent at LAX announce, “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ll shortly begin boarding for flight XXXX to Houston with continuing service to Denver…” I was a bit taken back by the fairly significant backtrack routing for the flight’s continuation to Denver and I doubted anyone – besides a mileage runner – would be taking this “direct” flight to Denver.
Last week, a reader contacted me about his same-day mileage run flying DEN-SEA-IAD-DEN and he was concerned over the mileage accrual showing up on his online reservation for the SEA-IAD-DEN portion. It, oddly enough, is another rather circuitous “direct” flight using the same flight number.
Early last year – or maybe it was in 2010 – United switched its policy about mileage accrual when taking a direct flight to provide credit for each segment’s mileage flown. It was a happy day for many, but it appears now we’re back to the old (or rather, Continental’s) policy.
My reader called United and received confirmation that he would only get the 1,020 miles for flying SEA-IAD-DEN, so ended up cancelling the reservation as losing the originally expected 2,724 more Premier Qualifying Miles made the trip pointless.
I find it just crazy that United is recycling flight numbers like this, so let my reader’s loss come as a word of caution to those who aren’t familiar with how direct flights will now be credited.
[…] United Airlines, having adopted many of the practices of its merger partner Continental Airlines, calculates award miles for direct flights based on the physical distance between the two airports, not the actual distance traveled. Recall that “nonstop” […]