I’ve pulled myself away from my irritation over United’s fare class availability removal long enough to read another Flyertalk thread that got me thinking. And I have a quick poll at the bottom of this post asking for your opinion.
My parents recently returned from a trip I booked for them on my miles. A new perk (glitch) with the conversion from United’s Apollo to Continental’s SHARES reservations system allowed them to fly under my Premier 1K status. I was able to get them better seats and they enjoyed complimentary checked bags, priority security, boarding group 1, etc.
I was thrilled. What a great new benefit (inability to inhibit) with the merger. My bolded parentheticals are that way because I believe this is a SHARES issue whereby travelers flying on a sponsor’s miles inherit their status out of the system’s inability to differentiate. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong – is that the way it worked for pre-merger Continental fliers?) And I have a feeling this isn’t the way United wants it.
Anyway, I thought it was great that my non-“Frequently Flying” parents were able to enjoy some of my perks. As it turned out, they flew economy outbound and first class on the return. (I know… I’m a bad son… they didn’t get first both ways). As such, the extra perks under my status only really applied to the outbound since they would have gotten them anyway on the return for being first class passengers.
But then I read the Flyertalk thread. It initially reported that inherited award users no longer fly under the sponsors’ status. It was later corrected to reveal that they still do, but is it necessarily a good thing?
In my selfish example, yes… I was incredibly happy my parents had extra perks. But if the situation were reversed – where my non-status parents booked me a trip with their miles – I’d hate to fly as a “kettle” when I have status with the airline. Don’t flame me… yes, it would still be a wonderful gift, but I hope you get my drift at the same time.
So what do you think? Should award redemptions for others inherit the status of the bookee?