United Airlines Chase Explorer Card “Baggage Claim” event & giveaway

a close-up of a credit cardI’m glad I read my “My Mileage Plus†email last night when it arrived. Turns out United Airlines and Chase are going on a four-city tour to promote the launch of the Mileage Plus Explorer credit card, and they’re in Los Angeles Glendale, CA today (and yesterday). Next up will be San Francisco on August 24th and 25th, then Chicago on August 31st and September 1st, and wrapping it up in Washington DC on September 19th and 20th. Up for grabs are 1 million Mileage Plus miles, United Club (Red Carpet Club) passes, eReaders, and other travel giveaways.

For lunch yesterday I headed over to the Americana at Brand in Glendale where they had the celebration set up at the outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment complex. As I walked up I could hear the emcee congratulating people for their 5,000 Mileage Plus miles, 10,000 miles, two club passes, etc. For the mileage winners he’d go on, “Where are you going to go with those miles?†Wow, I thought… incredible giveaways! They had it setup as if you were queuing through a check-in line with a little makeshift baggage claim area on the other side.

a close up of a card

I flashed my 1K card and was directed to the “Priority Status†line, which ended up being longer than those who had no connection with Chase or United. They handed me a baggage claim stub and I waited patiently for my turn. The prizes continued to be significant, so I was looking forward to an easy 5k to 10k miles.

a group of people standing in a line outside of a buildinga hand holding a piece of paper with a barcode and numbers

a group of people standing in front of a signa luggage conveyor belt at an airport

I stepped up, handed over my claim ticket and watched a few bags go by on the belt, then picked my bag. What did I win? A baseball cap with the Visa logo. Ack! The rep could see my disappointment, but urged, “the bag is yours, too!†Then they direct you over to the area where they pitch the card. I appeased them and listened to their schpeel, declined to apply for yet another Chase card and was then on my way back to work. When I closer inspected the bag, there was a miniature Explorer card pin included tagged as a LAX bag.

a group of people standing in a linea woman standing in front of a tenta black bag with white texta close up of a packagea close up of a pin

Even though I didn’t get what I was hoping for, I have to admit it’s a pretty cool event, so if you’ve got the time head over for a chance at getting some easy miles when they’re in your neighborhood.


  1. We went to this today, and apparently you can (though you aren’t supposed to) go multiple times. They don’t check identification unless you win a big prize. This will probably be the same in the other locations. Prizes were pretty good. While we were there people walked away with 25,000 to 50,000 miles. We each got 5,000 miles, then went back later and I got a hat and my husband got lounge passes.

  2. Thanks for posting this … I forgot about it from earlier, so I rushed out after work and because of you, I got 25k miles

  3. Did they mention if they were going to roll out any new or enhanced features in the future – like premiere access and rcc access like the old cards had?

  4. I wouldn’t call it an _easy_ 5K to 10K miles. I went through the line twice and got the same darn hat and pin each time. Watching the other people open their bags, I’d estimate only 10-15% won something of value (i.e. they got an envelope containing at least 5K miles).

  5. Just won a $200 Tumi gift card and an oversized beach towel 🙂 Love this event!!! The theming was great and the team members very pleasant!!!!

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