Yesterday I received an email inviting me to “share your opinions about being a Red Carpet Club member,” as it was so titled. Fantastic, I thought, that United Airlines wants feedback from current RCC members and I was hoping to give some praise and criticism since I figured they’re gathering direct input for the eventual rollout of a rebranded “United Club.” Without really reading the rest of the email, I clicked through to the questionnaire.
As it turns out, since I had redeemed miles for membership at one time this ended up being a targeted survey with an ominous tone. Here were the questions & options and my perhaps too honest of answers are bolded:
- If you were not able to use your miles to purchase your Red Carpet Club membership, would you have purchased your membership with money instead? A: Definitely would, probably would, probably would not, definitely would not, not sure
- If you were not able to use your miles to purchase your Red Carpet Club membership, how would you have redeemed those miles instead? Standard air award, saver air award, hotel or car award, merchandise or other award, would not have used the miles
- If you were not able to use your miles to purchase your Red Carpet Club membership, how would your satisfaction with Mileage Plus change? My satisfaction would have decreased, my satisfaction would not have changed, my satisfaction would have increased
- If you were not able to use your miles to purchase your Red Carpet Club membership, how would this affect your flying behavior on United? I would fly more often on United, I would not change how much I fly on United, I would fly less often on United
Then it asked a few classification questions about how long I’ve been a RCC member, my Mileage Plus status and how much I’ve flown on United and other airlines in the past year. Even though burning miles (47,500 for an individual membership at the 1K level) is a poor redemption value when compared with other awards, I ended up doing it that way last year since I’m always mileage rich and cash not-so-much at my renewal period in December. (I should never have started around the holidays!).
What’s concerning here is this survey is blatantly determining what impact would be felt if United pulled the mileage option. I find that possibility pretty strange coming from “the airline that wants you to use your miles,” or perhaps that tag line is now extinct with the merger. Several others on Flyertalk also received the survey and decisively answered that they would not pay cash, their satisfaction would be decreased and they’d reduce their flying on United. Maybe I should have done the same.
If they do take away the mileage option, I will still renew because given the amount I fly domestically, I enjoy having a fairly comfortable place to relax, plug into Wi-Fi, have a light snack, and most importantly have a much shorter wait time to see a customer service agent in the event of irregular operations. Would such a change impact your opinion of United and/or RCC membership?