United’s Social Media Team Wows With a Fantastic Million-Mile Congrats

Earlier today, I landed in San Francisco on United Airlines flight 892 from Seoul and officially rolled over one million lifetime miles in the MileagePlus program. I’ll have a full trip report in the future with some additional background, but I have to quickly post about the fantastic response I received from United’s social media team after I tweeted the following:

a plane wing with the engine of an airplaneI was secretly hoping that United would acknowledge my selfish achievement with a simple “congrats†instead of a modus operandi über professional reply such as, “thank you for your continued loyalty.†After all, they aren’t typically known for adding personality to their tweets like some other airlines.

But I was stunned, pleasantly surprised and so very appreciative of the effort taken in their actual response:

a group of people sitting at a table with their hands up Now THAT is what a social media team should be doing and acting upon when they can. It brought such a smile to my face and I literally let out a verbal “Oh my god!†while on the transfer bus to Terminal 1 at SFO. I bet everyone else on the bus considered me rather strange, but hey… it was a remarkable moment. And United, if you’re reading this, thank you for making my day even more special.

I really hope that United sees the benefit in personally connecting with their travelers in the way that they did with me today. And by personally, I mean adding an individual and unique charisma as they did in that tweet and interaction. American Airlines, by far, has the leading social media team of any major U.S. carrier in my mind, and United’s response to me today was a page out of their playbook.

Well… until…

a screenshot of a social media postUgh. Well, I suppose they had to get all “regulation†on me for that pic to cover their arse. (it was before the double chime rang, for what it’s worth). But what’s staying with me in this moment is their original reply and actioned-out “1,000,000†in arm gestures in that photo.

Thanks, United, for your incredibly well received and friendly twitter reply, as well as one million miles of (mostly) fantastic memories.

– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.


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Interview With the Head of American’s Social Media Team



  1. Congrats Darren!! :)I’m about 10% of the way to that on DL lol :)I know I will never get there on any airline and it’s all good 🙂

  2. Congrats Darren! I’m about 90% of the way to MM, hopefully I’ll get there in a year or less.

    Generally, I haven’t been impressed with my interactions with the United social media team. Maybe it has improved of late, but they still have a ways to go. That said, I’m glad to see something like this that shows interactions other than their typical boilerplate responses.

    Again congrats!

  3. @Alex: Thanks!
    @Brad: Thanks, as well! It’s true that United’s social media team generally doesn’t impress, but I was absolutely floored and so appreciative of their gesture yesterday. I hope they take note of the positive feedback received here and from others on Twitter yesterday. 🙂

    • @Nik: Thanks 🙂
      @Kris: I’ve never had a bad experience with @United and have noted how responsive they’ve been to you and some other tweeps’ requests. It’s a job well done and certainly much better than 2-ish years ago.

  4. I feel bad for all you poor folks who have bad experiences with United’s twitter team. Sure, they aren’t as conversational as AA, but in every situation where I have needed assistance, and some where I didn’t really, they have addressed the issue and more than once gone well above the call of duty.
    SDC? No problem.
    Fix broken booking? Yep.
    Change award booking? Sure.
    Get non-UA PNRs not displayed by united.com? Yes.
    Answer random United related questions? Sometimes.
    Request RPU on specific single flights on res? Of course.

  5. Bipolar is probably the best way to describe their presence on Twitter these days. Bad answers and lack of follow-through seem just as common as random positive things like this.

    I’ll also challenge you on AA being best. Theeir responses to my inquiries or posts are just as often misses as hits, at least personally. JetBlue is still a notch above IMO.

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