For years, United Airlines boasted one of the more lucrative reward programs–the so-called Million Milers club, designated for passengers who earned more than a million frequent flier miles. But that all changed when the airline merged with Continental Airlines in 2010, according to new consumer class action lawsuit, reports ABC News’ Susanna Kim.
George Lagen, a Chicago resident and former Million Miler, is the lead plaintiff in the suit. He says he felt betrayed by the airline and alleges that it breached its contract to club members by changing the benefits they receive.
In an open letter to the President and CEO of United, Lagen details the airline’s alleged shortcomings:
Million Milers used to have a lifetime “premier executive” flying status (first class for life)–the second highest rank the airline offered passengers–but after the merger, they were bumped down to third ranking gold status.
With the demotion also came a reduction in benefits. While they used to receive a 100 per cent bonus for miles flown, as gold members they now only get a 50 per cent bonus and have lost some upgrade privileges.
The new program United put in place of Million Milers, called MileagePlus, is divided as follows: Premier Silver (25,000 miles per year); Gold tier (50,000 miles per year); Platinum (75,000 miles per year); and 1K (100,000 miles per year).
A company spokesperson offered this statement to Business Insider:
“We greatly value our Million Milers and are continuing to deliver valuable and highly competitive benefits with our lifetime program. One Million Milers receive benefits at the 50,000-mile premier status level – the same as before. We believe this suit is without merit.”
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