United Takes Your Miles To Upgrade Stranger's Reservation

It was incredibly generous of Wes to use his own frequent flyer miles to upgrade a random stranger’s reservation to Business Class. At least, it would have been if that’s what he had meant to do. He had called up to upgrade his wife’s reservation, and it seems that a typo in the confirmation number meant that someone else got the upgrade, and no one knows how Wes can get his miles back.

I have an upcoming business trip to Italy on United Airlines, Business Class. I decided to buy my wife a coach ticket and use my miles to upgrade her to Business Class. I called United Airlines on Friday to inquire about an upgrade. I gave them the flight confirmation number for my wife’s ticket. They service rep said there were upgrades available for 40k miles. I gave him my Mileage Plus number and he deducted the miles from my account immediately. Thank you, have a great day.

I decided to double-check my wife’s reservation and notice that she has NOT been upgraded. I then checked my account and noticed that 40k miles were deducted from my account. Huh?

I called United back and spent roughly 2 hours on hold, being bounced from service rep to service rep. I eventually got frustrated and decided to try to get to the bottom of it the following day.

On Saturday, I spoke to a rep named [D], who was absolutely the nicest and most patient rep I’ve ever had the pleasure of dealing with. After over an hour of her bouncing back between reservations and the Mileage Plus service center, she was finally able to determine that my miles were used to upgrade somebody else’s flight. Apparently the rep that processed the upgrade entered my wife’s confirmation number incorrectly. She apologized for the inconvenience and said that the miles would be back in my account shortly.

Two days later and the miles are still missing. I decided to call United back to see what’s the status of my missing miles. Looks like we’re back to square one as I’ve been bounced back and forth between reps in their reservations and Mileage Plus departments and everybody acts as if I am crazy. I’ve even been asked about the flight information for the lucky person who was upgraded using my miles!

What’s even more frustrating is that nobody from United seems to have any record of my previous calls.

I want my miles back.

If it’s that easy to mistype flight information, obviously the Reports from a few years ago indicate that United acts on the information from executive e-mail carpet bombs.