Bad Experience with U.S. Airways Dividend Miles

Update: See the bottom of this post for newer information.

I’ve been having an ongoing bad experience with U.S. Airways over their Dividend Miles. I’d accumulated about 15,000 miles with them and the miles were about to expire. I didn’t have any trips coming up, so I looked for a way to redeem those frequent flyer miles before they expired. U.S. Airways provided a way to subscribe to magazine and newspapers using miles — great! I signed up to get a bunch of magazines and dutifully waited the several weeks that it would take for magazines to start showing up. But instead of newspapers and magazines, I started to get little white post cards back in the mail. The first one let me know that I wouldn’t be getting The Economist:

Subscription denied!

Bummer. Then I found out that I wouldn’t be getting the Wall Street Journal:

Subscription denied!

Bigger bummer. But after a while, I started to notice a trend. See if you can tell what the trend was:

Subscription denied!

Doh!

Subscription denied!

Doh!

Subscription denied!

Doh!

Subscription denied!

Doh!

Subscription denied!

Doh!

Subscription denied!

Doh!

That’s right — not a single magazine or newpaper showed up. Instead, eight different times I was told that an “overwhelming response” meant that title wasn’t available.

So where do things stand now? Well, in the 4-10 weeks that I had to wait for the subscriptions to start, those 15,000 frequent flier miles expired. I can’t try to subscribe to any other magazines or even donate the miles to charity at this point.

To add a cherry on top, I keep getting emails from U.S. Airways, which apparently can’t understand why I would let my miles expire and would be happy to sign me up for a credit card to resurrect those miles from the dead:

Sign up for a US Airways credit card!

You know what, U.S. Airways? Just keep the miles. Or better yet, if anyone from the U.S. Airways Dividend Miles program sees this post and wants to do something nice, please donate those miles to charity.

If you fly with U.S. Airways, be aware that redeeming miles for magazine/newspaper subscriptions might not work as well as you’d like. And will I be avoiding 321mags.com (which now redirects to magazineoutlet.com) in the future? Yes, I will be avoiding them. :)

Update: Some new developments have happened since I wrote this blog post. US Airways wrote the day after I blogged to apologize for a bad experience, said that they’d investigate what happened, and then they reinstated the miles. That’s about as much as I could ask for, and I appreciate their response. I donated the miles to charity.

A couple days later, the vendor for the “Magazines for Miles” program contacted me. They said that when they verified the zip code for the magazines with the zip code on file with the airline, it didn’t match, so the order was sent to the airline for verification. When US Airways confirmed my address, the vendor re-processed the order. But then by the time the order reached US Airways for decrementing, the miles had already expired, so the order was cancelled. Due to a different glitch, the cancellation notice implied that the magazine inventory wasn’t available. The magazine vendor offered to send the magazines now, but I declined. I’d already donated the miles to charity and that’s enough to resolve the situation in my mind.

As a software engineer, I can easily imagine this happening. I guess the takeaway as a flier would be to use your miles before they get too close to expiring.

119 Responses to Bad Experience with U.S. Airways Dividend Miles (Leave a comment)

  1. Thank god I don’t fly with them…

  2. Jenny Engstrand

    Hilarious empirical experiment you conducted there by accident.
    However, isn’t it the same usually with any loyalty program that offers something else than their core business? And they probably did not think you (or anyone else) would take them up on the offer of the magazines anyway :-)

  3. At least they didn’t break your guitar?

    But seriously, some of the airmiles promotions that these airlines offer are ridiculous, and then you end up losing them anyways.

  4. I forwarded your twitter post to @usairways.

  5. Matthew

    Oh, you silly legacy carriers!

  6. Wow, that is definitely a fail. Something had to have failed outside the norm

  7. Geeez. Fortunately during last may when I flight through US I choose American Airlines.

  8. those kinda look like adverts for 321mags to me

  9. not really on topic but how do i set my comment icon i don’t want the little mosaic tiles

  10. This looked suspiciously like it was an attempt to impress your readers with your periodical selection, except for the whole Entertainment Weekly listing on there ;)

  11. you can set your “comment icon” at gravatar.com

  12. It takes real business skill to use a loyalty scheme to steer customers to the competition – nice one US Airways.

  13. R0ds

    I´m not from U.S, but congratulations for this post. They got what they want!

    It´s common in my country too, and internet is a good channel to release this things, specially in twitter!

  14. Peter M.

    That’s a horrible experience. I understand that you wanted the magazines, but if preventing miles from expiring is your goal (with US Airways or various other programs), I find that buying something relatively small from their online “mall” (flowers for someone special?) is the best and easiest solution.

  15. Wow. Can I just ask that next time you have 15,000 air miles burning a hole in your pocket, you please think of me :o)

    In fact, the same goes for anyone in a similar situation….

    Thanks!

  16. Matt Cutts launches his very own “United Breaks Guitars” on US Airways – go get ‘em Matt! :)

  17. Matt, thanks.

    This smells really, really bad. I wonder who owns 321mags.com?

    I won’t ever fly with U.S. Airways in the future.

    Also, I have an ongoing series of posts on bad marketing on one of blogs, so I’ll be sure to mention this and link to it in the future, context permitting.

  18. Attention U.S. Airways, your Google listing is about to expire… :.)

  19. webjet

    Unfortunately this is becoming typical of large organisations, losing touch with customer care, or more to the point they just don’t care! Trying to address these sort of things usually results in meeting with a wall of apathy and buck passing.
    Nice to see that after expressing their concern about the miles expiring, they took the opportunity to try and sign you up for a card to get them back!

  20. [quote]I wonder who owns 321mags.com[/quote]
    Same people as magazineoutlet.com:

    Synapse Group, Inc.
    225 High Ridge Road
    STAMFORD, CT 06905
    US
    Phone: 2035958255

  21. US Airways is easily the most awful domestic airline. Every time I fly with them I always say to myself i will never fly with them. I’m not sure how that happens multiple times though.

  22. looks likie a total scan to seperate you from your miles!
    I will not be using their program!

  23. Yup I am also about sick of these evil big businesses! In the last year I have had to deal with cell phone companies trying to charge a cancellation fee and banks issuing all kinds of fees I have never heard of before!

  24. I’ve had more unpleasant experiences with US Airways than on all other airlines combined.

    The worst was a flight that started to take off then skidded a bit to the left. “Spool up failure” was what they called it. We sit on the runway for 2 hours, not moving, then finally get to a gate. An hour after arriving at the gate, we are told the flight is cancelled and there are no other flights we can take. That’s the epitome of poor management to me.

    Sorry for your trouble and thanks for reminding me to never use US Airways again.

    Southwest Airlines has been doing some great things lately and I can’t recommend them enough. Happy flight attendants are a huge perk.

  25. Lol… funny, I just decided to use some of my frequent flier miles I accumulated with US Airways over the years (800k worth) for the first time a few weeks ago. I never tried to order magazines, but talk about an f’ing nightmare trying to redeem them for travel. I finally was able to get 2 plane tickets after about 4 hours of my life taken from me… The amount of my personal time it took to do so made me think I would have been better off buying the tickets and focusing my energy on something more productive. On a *good* note, they upgraded my tickets to first class for no cost (or additional miles) because it was so retarded.

  26. NG

    I hope US Airways wasn’t planning to make any money from organic search results any time soon.

  27. NG

    Also: alert The Consumerist. These people will scratch US Airways to death, or bludgeon them by email, whatever it is that they do, until you get whatever you’re entitled to get.

  28. This is *almost* enough to keep me from flying US Airways. But I love their excessive excess baggage fees so much I think I will stick with them.

    Dude.

    Southwest Airlines:

    A rational, *usable* frequent flyer program
    Great prices
    Great attitude
    No ridiculous bag fee rapage
    Soon: WiFi on *every flight*

    Honestly, I do not know why *anyone* gets onto a US Airways plane at any airport shared by SWA.

  29. Why are you picking such popular magazines? Can’t you just be satisfied with Bark Collectors Quarterly?

  30. BradleyT

    Time for a manual review on both those sites methinks.

  31. There’s actually an error in that email, and you can probably get the points back because of it. Not that you really want them, but if you wanted to make a stink, this might be the way to go about doing it:

    Our records indicated that 15,574 air miles were forfeited on 02-28-2009 because your last activity date 08-17-2007 was more than 24 months ago.

    They can’t forfeit your miles 18 months after your last activity date and claimi it was due to a lapse of 24 months in usage.

    Personally, I look forward to you using this information, getting in touch with your inner hellraiser, writing a pointed email, and engaging in a correct consumer vs. canned answer customer service rep debate.

    Here, let me start it off for you,

    Dear Myopic Corporate Monolith,

    It appears that, despite your hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenues, you appear to have difficulty with elementary-school-level calendar-based mathematics. This is one of the reasons I have not flown with US Airheads over the last few years; I am afraid that I will book a flight for September 13 and receive a boarding pass dated February 29, 2045 or April 31, 4,000,000 BC.

    You can take it from here. ;)

  32. Which is why last time I’ve flown to Vegas I chose Delta. It was about $30 per ticket more expensive but boy, what a difference the service made…

  33. I generally don’t fly enough to redeem my miles, so I quite often redeem them for magazines. I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem with the multiples of airlines that I’ve done this with.

    The Economist is a great value to do this way (at $100 year). If you do get it be sure to check out the audio version that you can get for free at the website, I barely crack my paper copy since this is SO good. But they don’t appear to have a way to get just the electronic audio version.

    Going to the web site or call the (fine print) phone number on the flyer appears to sometimes have different magazines (I just ask for different titles). And on the phone they have told me they’re out of stock, but also on the phone they’ve let me sign up for multiple years.

    I used to get MIT – Technology Review this way but I haven’t seen it on the lists for a while.

  34. Big Daddy

    Most of them are all horrible!! I have a United miles card with over 150k miles and when ever I try to use it they never have that date available unless of course I am will to use 75,000 miles instead of the typical 35,000 for a trip to the mainland. It’s a complete joke.

    I recently switched over to Hawaiian and they have been pretty good. They actually even serve a meal that is not too bad either :-) I would definitely recommend them if one is flying to Hawaii.

  35. chris

    Hi Matt,

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet… With some of the airlines any activity that acquires or spends miles will help reset the 18-month activity period on the miles. So, what I did was order just 1 magazine (I don’t remember whether my magazine ever arrived or not). Then, 18 months later I’ll order another. Just enough to keep my miles from going away…

  36. EGOL

    I lost a lot of miles too…

    I wish these places would just give a better price instead of all of these incentives that are not worth a damn.

  37. Darrin Ward

    I flew to Europe with US Airways last month. The ENTIRE travel experience was horrific and I have vowed to never fly with that airline again. Seriously… you absolutely wouldn’t believe the terrible sequence of events that unfolded.

  38. I hear ya. I will not be flying with them any time soon. I find these miles to be scams. So, there are better airlines out there that want my business.

  39. They saw you coming, Matt :)

    If it’s any consolation, I downloaded free tools to speed-up my Web browsing. Guess what? They didn’t speed-up my Web browsing, so I tried the “tools” on 5 other PCs. Guess what? No speed increase. Where are these “tools” from? Google! :(

  40. Looks like U.S. Airways is great at serving up user-friendly 404′s… Quality Service Not Found.

  41. This is totally bad service from U.S Airways – listing the programs which they wouldn’t be able to support and spamming later..all for being good US Airways customer.. They are supposed to keep there website updated in all sections… this is a travel website, not atleast an online electronic store.. I’d really like to see some one from US airways pr look into this post or illustrates they ignore there customers and care about only stock value..

  42. Google should consider such things in rankings.
    for example If I googled “Airways in US” and got U.S Airways as first results , after getting a bad experience in redeeming miles I would blame google ;) ;)

  43. Hi Matts,
    I hope you wrote them a normal snail mail letter before posting this article. From my experience even the biggest companies take personal letters of grievances very seriously which usually resolves the cases in question.

    Only after such an action fails, would it be fair to publish such an article. Lots of people read this blog actually only for the information which you give out about Google and using this “somewhat official” blog for personal retribution is probably not the right place.

    With lots of “Pagerank” power comes lots of responsibility.

    Aside from the above, I think US Airways have failed to deliver what was expected and they should most definitely make up the damages.

  44. Andy

    I guess this post must come under “gadgets” because it certainly has nothing to do with Google or SEO. Off-topic stuff like this is normally enough for me to unsubscribe from a list but you get away with it because I need to keep abreast of what Google is up to. While I don’t mind reading the occasional post about your personal goals and achievements, I’m probably not alone in hoping that you don’t abuse the trust placed in you by your subscribers.

    Looking forward to your next on-topic Gadgets, Google, and SEO blog post :-)

  45. Damian

    Expect an email from them soon Matt confirming they are donating them to charity for you.

  46. Service Quality? That’s the difference between US Airways and others!

  47. Didn’t you get in touch with customer service by phone or something like that? If so, what did they tell you? Good luck anyway.. :-)

  48. sam

    word of wise…travel more frequently :)

  49. For a lot of companies, quality customer service is a thing of the past. It actually surprises me when I get good service these days!

  50. You should abuse your power and put US Airline’s site in the sandbox as a lesson for their greedy tactics in ripping their own customers off like that.

  51. Sorry to hear this, Matt. I hope US Airways see this and do the right thing. You should have more chance of success than most of us mere mortals due to your online ‘clout’. I don’t think this kind of thing is a problem that’s specific to US Airways or to the travel industry (which I myself work in) though. I think it’s simply a problem that’s common to many larger corporations.

    Not so long ago, I ordered flowers from a large department store in the UK. Did they deliver what I ordered? No, they delivered something completely different (and on a different date IIRC). Did they reply when I sent them an email saying I was unhappy? No. Did they reply when I re-sent that email? No.

    Just last week I ordered a piece of urgently-needed hardware from a large online retailer and paid an additional £7 for next day delivery. Did it arrive the next day? No. Were UPS helpful? No. I was assured it’d be with me first thing on Monday… did it happen? No, it didn’t arrive until around 3.30pm. Has the retailer responded to my emails (there’s no telephone number)…? No.

    Finally, I’ve been having problems with Google penalties for over a year. Can I work out what’s wrong? No. Can I get a response from Google to help me with what’s wrong? No. Actually… that’s not entirely fair… Matt, you very kindly replied to one of my tweets pointing out that some long pages on the site were unusable (when browsing with Chrome) which we have since fixed, but subsequent tweets have gone unanswered (presumably because you get so many). I’m left not being too sure whether fixing the usability problem means we are now good to send in a reconsideration request, or whether it simply means it’s now OK for you to view and be in a position to clarify what’s wrong (I’m suspecting the latter). If you could be so kind, recent history relating to our communications is here.

    I appreciate it’s very difficult for large organisations to get customer service right. Sadly, though, I’m finding that all too often they don’t. Maybe it’s just me having unrealistic expectations… :)

  52. Just last week I ordered a piece of urgently-needed hardware from a large online retailer and paid an additional £7 for next day delivery. Did it arrive the next day? No. Were UPS helpful? No.

    Try chasing one of their delivery trucks four city blocks to get your package because they dropped off the wrong one inside of your front door and didn’t knock to make sure that someone got it. Fortunately, I was making lunch in my kitchen (which gave me a clear view of the front door) at the time. It wasn’t the first time they’ve screwed something up for me, either.

    UPS = Useless Pieces of…well, let’s just say there’s a reason their primary company color is brown.

  53. Yikes! I’ve got over 20,000 miles burning a hole in my account right now. I should probably do something with them. Thanks for the reminder.

  54. US Airways “We’re not happy until you’re not happy”

  55. Brian R

    Good to see this post now ranks #6 for “us airways frequent flyer miles” and for “us airways dividend miles” along with a news result from the consumerist. Great example of the power of high profile blogging. Hopefully the people who run this frequent flier program will straighten up. Perhaps someone on the inside is trying to see if they can increase credit card sign-up conversions by expiring the flyer miles to get a nice fat commission. Things like that are so frustrating.

  56. I like taking your revenge public. ;) Nice move. I also have a ? and can’t find any other contact info, apologies if this is the wrong place.

    I just started Google Analytics, and the code is very easy to add as intended. However, is there some approved way to incorporate the code with better Separation of Concerns. My current test is to unescape the first script (I have no https, so it’s a simple script tag to ga.js), and to call the _trackPageview() method from an external script (I wrapped it in a function and that I call with Simon Willison’s addLoadEvent). I’m waiting to see if this even works, but I’m a not that experienced with SEO. Are there problems in what I’m doing; the last thing I want to do is piss people at Google off. Like You!!

    Is there a different preferred method? I’d also like to condense the two script calls into one, but if I’m not sure about this, I’m really not sure about serving ga.js from my server and appending the _trackPageview() material to the bottom of that. Any guidance would be appreciated. I don’t want to be banned from Google just because I tried to make my website more accessible with proper progressively enhanced JS.

  57. Karen

    The same thing happened to me when I tried to redeem expiring miles for magazines. It was a very frustrating experience and makes me think less of the airline, which was Frontier, not U.S. Airways btw. From now on I will not participate in the frequent flyer mileage programs; it’s just a waste of my time.

  58. What I find absolutely HORRIFYING is – 30 comments and still no word from ANYONE from US Airways on this post. They either don’t know – or don’t care. In either case, if I happened to be a stock holder – I know what I’d be doing right about now with my US Airways stock – SELL SELL SELL!

  59. Consumer vs US Scarelines:

    Strike one – After arriving in Denver early I was forced sit and watch the earlier flight leave to my destination with 15 empty seats because I refused to pay the $150 rebooking fee to get on the earlier flight
    Strike two – Between my booking a flight and actually boarding the aircraft, us scarelines changed the fee for checked baggage. Of course I was forced to pay the extra checked baggage fee or me and my family would be denied boarding. Cost = 6 bags x $10 = $60!
    Strike three – try and actually “use” the frequent flyer miles for more than one person forget it. There is usually only one or two frequent flyer seats available. I have a family of 4! Good Luck. My 300,000 miles are going to expire probably worthless.

    Us Scarelines – YOU’RE OUT!!!!!

  60. Will

    fly southwest domestically, and I fly Virgin Atlantic Internationally.. works great. I haven’t flown on the major domestic carriers for over 5 years, just got tired of their non-sense. southwest, you get free ticks, and with Virgin I use miles to upgrade to upper class.. all good in the hood

  61. Morris Rosenthal

    Matt,

    I had the opposite thing happen. I paid for a subscription to the Financial Times (wanted a change from the WSJ) and the next day, I got one of those offers from my credit card company that would let me sign up for free in return for some of the tens of thousands of “bonus points” I’ve never used for anything.

    Now that I hear it may have been a come-on, I feel much better:-)

    BTW, I wrote up a viral experience my site went through a couple weeks ago, I’m still waiting to see whether all the new links from odd places are a blessing or a curse. No impact yet, search-wise.

    Morris

  62. I recently redeemed a bunch of Delta miles for the same thing. Aside from only getting 2 issues of Portfolio before it was shutdown, things went pretty well, surprisingly. Just had to wait a few months. Interestingly, their program is run by magsformiles.com, which is also owned by Synapse Group.

  63. What I find absolutely HORRIFYING is – 30 comments and still no word from ANYONE from US Airways on this post.

    The whole idea of complaining behind someones back is the audience only hears one-side of the story. When you have sides, the waters get muddied with facts :)

    How on Earth would anyone US Airways even no about Matts Blog, let alone read?

  64. Rolando Mora

    Well Matt, the service US Airways provide is very bad, but anyway you earn those miles I think you should use them and come to Costa Rica. Work from here at least for a week!

  65. Ill never fly with US Air again. I think i’d fly somewhere on vacation if i had the miles voucher.

  66. Just curious: since U.S. Airways is a Star Alliance member, weren’t you able to use the miles on another Star alliance airways (United, Lufthansa, Air Canada, Swissair, etc.)? I guess you must have flown with one of them in the past 2 years or so. The FF miles are transferable among member airlines. Or are the US air “dividend miles” something special – made up so they do not need to transfer them to other airlines?

  67. I see that if you search for “us airways” on Google UK today that this article comes up 7th on the list. How long before it’s at position 1 or 2?
    So maybe Matt is getting is his revenge after all :-)

  68. angilina

    Wow, Matt, and I thought that Air Blue is the only one where customers are treated unfairly :)

    If U.S. Airways gets bankrupt then I will not be surprised :)

  69. Tyler

    I remember a time, a while ago, when there was an airline called America West. It was always a pleasure to fly America West. The flight crew and airport staff were always generally pleasant to deal with. On the longer haul flights, you had drop down lcd screens or on older airliners the bulky CRT monitors hanging above the aisle. Generally a movie played and then some Cranium trivia. I generally didn’t mind paying a few $$$ extra for an America West ticket (just for the movie availability) as I am not a media-carrying gadget loving person with portable DVD players or iPod Touches in tow.

    Those were good times. Then, for whatever reason, IIRC America West bought US Airways and decided to keep the US Airways name. The merger was and still is hectic to my understanding… airport check-in kiosks had several problems, the pilots’ unions won’t merge because they can’t decide on seniority rules and they attempted to charge for water just a few months ago.

    My last flight with US Airways was last Thanksgiving and likely that will be my last flight ever with US Airways. I can say that 3 + hours with on a flight where everybody was complete, but polite jerks to each other and some stressed out stewardesses, was not fun at all.

    My family and I have switched over to using a mixture of Southwest Airlines and American for domestic flights and Air Canada/United for N.A. flights.

    The “only” way US Airways will get another dime out of me is if we ever need to fly directly into Mexico

    Goodbye America West, I shall miss what you once were.

  70. Bob

    Matt, after flying 1 million miles with US Airways I received a lovely certificate ‘suitable for framing’ (their words). It took me about 15 years to fly those million miles. I have been able to take several international trips in first class on other Star Alliance airlines with those miles….it only takes about 40 hours on the phone per trip to find available flights. I would never redeem US Airways miles on US Airways. I suspect charities that get your miles will let them expire as well rather than go through the trouble of trying to use them.

  71. Ouch! That’s quite annoying and cheeky on their part. I wonder if they do this deliberately to most redemption requests that are close to expiry.

  72. Gsimerlink

    >The whole idea of complaining behind someones back is the audience only hears one-side >of the story. When you have sides, the waters get muddied with facts

    >How on Earth would anyone US Airways even no about Matts Blog, let alone read?

    Any company worth their weight will have searches set up to scan for their company name in blogs and in forums. There are many free tools out there and they really do help avoid problems from getting out of hand. I’ve discovered several new blogs that way and kept an eye on things in the future.

  73. There’s a saying that a customer who gets bad service will tell 10 other people. That saying predates blogs. Now it’s more like 1,000 people.

  74. Gsimerlink,

    For those of us freelancing, any of those sites that you’d recommend? I’ve been looking for recommendations for several months now.

    PS I think you’d be shocked (appalled?) how many companies don’t even have a clue about checking the internet for “unintended” PR, much less blogs specifically.

  75. oh my friend now you know how these hawks behave…I’m done flying with them, I’m glad you also post a public complaint about these money hungry people…

  76. Wayne:

    Have you tried Google Alerts? It’s not bad, although it has a slight tendency toward finding repetition (i.e. the same things two or three times). But I’d rather see them a few times than not at all.

    Sooner or later, this is bound to come up in the US Airways camp. On at least some datacenters, Matt’s blog post is showing up on the first SERP. It will take a while, though; big wheels turn very, VERY slowly.

  77. well…fortunately ii’m not going to fly so much as you on U.S. Airlines. Well, actually, i’m not going to flight that often to get the 15.000 miles :-)

    cheers

  78. My husband used to fly all the time and was on Eastern the day before they closed the doors. He didn’t know what was going on behind the scenes but service was so wretchedly bad that day that he told the customer services rep – “Your services is so bad, you guys will be out of business soon.” He still brags about predicting Eastern’s downfall!

  79. Wow, this is amazing, but at the same time really not that surprising. Airlines in general over the past several years, have given me a very bad customer experience. I think it is even worst over the past year during the recession, but traveling these days stinks.

    I am a medallion member of Delta and have been for several years and there are always so many black out dates and restrictions, let alone the tremendous non-flexible fees that you have to pay for virtually everything. At this point, I am vested with them with the number of sky miles that I have but I too am afraid that I may loose my miles at the end of this year…

    After seeing your horrible experience with US Airways dividend miles program, a thought that comes to mind is that maybe the airlines should remove their frequent flyer programs and instead offer excellent pricing to everyone and even remove many of the restrictions with usage…

  80. I’m just curious…are there any American airline companies that operate using the WestJet philosophy? This would probably solve a lot of the problems you guys seem to have with flying in general…that, and the whole connecting flight thing. Seems kind of silly that there are direct flights from Toronto to Las Vegas but none from Buffalo to Las Vegas.

  81. Peter

    “Yes, I will be avoiding them” that is hilarious! Poor magazineoutlet.com , it probably got sandboxed overnight :)

  82. Matt,

    What do you say when even Google adwords team also does a similar act?

  83. oh sad. Like this it should not happen to anybody again.

  84. It seems like the same respone (lack of response) you receive when you try to ask Google to fix a Google mistake or take a penality off a site Google penalized unfairly and incorrectly.

    Now you know how people feel when they receive the same poor treatment from Google. So perhaps Google and US Airways are very similar :)

  85. :D LOL.

    OK, I’d never thought of using Alerts for anything but collecting world news, politics, and junk like that. I’ll try that. Thanks Adam!

  86. Damian

    I’ve just searched for ‘U.S. Airways Dividend Miles’ on google.co.uk but searching ‘the web’ and this post comes up third ;)

    On Yahoo.com it is 6th and on bing.com it is 2nd

    They’ll know about this post ..

  87. Cliff U.

    Something similar happened to me, but I never even received the postcard, just no magazines. My miles “expired”. I call USAirways and they reinstated the miles and indicated that they were aware of this situation with the mags.

    That said, I still rate them below American…

  88. Eduardo

    “legacy carriers” matthew ? thats hilarious. im waiting for beam-me-up airlines to starting flying into my home airport :)

  89. MikeG

    I am a 7 year US Airways (America West) Chairman and in the last two months have had the worst experiences with them. The current one is that I flew out this Tuesday to Toronto from Phoenix and was upgraded to first class (which is great) but when I called in yesterday to check on my upgrade status for my flight back Friday the lady asked me how I got to Toronto? I said I flew there on your airline in seat 3F. She says well I have no record of you on that flight, oh we have you as a “noshow” and canceled your return flight. This has to be some sort of violation since my name was not on the manifest I assume a huge security issue. Anyways, their service continues to amaze me and I hate to think I may have to consider other options.

  90. Harry Noss

    For many years I flew U S Air as they were the most convenient airline out of Pittsburgh. I accumulated over 100,000 miles. I retired and and wanted to have my sons use the miles. apparently this did’nt work. When I inquired I learned that the miles had been taken away as the were not nuse within a specified time. After this bad experience U S Air lost a good customer. They have yet to learn that a dissatisfied customer will cost you many times more than wining a new customer. Keeping a satisfied customer dosen’t cost anything except phony accounting profit. No wonder u s air is considered a lousy airline.

  91. John

    wish I’d seen this post in Septemeber. The Make-A_Wish Foundation is always looking for air miles (many wishes involve travel) and 15,000 would really help them.
    You still need to interact with the airline however
    (http://www.wish.org/help/donate_airline_miles)

    Hope all is better, Matt.

  92. Thaddeus Buttmunch

    I volunteered to get “bumped” in Denver years ago. When I tried to use the comp miles the no-help desk in Manilla “I’m sorry sir you have to leave Monday and return Thursday. (and it has to be on the 35th of February on a quadruple leap year!”)

    Also I misplaced my dividend miles card recently and they are not replacing them.

    They also have a habit of losing my luggage.

    Delta is evern WORSE with their Atlanta connection. I’ve spent many a night holed up in Atlanta and NO Comp for my troubles!

    Obama we need a national bullet train!

  93. jan

    Just tried to use the dividend miles that I had acquired after paying a $79 annual fee for the US Airways Mastercard. I was told that you would be able to fly anywhere for free after signing up for the card. What a scam! Even though there are direct flights from Newark to Denver in July, with dividend miles, they are either at midnight or you need more points than amount that came after acquiring the card. (must be in the fine print). I even looked at Newark to Denver in October and Newark to Sarasota in August (as if people want to be there in August). The same ‘sold out’ was shown for ‘low coach’ and 30,000 points were required for ‘high coach’ , however only 25,000 points come with the card. There may have been one ‘low coach’ that was not sold out on the return date that I selected. Probably at a ridiculous time also. If someone grabs you at the Charlotte airport and tries to get you to sign up for this card, and gives you a few trinkets…just keep walking!!! Better yet, keep the trinkets and then cancel the card!!!

  94. I had the worst nightmare ever! I book 6 continues flight in my 1 week vacation with us airway, i took 1st flight and my luggage was lost and delayed. and the 2nd flight is late for 2 hour ! and then i decide to drive to my destination . after i arrive at 3rd flight. theyh told me simply because i skip a flight. they cancel all of our flight without any refund or replacement. they told me unless i drive back to my 2nd destination and wait for another day to catch the next flight to start over again . it sounds just really really crazy and does not make any sense . i try to call talk to a manager after a manager they insist i pay a 1000 dollar penatly . which is price for all 6 flight. they cancel all my flight and lie to me on the customer service phone. me and my bf sit at airport and they wont’ let us go on our flight . they wont refund anything or let us get on any flight. we have to sit at the aiport and use our laptop to get ticket with another airline to move on for our trip and after we have to spent even more for buy so many other last minute flight ticket to go to our other destination and go home. it is very sad and i dont’ know how can a airline have such awful mean disrespect and tricky service. trust me. they sold all of our seat to other ppl. cuz we check later those flight are all full. i will not recoomend anyone try this airline unless u want to ruin ur trip.

  95. Ann

    I am so very glad I looked at this site. I have spent 2 hours planning a trip to Los Angeles in December using U S Airways. The price was good and they were the only non-stop flights. Then I looked them up on my computer and found this site with all the problems when using US Airways. I certainly won’t go with them. Thank you everyone.

  96. Cynthia Yoon

    I have a horrific experience with U.S. Air and I gave them numerous chances, urging them to reconsider the situation. They still don’t give a crap and say the same shit. I am actively involved in boycotting U.S. Airways and I will NEVER forget what they did and what the response was. Never flew with such low standard customer service where the workers try to publicly embarrass the customer and speak in such a condescending manner! I need to start blogging soon too to better publicize the injustice and disrespect I had to go through with them. UGH!!!

  97. Ed

    I had over 92,000 miles accumulated with U.S. Air. Last month I received a notice that my miles had expired due to no activity in the last year. On Dec. 08 I lost my job due to the economy. With little income my choices were to pay $300, pay for a credit card, or fly within two weeks. None of these are good choices when you do not have a job. Twenty years to accumulate these miles and now they are taken away by U.S. Air policy. I contacted the company and was told I still only have three choices.

  98. Genia

    Hello, I am trying to talk with someone (besides the basic customer service people) at dividend miles program who can help me book my ticket using miles in advance. The people who answer the phone cannot answer my questions. Can you share a phone number of any of the managers you spoke with so I can call directly? Thanks.

  99. Lloyd

    You guys wanna know about US Airways, hear from the mouth of someone who actually worked for them and was fired and falsely accused for assisting passengers who COULD NOT afford the ridiculously high fees they charge for bags.

    They put employees on the front line to be the face of the company, want wants all smiling and pleasant at 4am, which is no problem, wanting us to privide excellent CUSTOMER SERVICE, but behind it all tying our hands in what we can do to help make the experience one which the passenger will want to use the airline again WHAT A JOKE!!!!

  100. gymlock

    I volunteered to get bumped from a United Airlines flight in exchange for a free ticket. They made it so impossibly difficult to utilize it I eventually gave up. I’ve never flown them since and will not if at all possible. I got bumped due to WEATHER from MIDWEST AIRLINES and got a ticket. Later that night I saw another person that got delayed and he said he’d gotten TWO tickets! Early the next morning before the flight I told the gate attendant about the guy with two tickets and she immediately filled out papers for another one right then and there. When I went to use them they couldn’t have been more accomodating and flexible about using them. I even transferred them to my daughter and her friend so they could visit me in California. How sweet is MIDWEST AIRLINES!!

  101. Chris

    I agree, US Airways Dividend Miles has some real problems with customer service…

    I have over 54,000 miles with them. In Nov 2009, I booked a flight from LAX to Charlotte and forgot to use my Dividend Miles account number. After the flight, I contacted them to get my account credited. They informed me I needed to send the original boarding pass and my account number to them and they would credit me for the flights. I did that, and thought the matter was closed.

    In April of 2010, I got an email saying that my account with 54,000 miles was about to expire because I hadn’t flown with them since 2008. I called again and said I already sent US Airways the necessary documents to credit my account for a flight I took in Nov 2009. The CSR on the phone (who sounded as if he was in India) told me I should send the original boarding pass to them. I asked him how I was supposed to do that since I ALREADY sent them the original and they lost it. He told me that was my only option and unless I booked a new flight (right away) or redeemed some of my miles (again, right away) that my account would expire – 54,000 frequent flyer miles gone, because THEY lost my letter!

    When I asked to speak to a supervisor, “Steve” the phone CSR suddenly asked me if I had a “ticket number” for my flights in Nov 2009, which I gave to him. Within seconds, he confirmed I was on the flights in question and credited my account and assured me that my miles would not expire. He continued to talk to me, I guess hoping I would forget that I asked to speak to his boss. I didn’t, and demanded that I speak to a supervisor repeatedly. After the third demand to speak to someone in charge, he finally transferred my call.

    I told the supervisor that I didn’t appreciate being given the runaround by “Steve” and that Steve should have told me about all my options and exhausted all his resources BEFORE he told me that I was out of luck and would lose my 54,000 miles. I told the supervisor that Steve ONLY bothered to look-up my ticket number AFTER I asked to speak to his supervisor, which I found really suspicious. I have been flying US Air and collecting those miles for eight years, and I don’t appreciate a CSR telling me they’re all going to expire unless I send an original document to them, which I already sent and they obviously lost.

    “Devan,” supposedly “Steve’s” manager, apologized for Steve and assured me my concerns would be forwarded to management. Yeah, right! I doubt anything will happen to Steve, except that he now knows not to lie to someone and give them the runaround when they’re trying to get their Dividend Miles account credited. Unless, as I suspect, it is part of US Airways policy to NOT credit someone’s account for frequent flyer miles UNLESS they get upset and ask to speak to a supervisor. Not good customer service, regardless…

  102. Gary B

    I have approximately 120K miles on my dividend miles account. I fly to Europe two to three times a year. Since five years i have been trying in vain to get an upgrade to business class for the overnight leg of the trip. Every time i book early, i am told that upgradable seats are not available yet. When I call back a little later, all seats are already gone. This happened every single time. This program is a total scam. If you can, fly with someone else. When i switched to Lufthansa on a recent trip it was a revelation how much better the service is. Plus I am told that they honor the miles in their program. If enough people leave this terrible airline, perhaps they will think about not treating their customers like #2

  103. Paul Oteri

    Thanks for letting me know that I’m not alone.. Last December I wanted to fly my wife and I down to Florida. Well I had 47000 points 3000 points short, I called US Air and the agent told me to buy more points for that flight. So for $85.00 I bought enough points to get on that flight and stayed on the phone with that agent for US Air as I bought them, After They were paid for she said I’m sorry. there arn’t any seats on that day for for Dividend miles travel But, I can get you back from Florida next month (January). But Im sorry, I can’t get you down to Florida untill the end of February. (earth to US Air) Your brain called Its looking for your head. So today I called to book a one way Flight for the end of July, yep you guessed it, No seats avaible…

  104. janie choate

    I just spent from 12 noon until 3PM trying to use our approx. 100,000 dividend miles. This is a hoax? You find the flight, date,and points required on “their website calendar” and proceed to book the flight. The “deal” you clicked on “dividend miles” requirement jumps from 17,000 to 40,000when you go to book it. Then you say “Ah Heck” just do it, click “book it” and it jumps to First Class ONLY …..when the dividend openings on the calendar clearly showed dividend space for the QUOTED VALUE available. (Trip plan for 6 months from now).

    Yes, I did call and speak to a “SURREAL person”! The world fraud/scam, misrepresentation and class action suit should be running thru our minds.

  105. M T Maturana

    Did you try to upgrade or redeem with UNITED air? it is a joke¡
    I accumulated over 40,000 miles and tried to redeem either for a ticket or an upgrade: it was not possible for a number of ridiculous reasons.

    Then I went to one of their partners, US AIR and they kept telling me another sad story.
    So at the end I cannot use nor redeem my miles. I am signing off from United .
    it is a scam.

  106. Patrick Hotchkiss

    I started collecting Dividend miles about 1998. I was on the road for 3 years using usairways exclusivly. I chose this airline, becasue they told me that they never expire. I have since had to send $100 to keep the miles. And now you want $200 more to keep the 30K miles I have remaining. What gives? you did not hold up on your end of the bargain of keeping them without expiriing???

  107. Roger

    Flying regularly with US Airways since 1993, I racked up 34000 points. I didn’t fly last couple of years and now find I have “forfeited” my miles. I can pay $200 to reinstate them- probably about the value of the miles anyway.

    To my knowledge I received no notification from them this was happening- certainly nothing by regular mail. I called to discuss and they basically just laughed and pretty much acknowledged they don’t care if I fly with them at all.

    I will be certain not to in future when there is another option.

    What a SCAM.

  108. Doug

    I have 26,000 on Dividend Miles that I have been maintaining for years so that they don’t expire by buying miles, car rentals, etc. Only problem is that I can’t use them because: 1) They pulled out of my local airport and I have to drive 200 mile to get to an airport that USAirways flies out of. 2) When I have entertained the thought of driving to Detroit or Chicago to use them up to be over this nightmare, you guessed it, there is NEVER an available seat. Some airlines have a means to convert miles to other things besides magazines. Any ideas on what I can do?

  109. Matt

    I can second your bad experience. Over the years I’ve had gathered US Airways miles, whether through flights or credit card purchases, and I’ve never been able to use any of them. It’s a joike. Most of the time I can’t even log on using my dividend miles number because the website rejects it. I’ve had to change account numbers several times just to get access to my miles, only to find the new number they “merged my other accounts into” won’t work either! Case in point, today. After a long time NOT flying US Airways, I was forced into a business flight on USAirways. Again, my dividend miles account will not work. Even after calling the 800 number, and the customer service person insisting they had cleared up the problem and everything was now fine, it doesn’t work. Very frustrating experience with these people. It’s like they want to lure you into thinking you might actually get something for flying their airline or using their credit card, and poof!! it was all just a pipe dream, we won’t give you access to your miles, they’re just in this glass box,safe and sound. You can look but not touch! Their website sucks too, it always has been garbage. I try to fly Southwest or American, whenever my destination allows me too, at least their mileage programs are accesible via their website and I have actually used my miles from both airlines.

  110. Shashi Dadlani

    The company hires Idiots in their frequent flyer dept. We submitted flight credits on continental airlines for my wife in March of 2010 by email. Mailed original boarding passes in April 2010, called and called no reply. Finally got hold of some lady on the phone (spoken with your customer service rep: miss. caroline (her employee id: mn0132.) with regards to my account 0u048d4 (REF# KANA 5045586) She asked us to email the same info again To: dividendmiles@myusair.com – did that on 2/2/11 – again sent another reminder by email on 2/18 by email. NO RESPONSE – NO Credits. Why is US AIR part of Star alliance?

  111. D. Price

    So glad i read this before hitting the magazines selection button – thought it sounded too good to be true!

  112. Mauirca Robinson

    I flew US airways and my bags was broken into. someone stole my watch adn its disgusting and I will keep bloggong everywhere about the horrible service that I recieved when I tried to file a complaint by the nasty agents on the line . Never fly US airways they are thieves checking the bags

  113. I’ve never had a bad experience with the Dividend Miles itself but I got a card through Barclays Bank that has been an absolute nightmare. They are incompetent and have no idea what is going on even with their own promotions. There are much better frequent flier programs out there if you ask me.

    Brandon

  114. vera attia

    Although they have fairly good air miles programs, US airways traveling is probably the worst airline experiences I have had so far. I travel almost monthly due to business and family trips and they are usually the only option for me to travel but whenever I get a chance to pick another airline at a reasonable price I do so without hesitation. I have complained to them and all i got was what looks like an automated email with an apology, the usual template I guess….

  115. Jean Jessup

    Please note that I took a trip on US Airway on March 17th to Washington, DC from Tampa and returned to Tampa on the 26th of March. I did not receive the mileage added to my dividend miles account.

    Thank you.

  116. Angelo

    I have 50,000 miles saved up which have been “forfeited,” but will supposedly be reinstated once I have used the ticket I bought to keep the account active. The problem is that the ticket I bought is one-way and my plans for the return journey have fallen through do to a friend’s health problems. I would like to cancel the trip, but then I will lose my miles and will have to pay or buy yet another ticket to get my miles back. I only get my miles back if I use the ticket that I bought. My question is, what if I were to check in for the flight, but not actually board it? I cannot afford to buy a return flight and have no way of getting home from my destination, but otherwise I will lose all the miles I have saved up. If I don’t board the flight, do I lose the miles? People miss their flights all the time, right, wouldn’t it be just like if that were to happen?

    I have been a loyal US Airways customer for many years now, but after this fine-print fiasco as well as the extremely rude treatment I received from “customer service” representatives on the phone, I have decided that I will never buy a ticket from this airline again.

  117. David

    US Air may be dirty.

    I just got the letter from the magazine company wanting me to buy mags with my expiring miles and went on US Air to see when my miles expire and no date is available. I checked around and could not find it. American, SW and Delta (when they did expire) would give you this info on the web.

    Then I figured that I would email US Air to get the expiration date and the contact link for email is broken.

    I called the 1-800 to get the info and a recording said they are too busy now, call back later, and just hung up me.

  118. Matt

    amazing that nobody offered this suggestion yet but you could have downloaded the usairways shopping toolbar and made 3 searches to earn 1 mile thus resetting the expiration period. it uses yahoo.com but oh well!

  119. Jeff Mills

    I’m not sure why anyone continues to use this airline. It has one of the worst Airline Loyalty programs and I can only imagine how many more customers they would have lost had they not discontinued charging for soft drinks in coach class….oh and first class….you’ve got to be kidding me…I’m a frequent flyer with Continental, now United. Continental has amazing planes that are very nice and the newest fleet up until American announced thier recent order. I flew U.S. air first class to Vegas from Dallas using my Continental points, as they were the only partner airline that I could get first class in due to timing of me booking the trip. This is a two hour, 30 minute trip…..no hot towel, no hot nuts, no meal….you get a free drink or two, assuming the old flight attendant doesn’t pull out her book and sit in her jump seat….and for food, its a buffet….they bring around a little basked full of your choice of chips, nuts, granola bar….if you are lucky, they may bring it around a second time…..rediculous….I’ll never cash in 50,000 miles to fly first class on this rediculous airline.

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