I received this in my email today from the nitwits at United Airlines…

From: United Mileage Plus [mailto:email@info.united.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 8:55 AM
To: ray@*****
Subject: New policy for flights less than 500 miles

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United Mileage Plus(R)
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Please note our new accrual policy, effective July 1, 2008
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Dear Mr. Raymond Everett,

To ensure that Mileage Plus miles earned toward elite status
and award travel on United are aligned with actual miles
flown, we are revising our base accrual policy. Beginning
July 1, 2008, for flights of less than 500 miles, passengers
will earn redeemable miles equal to the actual miles flown.
Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) will also be awarded based on
actual miles. Elite Qualifying Segments (EQS) are not
affected.

This new mileage accrual structure will apply to travel on
or after July 1, 2008, regardless of when the travel was
ticketed. Flights of less than 500 miles flown on or before
June 30, 2008, will accrue Mileage Plus miles under the
previous policy of a minimum mileage accrual per individual
segment flown.

In other words, whenever I used to fly from San Francisco (SFO) to Las Vegas (LAS) on United, the actual air miles are 418. But to make things simple, United — and most domestic airlines — would round things up and give an even 500 miles worth of frequent flyer points. So on SFO to LAS, I was getting a bonus of 82 measly miles.

However, in United Airlines constant quest to alienate customers and generally behave in the most dickish manner possible, suddenly those 82 miles have become a bridge too far.

United used to be my favorite airline, now they’re just an absurd mockery of all that is worst about US-based airlines.

I will once again renew my call for the mass resignation of the brainless morons who run United Airlines. I am also renewing my call that foreign air carriers be allowed to offer domestic service within the US. I doubt ANA or Singapore Air would begrudge me those 82 miles, and they’d probably do it on time, in better quality, and without a chip on their shoulder.

Until that day, I need to check but I think Southwest and Virgin America will still spot me those 82 miles. I wouldn’t be surprised if other airlines would as well. If so, you can guess which airline will not be my carrier of choice for short flights!