Received the following letter via email tonight from United highlighting the progress with the various initiatives during the merging of United and Continental systems. One key point is the return of Star Alliance Upgrade Awards. In all, a somewhat contrite, but very positive communication:

Dear Dennis,

Providing good customer service to you is our top priority. Our systems conversion last month caused inconvenience or problems for a number of our customers, and we apologize for any issues you may have experienced. Your feedback in person, online and by email has been helpful to us in guiding our response and priorities, and we thank you for it.

We are progressing steadily and have already resolved many of the issues. Some will take longer, and we are working hard to fix them as soon as possible. Today, we want to update you on our progress, and also let you know what’s to come.

Progress in our Contact Centers
All of our contact center performance measures are steadily improving. On average, we are answering our Premier phone lines in less than a minute, which has been our goal. In addition, we are addressing our queues of customer emails and responding to pending inquiries.

We recognize there are still peak demand periods when our call wait times are too long. We continue to fix underlying issues and add resources, and are particularly focused on improving your interactions with our MileagePlus Service Center, Groups Desk and Travel Agency help desk.

Upgrades within 24 hours of departure
We understand the frustration that some of you have with being unable to request an upgrade within 24 hours of departure. Revising our systems to allow for this functionality is one of our top priority projects. It will take us several months to complete this important project, but we are committed to delivering on this for you.

Improving Complimentary Premier Upgrade processes
We have resolved many of the problems with our Complimentary Premier Upgrades system, and continue to refine our upgrade processes in order to be accurate and timely. If your flight is eligible for a Complimentary Premier Upgrade, be assured that we will automatically add you to the upgrade list. Once you have checked in for your flight, you can see where you are on the list by going to or our mobile app.

As you view the upgrade list and the available seat map, please keep in mind that the number of open seats on the seat map is not an indication of how many seats are then for sale. In many cases, customers have confirmed reservations on a flight, but have not yet chosen their seat assignment.

Continuing to improve our upgrade procedures is a top priority. We understand that our members place a very high value on upgrades, and we do our best to accommodate as many people as possible, and in the proper order.

Star Alliance Upgrade Awards
Star Alliance® Upgrade Awards are now bookable again on With the Star Alliance network, our members have seamless travel options that span the globe. With Star Alliance Upgrade Awards, you can explore the world in the comfort of a premium cabin. You’ll enjoy priority check-in and lounge access, as well as a more personal level of service on board. Learn more about Star Alliance Upgrade Awards.

Remember that you can also use to book Saver Awards on nearly every Star Alliance member airline. When you search for an award flight, we automatically include available Star Alliance carriers in the search results.

Reminder about Mileage Upgrade Award co-pays
If you request a Mileage Upgrade Award that includes a co-pay, please note that we will collect it at the time you request the award. If you are not successfully upgraded, we will refund the co-pay and recredit your miles for no fee. Learn more.

Mileage credit, mileage redeposits and refunds
Our systems conversion increased the amount of time required to credit accounts for flights and partner activity. Right now, flight activity typically requires up to 96 hours for posting, while activity on certain partners may take up to 15 days. Please allow this amount of time for mileage posting before contacting us about missing miles. We are working to reduce the mileage crediting time to 48 hours for United flights.

Current mileage activity is now crediting accurately in the vast majority of accounts. After our systems conversion, there was a backlog of customer inquiries regarding mileage credits, redeposits and refunds. We added substantial resources and modified our processes to be sure that we respond accurately to everyone. While we’re not done yet, we have replied to most customers and are quickly addressing the remaining ones.

Signing in to
We receive many customer questions about signing in to You can log in to our website in multiple ways, just as you always have:

Account number or email address or username
~ AND ~
PIN or password

Do you have more than one MileagePlus account?
If so, you should go online to merge them into one account. By having just one account, all your earning will be in one place, which means you’ll get to an award faster. We’ll combine your Premier® qualifying activity, lifetime miles balance and account history, too. It’s an easy process that takes just a few minutes. Before you start, please make sure that the first and last names match between the accounts. If you have to request a name change, visit first to learn what is required.

Other key developments are also in the works. We are simplifying and better identifying our boarding groups and boarding sequence to improve your experience at the gate. We will introduce our improved boarding process soon. Plus, we’re continually refining and adding to, in advance of a completely redesigned state-of-the-art website coming next year. Visit the United Hub for website details, news about United products, answers to frequently asked questions and periodic updates on a wide range of subjects.

The bottom line is that we’ve heard you clearly. Our entire company is focused on delivering the travel experience that you expect from us. This is our number one priority, and we’ll continue to update you as we progress.

As always, thank you for flying with United.