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Rant: No, You Won’t Be Dragged from Your United Flight!

Don’t worry, this is not yet another editorial on this whole United bumping scandal. Enough proverbial ink has been spilled on this topic, there is no point in adding my two cents. Instead, I wanted to address something I’ve heard few days ago.

No, You Won't Be Dragged from your United Flight!

So, as I’ve mentioned before, my family is planning to do a road trip out West in 2018. We won’t be able to book our airline tickets for a few months, but I’m already researching my options. If at all possible, I would like to save our Southwest Rapid Rewards points and use traditional miles instead. I do have a sizable AA stash, well, enough for five one-way tickets. However, as I’ve mentioned in this post, perhaps I should save it for Costa Rica.

Enter Lifemiles miles (do I have to use the word “miles” twice?) windfall. My husband and I were both approved for Avianca credit card from Banco Popular (see details in my Hot Deals page). He has already received his 60K miles, but I’m still fighting for my bonus (a rant for another day).

If I can find low-level availability on its Star partner United (12,500 miles one-way), I can use Lifemiles program to book the tickets from Orlando to San Francisco at the same exact rate. That 60K miles will take care of four one-way flights. In fact, if I purchase an extra 3,000 Avianca miles, I’ll have enough for five.

Of course, I’m assuming there will be low-level award availability, which is somewhat unlikely.

I’ve mentioned this plan to my sister-in-law and she said she will never fly United again. Her reason? Nope, it’s not a matter of principle. I totally respect it when people boycott businesses for ethical reasons and have no problem with that. Just don’t push it on others, OK? But no! She doesn’t want to fly United because she is afraid they would drag her from the flight since there is no way she would give up the seat voluntarily. After all, she runs a business and has clients to take care of.

In the meantime, my nine-year old daughter starts crying and says: “Mommy, please, don’t make us fly on United! I don’t want them to hurt me.” Fine, I’ll just pay cash for tickets on another airline and deduct it from your allowance then. I’m sure it won’t take more than five years to pay it off. I’m heartless like that.

Let me tell you, the chances of any of us being dragged in the manner we’ve seen all over the news are so minuscule, they are not even worth pondering over. It would be more likely for me to be bitten by a shark, struck by lighting and win an Oscar on the same day. 

Image courtesy of iosphere at

Yes, you are more likely to be swallowed by a shark while wearing a fancy suit!

Seriously, unless you personally start a violent fight on a United flight, chances of them hitting you in the face and dragging you off the plane are negligible. If you are one of those people who due to this incident will no longer fly period, I assure you, flying is still much safer than driving.

There is so much sensationalism in the news, it’s not even funny. Obviously, this incident needed to be reported and I’m glad United was held accountable. They failed miserably on every level (oops, I said I wasn’t going to comment, my apologies!) But the truth is, this sort of thing could have happened on any airline. Well, except maybe Southwest.

As far as people saying they will no longer fly United, I’m sure that most will change their mind when the price is right. No? OK, fair enough. Still, if you have United miles, by all means, burn them on United-operated flights. It’s the best way to teach them a lesson. Better yet, redeem them on partner flights because United will have to shell out real cash for those tickets.

In my case, Avianca Airlines would be paying United, but I’m cool with that. It’s not that I want to reward this type of behavior (I don’t), I simply view it as payment for services rendered, as in transporting me from point A to point B. The best part: in this scenario I get to pay a deeply discounted price, an annual fee of $149.

End rant.




Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

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12 thoughts on “Rant: No, You Won’t Be Dragged from Your United Flight!

  1. I didn’t know you were planning a road trip out west for 2018. Is there a post about your ideas? I’d love to read or hear about them. I’m always planning a road trip somewhere. I hope that 2018 will bring my family to two Western road trips – Utah’s National Parks in the spring and various destinations in California in the summer.

    • Julie, no I don’t have a detailed post on it yet. At this point it’s just a plan, but I will write on it more once I have something in place.
      We are hoping to go for three weeks, starting in San Francisco and finishing in Denver. We are tentatively looking into visiting Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Yellowstone and few others. I hope we can survive it, that’s all I can say!

      • I will be looking forward to reading all about your planning and of course, the stories after your trip!

    • @Julie Sure thing! I’ll try to put an itinerary together at some point. I just need to get the details from my SIL. She is the boss on that trip (and every trip, LOL) Stay tuned.

  2. You can’t change people’s minds. Once in a while, you may be able to sway them, but I’ve learned that that is usually not the case.

    The only thing you can do now is sit, wait, and reap the benefits. No doubt lots of people are avoiding to fly UA now. UA will have to come up with good promotions.

    • @Winnie So very true! This was definitely a disturbing incident, no question about it. But I’m not going to stop flying United, especially if I can burn my miles on flights. I can’t afford to be principled! 🙂
      And you are right, we may see some sales on United in a near future. Though I’m pretty sure eventually people will forget this whole thing and move on.

  3. I’m hoping that the MPE will no longer be under 5/24!! I was targeted for the 70k offer and could not take advantage. I will continue to fly United as I live near a UA hub-Newark.

    • @Natasha That would be nice, but I doubt that this incident will affect the card approval criteria. But you never know! You may want to stop in a local Chase branch. If you are pre-approved for United card, you may be able to bypass 5/24 rule.

  4. Forget principle…having flown the 3 majors several times in economy over the past 2 months (including an overseas trip), I think the in-flight experience on United is the worst. The core problem is they are not customer-focused. The people who ran the airline after the merger were solely focused on costs/profitability. From the crappy uncomfortable slimline seats closely pushed together to laughable meal service to surly flight attendants to poor on-time performance and the recent newsworthy incidents, it shows that customers were taken for granted and not a priority. Oscar may want to improve things, but he has a very long uphill battle. Maybe he should spend 10 hours on a UA 767 transatlantic flight with those slimline seats and main entrees resembling dog food, then fly Delta or *A partner Lufthansa on the return to see the night/day difference. Base upon my experiences YTD, I’m actively avoiding UA in favor of DL and AA who simply offer a better product.

    • @Erik I don’t blame you! I’ve heard others say the same thing as well. It’s been at least 5 years since I’ve flown United (I think), so my experience with that airline is very limited. Assuming the price is similar, I prefer Southwest. If I had to fly in a regular basis, I would pay more attention to seat comfort and customer service. Since we are not frequent flyers, I look out for my bottom line above all else. If I can burn miles and save cash, I’m willing to put up with crappy seats etc. Plus, I’ve noticed that United flies from Orlando to SFO non-stop. If I can get my hands on those tickets, that would be sweet!

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