Had bad service on United? You might ask for frequent flier miles.

United agents should be able to give you miles if you're having a bad day. Photo: United. 

United agents should be able to give you miles if you're having a bad day. Photo: United. 

In November, I wrote how United Airlines agents were being authorized to give fliers certificates to try to atone for bad service. How much the agents can give you depends on your frequent flier status, but the range for the certificates, at least as of November, was $50 to $125. The certificates are good for future travel on United. 

Now, I've received word from a tipster that agents will be authorized to give out frequent flier miles as well. 

Here's the information that went out to airport workers last month. 

Miles as goodwill compensation
As we all know, each customer we serve has different travel purposes and needs. In 2016, we will continue to focus on improving the customer experience, especially during irregular operations when we provide a disservice to customers. One way we will do this is by providing Supervisors and Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) with the ability to offer MileagePlus® miles as a form of goodwill compensation. We are also considering offering miles in lieu of Electronic Travel Certificates for Voluntary Denied Boarding compensation.

Back in November, United gave these guidelines about when agents might award airport compensation. 

  • Employee Conduct. Meant to "atone" for another employee who was rude to the customer.
  • Baggage. As a reward for customers who are willing to stay in the airport to wait for a checked bag that arrived late. [Otherwise, United has to deliver the bag to the passenger's home.]
  • Appreciation. To thank a customer who helps a United employee. An example: A customer who is willing to give up a seat to a family or disabled person. 

What do you think? Would you prefer miles or vouchers? I suppose that depends on how many miles United will offer, but I don't have that information.