Not that I can imagine too many BoardingArea readers redeeming their miles for hotel rooms or car rentals, the article is interesting nonetheless. A pending lawsuit claims that United charges customers with higher balances more miles for hotel rooms. From Businessweek:
Robert Gordon and Melissa Chan, of Jersey City, N.J., contend in a lawsuit that the airline charges customers with higher balances more miles for hotel rooms. In August, according to the suit, Gordon and Chan tried to book a hotel in Japan that was priced online at 40,750 miles for three nights. Gordon did not have enough miles for that stay, but Chan did. When she logged into the site, however, the price for the room had increased to 44,500. “Mr. Gordon called United to complain and was advised that United utilizes an algorithm that increases the number of miles a customer needs for an award, based on their total miles,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed Oct. 8 in U.S. District Court. The suit seeks class-action status to cover millions of Americans in the United program. United says high mileage balances do not disadvantage its MileagePlus members and that the lawsuit has no merit “both factually and legally.” United typically declines to comment on pending litigation but made an exception for this lawsuit because it considers the allegations to reflect the exact opposite of the company’s pricing practices, a spokeswoman said.
In fact, as an elite member, I see the prices actually drop a few thousand depending on property selected and my UA balance is much higher than it should be. In any case, check out the full article here.