Before you change your address...

In light of United's announcement last week a number of people pointed out that the new revenue requirements only apply to US rules, so one could easily change their address to an international address and not be impacted.  While on the surface this seems like an easy solution, it's prudent to be aware of the risk.

In talking to a friend last week about this we got into a discussion and I pointed out that with what companies can do with data analysis now, is far beyond anything they've been able to do in the past.  Quite frankly, United could use their data warehouse to identify anyone who has "moved" out of the US and analyze their travel patterns to see if they match with the member's new address.

So what's the big deal even if they can figure it out?  Easy, it's considered fraud.  United could easily use the fraud justification to suspend and most likely terminate the offending Mileage Plus accounts.   In recent months more and more people are finding themselves with suspended and terminated accounts for violating the terms of the program.

So, before you decide to "move", just be aware of the risk you're taking.


UA-NYC June 26, 2013 at 11:32 am

...and given the propensity of COdbaUA to go looking to claw back PQM/RDM, I'm sure they'll have a special task force to do exactly as you described

Tom June 26, 2013 at 12:32 pm

It's just so much easier to change your airline than your address #justsayin

Fozz M June 26, 2013 at 04:05 pm

Truth be told, I don't think UA will be the only one taking advantage of analytics to flush out the abusers. I think we'll see this across all sectors as it becomes more accessible and easier to deploy.

So what do you think...I fly to Germany several times each year and have a legit German address. I'll be in Germany quite a bit next year as well. Worth moving? I'll still be traveling domestically, but there will be more trips to Germany next year. Should I be afraid?

Fozz M June 26, 2013 at 04:33 pm

I'd be very cautious personally. If your travel patterns haven't changed, it's a big red flag.

In the end, ask yourself, are you willing to deal with the inconvenience of having your account suspended, even if it's temporary, then having to work on getting it restored.

Also, what we don't know yet are what will the international requirements change to? There is nothing to say they won't change the international requirements, we just haven't seen the changes yet.

Thom June 27, 2013 at 08:09 pm

I'm looking at a job in San Diego and my wife and I are legitimately thinking of living across the border in Tijuana. If I started using a Mexican address but mostly flew out of SAN, would that get me flagged I wonder?