Am I thick or is United Airlines Mileage Plus awards program complete bullshit?

Dear United Mileage Plus program customer service rep,

I just learned something very disturbing while investigating why I’m unable to book a hotel with my MileagePlus award miles.

Every month I receive an email newsletter with info about how many miles I have, when they expire, and how I can possibly use them – for hotels, cars, etc.

United Airlines MileagePlus bullshit awards program

When I tried booking a hotel with the miles through your MileagePlus section of the website, I kept getting an error where after trying to check out I get looped back to the search page. I tried three different browsers until I finally realized there was an error text:

“You are not eligible to use miles for Hotel and Car Awards at this time. You may be eligible for other options such as newspapers, magazines, dining, and air awards. Please visit our <a href=”http://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/mileageplus/awards/default.aspx” title=”MileagePlus Use Miles page” target=”_blank”>Use Miles</a> web page for more information.”*

*By the way, work on your browser layouts and compatibility; that error message shouldn’t be off to the right at the bottom of the page. Ever.

I called Mileage Plus reps who transferred me to web support – it turns out I need some kind of special specific credit card in order to use my MileagPlus points for this booking?!

For years I get these newsletters and promo emails, and I spent hours researching the website and NOWHERE is it indicated I cannot use the miles without some additional criteria involved. I just see links to book hotels and cars.

By the way, knowing this info, I STILL cannot locate further details about what is required to be ‘eligible’ to use my earned awards.

I’m an email marketer/website content writer myself, and this is absolutely unacceptable. I spent years flying United accruing these points, weeks researching through your site in order to choose the hotel destination for my family, and now I find out at the last minute they are worthless – I can purchase ‘newspapers, magazines, dining’? Really? With 45,000 points?

This is the second time I’ve complained to United about something and I don’t expect a helpful response this time either, though I’d love to be proven wrong.

Whadya got: