polaris united seat

Apparently negativity really does have its rewards…

A wise person once said all feedback is positive, even if it isn’t. While we’re on the subject of wisdom, if you’ve ever been told that nothing good comes from complaining – the person was highly misinformed. One man just bagged 75,000 airline miles off of United Airlines for telling the airline that their website sucks. Ricardo Rivera now has enough miles to fly business class to just about anywhere he wants, thanks to an amusing airline program.

a white airplane flying in the skyBug Bounty

Ricardo Rivera is a long time United fan and once blogged extensively about the airline. After recent airline events, he may be one of the last! In 2015, United launched a “bug bounty”. The program is designed to reward people who report security issues and other website problems directly to the airline, helping to create a safer and better experience for all customers. Anyone who successfully reports a “bug” can be compensated in airline miles – if a fix must indeed be made. As someone constantly booking tickets, searching for flights using points and spending almost 365 consecutive days a year browsing – Ricardo got to know things pretty well.

More on bug bounty: United Airlines Bug Bounty Program.

75,000 Miles Later

Over the last few months Ricardo Rivera found two separate bugs, resulting in payment from United of 25,000 and 50,000 United Airlines MileagePlus miles respectively. 75,000 miles later – he’s still searching for bugs and from the sounds of it, we all should be! He’s now got enough miles to go anywhere. If you’re computer savvy, know how to code or know when something just looks seriously off, this may be the easiest way to score free travel without spending a cent. Well, other than your internet connection of course.

a seat with a stack of towels on itWhat Can Ricardo Do?

Even if he never finds another bug, Ricardo now has enough miles to go one way in Polaris business class from the US to: Europe, South America, Africa, Middle East and Asia. Essentially, the sky is the limit for this savvy traveler. If you know any computer whizz’s get them on the case. They just might be able to unlock your next free trip. It’s a finders fee after all, right? Kudos to United for paying out in this brilliant scheme – and of course to Ricardo, who’s scored more than $1000 worth of free travel for clicking around on the web!

How awesome is that?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. If I got 500 miles for every time I told United about something was wrong/broken/stupid I would have enough mikes to go to Mars in Polaris

  2. The downside of this program is that United sends a 1099-MISC and values the miles at 2cpp … so those free miles cost the recipient real cash.

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