United launched a ‘bug bounty’ program where they will provide miles to the first person who identifies and submits a security vulnerability.
Rewards to the general public for identifying software glitches date to Netscape twenty years ago, and programs are common to companies like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo.
United’s program is limited to security vulnerabilities, and merely identifying a vulnerability doesn’t guarantee a fix. (They aren’t going to reward anyone for telling them that their system errors out at purchase, or fails to properly reissue tickets.)
A bug bounty program permits independent researchers to discover and report issues that affect the confidentiality, integrity and/or availability of customer or company information and rewards them for being the first to discover a bug.
Be good, though — United provides fair warning that if your strategy for identifying these issues involves code injection on live systems, DDOS attacks, or testing on aircraft or inflight entertainment systems, you could go away for a very long time.
This is a brilliant move by United. The rewards are comparatively generous. And other airlines should copy this. (Believe it or not, United is an industry leader, and Delta should copy them..!)