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United Airlines will give away 5 million bonus miles to fliers who donate money to Southern California wildfire relief

United Airlines will give away 5 million bonus miles to fliers who donate money to Southern California wildfire relief
L.A. County firefighter Capt. Victor Correa works on the Woolsey fire in Malibu. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

United Airlines fliers who donate to Southern California wildfire relief will receive up to 1,000 bonus miles for their generosity. In addition, the airline donated $150,000 to Ventura County fire relief organizations that are helping victims of the Woolsey fire.

"We will continue to engage our generous customers, employees and MileagePlus members, and work with local leadership to support all those affected by these devastating fires," Janet Lamkin, the airline's president for California, said in a statement Tuesday.

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Here’s how it works: MileagePlus members (you can sign up for free) make a donation to one of three organizations, including the Red Cross, at United’s California Wildlife relief web page. Fliers receive 250 miles for a $50 to $99 donation, 500 miles for a donation of $100 to $249, and 1,000 miles for a gift of $250 or more.

The airline will give away 5 million bonus miles on a first-come, first-served basis; donations must be made by 9:59 p.m. Pacific time on Nov. 30.

The airline’s direct gift was made to the Ventura County Community Foundation and the North Valley Community Foundation.

In other matters, airlines are allowing passengers flying in or out of California’s fire areas to change their tickets without paying a penalty. The Woolsey fire, which claimed two lives, was still very active Tuesday in Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains. The Camp fire in Northern California killed 42 people and burned most of the foothill town of Paradise.

United passengers who had planned to fly between Nov. 9 and 16 may postpone travel as late as Nov. 25 if they were planning to fly in or out of Burbank, Los Angeles and San Francisco airports.

Delta Air Lines will waive change fees for tickets issued Nov. 12 or earlier at Burbank, Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco airports. You have until Nov. 18 to change your ticket.

American Airlines also will waive fees for tickets issued by Nov. 10 at Burbank, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento and San Francisco airports. Fliers can rebook travel until Nov. 25.

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