If you don’t like some of the recent changes to your airline loyalty program, talk to Mike Croswell. He’s a United Airlines “Million Miler” who assumed that his three decades of devotion to the airline would be reciprocated after he stopped being a frequent flier.
Christine Ballentine is a loyal US Airways customer, and she’s been saving up her frequent-flier miles for a trip to France this summer. But turning them into a ticket hasn’t been easy.
While airlines like to promote free tickets with their mileage programs, the award that many even semi-regular clients want is an upgrade. These are the very awards that are getting harder to get.
One of the most sought after benefits for frequent fliers is not free tickets, but the chance to escape the cattle car in the back, and sit up in business or first class with an upgrade.
When American Airlines stripped 43,000 miles from Peter DeForest’s frequent flier account because of “inactivity” it offered to return them if he signed up for one of its email offers.
It’s “Secure Flight.” And if you haven’t heard of it yet, you will. The question is just how much havoc this rule change wreaks while they fine tune it.
The airlines have systematically been devaluing their frequent flier miles in recent times. Ned Levi has a suggestion for maximizing the value of the frequent flier miles you’ve accumulated.
How did American Airlines spin its decision to start charging more miles and “co-payments” for certain upgrades? Not very well, based on the reaction to an email sent to its best customers yesterday.