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American Airlines drops frequent flyer miles

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Miami Beach
posts: 39
reviews: 190
American Airlines drops frequent flyer miles

We recently learned, after the fact that we lost our frequent flyer miles. American Airlines took away 26,346 earned AAdvantage miles. We received no notice of a change in their program, so we had no idea that a new policy would be in effect that could result in the loss of our earned miles. We earned these miles prior to the changed programs effective date of December 15, 2006 and had no idea that they would not be grandfathered and thus not be affected by this changed program. We did not understand what was meant by ”inactivity” unit we spoke with a representative of American Airlines. We find that neither of two options of “re-engagement” can possibly help us to redeem these miles.

santa rosa...
posts: 12,074
31. Re: American Airlines drops frequent flyer miles

You're correct in that the airline's mileage programs got somewhat out of hand. More people jumped on the bandwagon than expected and people were accumulating miles at a faster rate than they wanted, financially. Take Hawaii as an example. I know a number of people who work for airlines or fly the routes from the West coast to Hawaii. A now-retired Northwest pilot I know told me that Northwest was losing money on it's Hawaii-bound flights due to the large percentage of passengers flying free. This is when the airlines started to tighten up how many mileage seats per flight they would give and also tighten up on the rules for use of miles. Knowing that there was a large segment of the flying population out there who were just banking miles for years, they figured they were going to get hit hard, all at once. So they began the idea of "new" mileage programs with miles under the "old" programs expiring, or expiring for non-activity. Is it fair? Well, guess it all depends on which side you're on. It does seem that when you sign up for a program they stipulate that they reserve the right to change the rules at any time as it's not really a 'legal' contract. BUYER BEWARE.

santa rosa...
posts: 12,074
32. Re: American Airlines drops frequent flyer miles

Michael, a good way to accumulate miles and "stay active" is to take out the airlines credit card. Earn a mile or even 2 miles for every dollar spent. It's a good way to keep your account 'active' without even thinking about it. We try to put everything on our card - major expenses too. Those miles really add up fast.

posts: 513
reviews: 7
33. Re: American Airlines drops frequent flyer miles

Airlines drop miles on inactive accounts because they have to carry them on their books as a liability.

Oxnard, California
posts: 1,845
reviews: 12
34. Re: American Airlines drops frequent flyer miles

SavageRider, that is correct. As an accountant, I understand the implications of the mileage programs and know that the airlines started to feel the pinch over the past few years. I also understand that companies are often not as frugal as they should be in so many other areas - things like travel and entertainment expenses (I've seen CEOs spend $1000 on a bottle of champagne to entertain clients, and fly first class no matter where they fly to.), and of course...bonuses. I haven't actually read any of the airlines' annual reports or financial reports filed with the SEC, but I know that the truth is in the details. I just hate to see cost cutting in areas that have a negative effect on customer and employee morale. I have no "bone to pick" with the airlines personally, but I do hate to hear about these situations. A good lesson learned - the hard way unfortunately - keep an eye on your mileage account with the airline.

long island, NY
posts: 1,011
reviews: 55
35. Re: American Airlines drops frequent flyer miles

WRITE a letter of COMPLAINT and see if someone in management will authorize those miles to be "returned" to your account!

Miami Beach
posts: 39
reviews: 190
36. Re: American Airlines drops frequent flyer miles

Dear Napaguy,

I like your idea and tried it with the American Airlines Dining Program as a beginning. It must be my luck, but they said I would get 1,000 miles on sign-up. I signed up and they notified me that I accumulated miles based on eating at one the suggested restaurants. I waited a few weeks to see if the 1,000 miles would be posted and called when they were not. I was told that I didn't qualify for the thousand miles because the meal I had was not within the dates allowed for this program. I was one day off.

There is no forgiveness or any customer consideration by this carrier.

Best regards, Michael

Miami Beach
posts: 39
reviews: 190
37. Re: American Airlines drops frequent flyer miles


long island...

I did this, first a letter to customer service, after speaking with them on the phone. I wrote in the friendliest tone, explaining my situation, not being notified of the change, and explaining the action I was taking to insure this didn't happen again. I never received a reply. I have since sent the same letter to their CEO, I never received a reply and I'm still waiting. I don't believe that this carrier has any concern for keeping customer or knows about good customer relations.

Best regards, Michael

Miami Beach
posts: 39
reviews: 190
38. Re: American Airlines drops frequent flyer miles



Dear Jam1961,

I think you have it right. I am welcome your expertise and thank you for sharing it with me and anyone else who reads this. I think that being aware of a situation is the best we can do to correct it. Yes, you can believe we will be ever more careful with these programs.

Thanks, Michael

Miami Beach
posts: 39
reviews: 190
39. Re: American Airlines drops frequent flyer miles



Dear Sotherngirl15,

You are possibly correct, that I did miss that important email notice, and for that there is no one to blame but myself. Like you I go through many emails, so many in fact that I have many put in the "junk mail" automatically. On a notice of this kind, one would hope for the old fashioned US mail; but maybe I expect too much. I must say that their Customer Service is not forgiving. They do not respond to the friendliest requests, by phone or by mail, nor does their CEO respond to mail. I will as you can imagine be more vigilant in the future; but I did want to help others by this posting to be award of the pitfalls that happened to me.

Best regards & thanks for writing - Michael

Edited: 6:41 pm, March 16, 2010
40. Re: American Airlines drops frequent flyer miles

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