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Warning for Infrequent Fliers: FF Plan Changes
Old 05-27-2009, 12:58 PM   #1
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Warning for Infrequent Fliers: FF Plan Changes

I am aware that I need activity every N yrs to keep miles alive in Frequent
Flier Plan. Today, some 2+ mos. before the deadline, I called Plan to confirm that last activity N yrs - 2mos. ago. I was told that my miles expired nearly 1 yr ago bc the plan had been changed. Fortunately, at that point, I misunderstand what the CSR said.......I thought I was being given a choice between having the miles reinstated or being given $75 in cash. Like a dog being thrown a bone from the passing newspaper boy, I momentarily forgot I meant to bite as I would have if I had understood what she was really saying
was that I needed to pay $75 to have the miles reinstated.

After some handwaving that they had notified all members and that it was my responsibility to keep current by visiting the website often, I confirmed that they had the correct e-mail address (which has never changed) . When told that I had never received any notification and that they seemed to be pulling the same stunt that cost DD her miles when they changed from unlimited life on miles to the more conventional N yrs, CSR beat a hasty retreat and offered a no-fee reinstatement of miles. She was also nice enough to add a token # of new miles to postpone the next day of reckoning.

Lesson is to check the policy for changes much more frequently than than
what you think the current term is or suffer the consequences. I also
learned that any activity ......I kept thinking I had to add you
can donate 1K miles to charity if no other ideas........will keep the miles alive.

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Old 05-27-2009, 01:02 PM   #2
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I've pretty much canned all my frequent flyer stuff, choosing other types of points and (mostly) cash back on the credit cards where I accumulated most of said miles. It's ridiculously hard to even use the "regular" award at 25,000 points (and when you can, you fly redeyes or else you depart at 6 AM or arrive at midnight), and if you have to use 50,000 points for a "preferred" departure with fewer restrictions, heck, that's $500 cash back in most flexible rewards programs.

And in actuality, on the one rewards credit card I have with travel options, I'd have to spend $25,000 to get the 25,000 points needed for even the highly restricted and rationed award seats, and with my 2% back Schwab card I get $500 cash for that anyway. And if I needed 50,000 points on the FF rewards card, that's $1000 cash with the Schwab card.

Unless you travel extensively for business and get elite status, FF programs are definitely a much worse deal than they used to be.

"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)
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Old 05-27-2009, 01:52 PM   #3
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ziggy, agree w/ everything you say. These are ancient miles accumulated from the past for actually flying, not from spending on airline cards. We haven't actually tried to use them anytime recently but I've read about how difficult it is to use them as you point out.
Yeah, forgot that they also increased the miles required but somehow I was aware of that but not the change in miles lifetime. Not sure we're doing the right thing.....throwing
hotel points into airline miles to keep the miles good money after bad.
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:14 PM   #4
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Which airline?

I have a lot at Continental which I do not think expire (but who knows)...

Tried to use some, but they did not fly where I wanted to go...

Now, most of my miles are from my electric bill.. but they only offer FF miles or squat... so I chose FF miles...
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:57 PM   #5
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Thanks for the post.
Along the same lines, I found out something recently about FF miles that I didn't know before. DH and I recently had to make some sudden unplanned trips from Alaska to the lower 48. We were able to use Alaska Airlines FF miles on Delta, on flights leaving the next day and returning within a week to eight days or less. I tried to get return seats 10 days and more out and there were none available for FF miles.
In the past, we've used FF miles to travel both overseas and within the US, but we had to plan six months or more ahead to get reservations. That may still be true (haven't traveled overseas for 2 years so don't know) but if you have to go somewhere right away, it's worth checking the availability of FF seats.
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:08 PM   #6
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Most plans require activity within the last 2 years to stay active. Hotel programs can be even worse.

However, to keep FF plans alive you can do something as simple as buy an itune thru the airline shopping mall.

I be a girl, he's a boy. Think I maybe FIRED since July 08. Mid 40s, no kidlets. Actually am totally clueless as to what is going on with DH.
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:30 PM   #7
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TexasProud----I tried to make this a generic post since it could affect any of the airlines.
but (hint) see the next post after yours.
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:24 PM   #8
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We just flew to England on FF miles and reckon it will be the last time as I no longer fly with my job.

I stopped using credit cards etc that earned miles some years back, preferring cash back instead. Being a very FF at work meant lots of free tickets but every year it was harder and harder to get the flights even with very long lead times.

I did have a pleasant surprise this last time. Even though I now have no FF status now, last year when I booked the tickets I was still Gold and that is was appeared printed on the boarding passes. Because of every flight being over-booked I was upgraded to business on every leg including the transatlantic leg DW took it very well sitting in the back while I stretched out up front and drank my champagne - she's such a cutie

Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Enough private pension and SS income to cover all needs
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