FlyerTalk Forums

FlyerTalk Forums (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/index.php)
-   Alaska Airlines | Mileage Plan (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alaska-airlines-mileage-plan-442/)
-   -   AS Cancels EK Award Tickets for My Friend [Possible Merge] (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alaska-airlines-mileage-plan/1955205-cancels-ek-award-tickets-my-friend-possible-merge.html)

A3queen Feb 12, 19 5:25 am

Is ALASKA setting us up for a horrible change to their Mileage Plan?
 
Hi, I was looking for advise & help from the people on this forum to see if what this supervisor said could possibly be true. Not only did the supervisor clearly, empathically and repeatedly state that we, as members, were NOT permitted to use our miles for “others”, she said whoever books the flight is considered the “travel arranger”. She also said if someone had the same last name as the member OR if we were on the same itinerary, alaska MAY let it slide, but it was still technically a violation of terms & conditions. Additionally, ANOTHER customer care agent named “Deborah” emailed the same thing. She wrote “you must use your Mileage Plan account as a personal account only for your ticket only. If you need to book reservations for other passengers, I suggest that you set up an EasyBiz account for business”.
It’s very scary to me that 2 agents would say this, put it in writing and on a recorded call. It feels to me like Alaska is setting this up to make a change... otherwise how could 2 agents be so blatant as to go on record with these statements & actually cancel a woman’s ticket! FYI, it’s been several days and I have yet to receive the call from the fraud department as promised. They also still charged my card almost $80 for the taxes for Kim’s mileage ticket.

pbd456 Feb 12, 19 9:28 am


Originally Posted by ashill (Post 30767584)
Agreed. At the very least, if there's suspected fraud/stealing miles, AS should definitely send a notification email to the account holder.

It sounds to me like the agent who said that policy prohibits Mileage Plan members from booking flights for others was just wrong, perhaps simply misspeaking or perhaps making up an explanation for something they didn't understand (something that is fairly common in the airline industry but not something I often encounter with AS). But I'm glad that it now seems pretty clear that this was an overzealous fraud alert, not a new policy.

Any chance @missydarlin could shed light here, particularly on why there was no notification to the account holder of the suspected fraud?

the reality is that AS should send them an email so that the fraudsters can make up a story for cover?

AA ambush passengers at gate..

ashill Feb 12, 19 1:03 pm


Originally Posted by A3queen (Post 30768163)
Hi, I was looking for advise & help from the people on this forum to see if what this supervisor said could possibly be true. Not only did the supervisor clearly, empathically and repeatedly state that we, as members, were NOT permitted to use our miles for “others”, she said whoever books the flight is considered the “travel arranger”. She also said if someone had the same last name as the member OR if we were on the same itinerary, alaska MAY let it slide, but it was still technically a violation of terms & conditions. Additionally, ANOTHER customer care agent named “Deborah” emailed the same thing. She wrote “you must use your Mileage Plan account as a personal account only for your ticket only. If you need to book reservations for other passengers, I suggest that you set up an EasyBiz account for business”.
It’s very scary to me that 2 agents would say this, put it in writing and on a recorded call. It feels to me like Alaska is setting this up to make a change... otherwise how could 2 agents be so blatant as to go on record with these statements & actually cancel a woman’s ticket! FYI, it’s been several days and I have yet to receive the call from the fraud department as promised. They also still charged my card almost $80 for the taxes for Kim’s mileage ticket.

Yeah, that is absolutely wrong. Completely inconsistent with everyone's experience here, completely inconsistent with both the big print (the marketing of the frequent flyer program) and the fine print, an on-the-fly redefinition of "travel arranger" (a term which is used but never defined in the terms and conditions), and completely inconsistent with how the competition handles frequent flyer programs. There is a prohibition on "travel agents, travel arrangers, and unauthorized brokers" managing accounts for others, but that is not what you are doing or what you say the Alaska agents said you did. The fact that two Alaska Airlines have said this, in writing, is a problem that Alaska needs to correct.

Just from the big print, EasyBiz is targeted at businesses and corporate travel planners. Directing you as an individual to EasyBiz is again plainly wrong. Alaska really needs to clean up this mess, at the very least by ensuring that all your miles and all the taxes you paid Alaska are returned. Unfortunately, I think your case to have Alaska cover cash expenses you paid to other companies due to their screw-up is not very strong. But I think that Alaska should send you a fairly decent sized pile of miles as a customer service gesture. I don't really have any advice about the best way to proceed to get Alaska to do their job about this; frankly, this level of awful customer service is outside my experience with Alaska.

I really doubt this portends a policy change; I think it's some combination of confusion and confused agents.

ashill Feb 12, 19 1:04 pm


Originally Posted by pbd456 (Post 30768891)
the reality is that AS should send them an email so that the fraudsters can make up a story for cover?

AA ambush passengers at gate..

It depends whether they think this is a case of a cracker stealing the miles or the account holder selling the miles. If the former, an email to the account holder's email address on file (especially if that email address hasn't changed recently) is appropriate. If not, then yes, they're most likely to catch the fraudster if they don't tip them off.

PVDtoDEL Feb 12, 19 1:27 pm


Originally Posted by A3queen (Post 30768163)
FYI, it’s been several days and I have yet to receive the call from the fraud department as promised. They also still charged my card almost $80 for the taxes for Kim’s mileage ticket.

You should file a DOT complaint (https://www.transportation.gov/airco...umer-complaint) highlighting that AS increased the fare post-puchase for the ticket you had purchased, and requesting a refund of the ticket you ended up purchasing with cash to make up for AS' denied boarding. That should get the ball rolling as far as getting AS to actually respond to you.

QT31415 Feb 12, 19 2:25 pm

I was in London last weekend, using expressVPN as I always do when I travel, and I purchased a one way F ticket on BA for my daughter, no problems at all. Perhaps its because she was on my profile? Different last name, but I've used my miles to book her tickets for years without any issues. This thread is worrisome - if we can't use our miles to purchase tickets for friends and family, then my reason to keep Gold75k has just diminished (tickets on gold miles do not incur a change fee, thus are very helpful for booking tickets for college kids etc). Please keep us updated - sometimes I can't keep up with all the changes that AS does to their members.

icelandman2 Feb 12, 19 3:11 pm


Originally Posted by ashill (Post 30769818)
Just from the big print, EasyBiz is targeted at businesses and corporate travel planners. Directing you as an individual to EasyBiz is again plainly wrong. Alaska really needs to clean up this mess, at the very least by ensuring that all your miles and all the taxes you paid Alaska are returned. Unfortunately, I think your case to have Alaska cover cash expenses you paid to other companies due to their screw-up is not very strong. But I think that Alaska should send you a fairly decent sized pile of miles as a customer service gesture. I don't really have any advice about the best way to proceed to get Alaska to do their job about this; frankly, this level of awful customer service is outside my experience with Alaska.

I really doubt this portends a policy change; I think it's some combination of confusion and confused agents.

Completely correct. I have an EasyBiz acct for small org travel. It is not appropriate for use by individuals looking to book friends/family - it is for small businesses with sufficient travel spend to pique AS's interest, but not high enough to warrant a "big boy" corporate contract.

dayone Feb 12, 19 3:46 pm

An extreme case like this is more likely an anomalous anecdote than foreshadowing of a program change.

What's known (award ticket, partner flight, gifted to a third party, in Africa, redeemed at the last minute, VPN), on top of one or two attributes we don't know, can be enough to freeze a PNR pending further explanation.

solewalker Feb 12, 19 10:31 pm

And now we have a second case: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alas...ing-miles.html

Also new poster.

BW Flyer Feb 12, 19 10:47 pm

This is a worrisome trend. I have booked tickets for my family and relatives using my miles because I am a G75K whom won't pay penalties in the event of award ticket cancellations. So far I have not encountered any problems, probably because I am a long time MP members, fly a lot on AS, and I don't buy miles. But if we are not allowed to,use miles on families and friends, this represent yet another major de-valuation of MP.

May be we all should write to AS to clarify this issue, and if not true, they need to stop their agents from making up incorrect stories on the fly.


dayone Feb 13, 19 12:49 am


Originally Posted by BW Flyer (Post 30771949)
May be we all should write to AS to clarify this issue

Or measure our concern until we see more mainstream occurrences.

JacksonFlyer Feb 13, 19 10:20 am


Originally Posted by dayone (Post 30772199)
Or measure our concern until we see more mainstream occurrences.

It is hard to figure out what is really happening as we graciously take everyone's view as fact when there might be something left out of the discussion, I don't know. What I do know is that I have bought over a dozen tickets in the last two years with my miles ( and two tickets on future flights) for friends, unrelated to me, do not work with me, not on the same ticket with me, just friends and not once have I ever had a problem. The only problem for me is the amount of miles I need to burn for whatever destination they or we are going to.

Eastbay1K Feb 13, 19 10:44 am


Originally Posted by JacksonFlyer (Post 30773671)
It is hard to figure out what is really happening as we graciously take everyone's view as fact when there might be something left out of the discussion, I don't know. What I do know is that I have bought over a dozen tickets in the last two years with my miles ( and two tickets on future flights) for friends, unrelated to me, do not work with me, not on the same ticket with me, just friends and not once have I ever had a problem. The only problem for me is the amount of miles I need to burn for whatever destination they or we are going to.

There often is something left out of the discussion. Notwithstanding that, it is helpful to have the data points as to what might trigger the fraud buzzers to go off at AS HQ and be prepared in the event that we may ever book a ticket in such a manner.

williwaw Feb 13, 19 10:55 am

This does sound a little like the challenges many had with Flying Blue when they went super aggressive in fraud detection. In that case and I assume here, it was largely a problem for those that never flew AF or KLM or a partner. With Flying Blue they were freezing a reservation (in some cases cancelling) at time of booking and directing customers to visit a ticket desk. Those impacted in this case were UR point users who never flew Flying Blue partners and then ran into challenges.

That said I did recently book 5 tickets with AS miles on FI for myself and extended family. No problems. But all miles were earned on AS and I’m MVPG.


UAPremierExec Feb 13, 19 12:07 pm

I'm presently assisting an airline with a similar issue to what's going on here. But I can *assure* you, even though I don't work for AAG or know anyone in their corporate security department, that just using a VPN isn't *enough* of a flag to warrant a review/cancel/etc. Its a NUMBER of factors. But using a VPN that's seeing high Mileage Plan bookings/redemptions is just *one* of the flags or triggers. That doesn't mean that using my OpenVPN for Fresno or Eureka, CA (for example) will trigger a cancel. Its just ONE thing they are monitoring.

Delta uses the same algorithms for when it went after, and fired, employees for using Delta SkyNet access for loads on Facebook groups & other places, including sharing their login to non-Delta staff & employees. Two concurrent logins lock your account. GoGo does the exact same thing, although GoGo is a bit more transparent in saying you can only use 5 devices in a month. It doesn't make public the fact it has geographical zones (to prevent sharing of your login).

So if you have a history with Alaska - MP membership with *accrual AND redemption*, actually FLY Alaska - you are fine.

Its the accounts with only redemption activity and non-airline earnings or little airline earnings that are on a high-risk list for fraud.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:57 am.


This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.