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AS Cancels EK Award Tickets for My Friend [Possible Merge]

AS Cancels EK Award Tickets for My Friend [Possible Merge]

Old Feb 13, 19, 1:03 pm
  #61  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
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I too have never had an issue, and almost solely use my miles to book for friends/family, but all of those bookings have been on Alaska and miles earned via flights on AS and partners (and credit card - no churn) so have no other data points. I could certainly see booking one way partner flights via MP for re-positioning or for RTW-type stuff as allowable under the published conditions of the program, and would be more than a little disappointed (to say the least) if something like happened to the OP happened to me. In fact, with my sister and her family living overseas I can see booking them on tickets not originating in the US and would hate to have that possibility taken away.

I'm a fan of Alaska (particularly their customer service) and a long-time MP member, only losing status because domestically I cannot get to everywhere I need to travel to without AA/DL - but if this is more than just a random data point or three I would have to think carefully about trying to regain status with them.

(edit - thank you for the update, UAPremierExec! I appreciate the explanation - still a bit concerned about what happened to the OP, but think that may have been a perfect storm of FUBAR. As mentioned it's nothing I've ever encountered personally.)

Last edited by flatdawgs; Feb 13, 19 at 1:07 pm Reason: informative post by UAPremierExec while writing this post
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Old Feb 13, 19, 2:32 pm
  #62  
 
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and to just highlight the OP, they had a *few* flags:

1. Not much actual flown accrual in account
2. Purchased miles
3. Using VPN
4. One-way travel on a partner, international
(5. Assuming they are NOT current Gold/75K)
6. Passenger last name not same as member
7. Passenger probably not saved in MP profile, therefore no past history.

Any combination of these triggered the review by a human. It doesn't mean just 1 will get your res cancelled.

--- as I go and look at a bunch of bookings for my airline client that orginated out of Denmark (VPN, of course) with no booking history using a credit card whose address country doesn't match the country of the traveler OR the phone number used (all 3 are different countries)
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Old Feb 26, 19, 6:13 pm
  #63  
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Sorry for the late reply.

1. the account has been open for many years, not sure how many years but something like 5/7 years.
2. the flight was around 47k miles, there were no miles back since it was for a friend
3. It would take me too long to count right now.

I've been using this card for a long time.

Now there is an update:
Today, my assistant called to ask if as a frequent flyer member, she was allowed to book for a friend and they said YES!!!! We have it recorded!

Then we called back but this time she called on my behalf in regards to this case, as soon as the agent on the phone knew we were talking about this case, she became very aggressive and said they won't do anything more because it was a violation of their policy. She said that she asked Alaska agent on a previous call if she was allowed to get a ticket for a friend and that the agent said yes. The supervisor Sharon then HUNG UP on my assistant!!!!! all of this is completely recorded!!
I'm stunned about how crazy that is!!!

What do you think I should do to get a compensation? Better Business Bureau? Small Claim court? FAA? which websites should I put my story on?
This is insane I cannot believe them!! I've never seen this.
Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
Yes. Interesting first post by the poster.

Will the OP please clarify the following?
(1) How long was the account open?
(2) How many of the miles earned were by flying v. mileage purchases and credit card churn?
(3) How many previous mileage awards have been redeemed on the account? (And if any, how many for the OP, and how many for others)?

But as with many new posters with such a post, we never hear anything again.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 6:17 pm
  #64  
 
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Originally Posted by A3queen View Post
Sorry for the late reply.

1. the account has been open for many years, not sure how many years but something like 5/7 years.
2. the flight was around 47k miles, there were no miles back since it was for a friend
3. It would take me too long to count right now.

I've been using this card for a long time.

Now there is an update:
Today, my assistant called to ask if as a frequent flyer member, she was allowed to book for a friend and they said YES!!!! We have it recorded!

Then we called back but this time she called on my behalf in regards to this case, as soon as the agent on the phone knew we were talking about this case, she became very aggressive and said they won't do anything more because it was a violation of their policy. She said that she asked Alaska agent on a previous call if she was allowed to get a ticket for a friend and that the agent said yes. The supervisor Sharon then HUNG UP on my assistant!!!!! all of this is completely recorded!!
I'm stunned about how crazy that is!!!

What do you think I should do to get a compensation? Better Business Bureau? Small Claim court? FAA? which websites should I put my story on?
This is insane I cannot believe them!! I've never seen this.
Given your experience, they certainly seem to think you are a mileage broker. The question here is how to demonstrate that you aren't. I think EastBay's second question is critical - they care less about the value of the ticket that was redeemed, and much more about how you earned those 47k miles in the first place. Was this primarily through flying on AS/partners, or a Points.com purchase? If the former, this seems scary for all of us. If the latter, then it at least would set off more "red flags" on their end, and perhaps provide you a point of contact in Points.com themselves with whom to discuss this.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 6:54 pm
  #65  
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If my frequent flyer account were under review, I wouldn't be having my "assistant" calling to book third-party tickets.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 7:24 pm
  #66  
 
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Originally Posted by dayone View Post
If my frequent flyer account were under review, I wouldn't be having my "assistant" calling to book third-party tickets.
+1

Even if the activity is totally legitimate, having an assistant make the call on behalf of the account holder would sure make me suspicious if I were an airline agent who knew that this account was suspected of being a mileage broker.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 8:09 pm
  #67  
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Originally Posted by A3queen View Post
Sorry for the late reply.

1. the account has been open for many years, not sure how many years but something like 5/7 years.
2. the flight was around 47k miles, there were no miles back since it was for a friend
3. It would take me too long to count right now.

I've been using this card for a long time.

Now there is an update:
Today, my assistant called to ask if as a frequent flyer member, she was allowed to book for a friend and they said YES!!!! We have it recorded!

Then we called back but this time she called on my behalf in regards to this case, as soon as the agent on the phone knew we were talking about this case, she became very aggressive and said they won't do anything more because it was a violation of their policy. She said that she asked Alaska agent on a previous call if she was allowed to get a ticket for a friend and that the agent said yes. The supervisor Sharon then HUNG UP on my assistant!!!!! all of this is completely recorded!!
I'm stunned about how crazy that is!!!

What do you think I should do to get a compensation? Better Business Bureau? Small Claim court? FAA? which websites should I put my story on?
This is insane I cannot believe them!! I've never seen this.
This was a very bad mistake on your part. No sure what you were trying to prove, but you are still persisting in pursuing an issue that is not relevant. AS believes that you are a mileage broker or somehow sold, bartered, or otherwise took something in return for the ticket. Hopefully, you have no carefully reread the contract (terms & conditions) you agreed to and understand that the decision is solely for AS.

If you cannot convince AS to the contrary, you are done. Period.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 8:20 pm
  #68  
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Originally Posted by A3queen View Post
Alaska Airlines cancelled my friends’ Emirates flight from Cape Town to JFK (via DXB) that I booked using my own miles, without notifying her & after confirming 3x that her booking was all good. After she was checked in & at the airport, Emirates told her Alaska cancelled her ticket. .
I still feel like we're missing some pieces here. Is it possible that your "friend" has also been the recipient of tickets purchased with Alaska miles from "other friends" or has been suspected of fraudulent behavior of his own by Alaska and you're just caught up in that? How well do you know this friend and his/her history with Alaska Airlines?

Not sure why you would think the FAA has anything to do with Alaska award tickets. They don't. Small claims court could be an option. I would not send your assistant to appear on your behalf.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 8:21 pm
  #69  
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Originally Posted by dayone View Post
If my frequent flyer account were under review, I wouldn't be having my "assistant" calling to book third-party tickets.
she only called after the whole problem happened. I can very easily justify that part of the story because:
1. I am in South Africa doing business so I have other more important things to do
2. I can prove that my business has nothing to do with traveling
But either way, do you know the process to get compensated from them?
I’m not sure what is the best way.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 9:54 pm
  #70  
 
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Originally Posted by A3queen View Post
she only called after the whole problem happened. I can very easily justify that part of the story because:
1. I am in South Africa doing business so I have other more important things to do
2. I can prove that my business has nothing to do with traveling
But either way, do you know the process to get compensated from them?
I’m not sure what is the best way.
As a number of people have said in this thread, I'm pretty sure there is no "process" to get compensated.

Alaska has decided, rightly or wrongly, that your actions are those of a mileage broker. Under the terms and conditions, that is their decision and theirs alone. Your only chance, as far as I know, is to 1) convince them that you are not a mileage broker or 2) that you were but understand that what you did was wrong, accept responsibility and likely some penalty and/or restrictions on your account (such as only being allowed to book award tickets for yourself).

At some level, you're dealing with human beings whose computer tells them to be suspicious of you. Having an assistant call on your behalf fits perfectly into the narrative that your miles are a business, whether or not that's true. That will confirm the biases that those human beings come in with because of the annotated record.

I don't have any personal experience with being suspected of being a mileage broker. But my understanding, mostly from reading FlyerTalk (especially the posts in the AA forum, largely by @JonNYC, of how AA handles this and assuming that there are broad similarities with AS), is that the basic approach is to be fully honest, detailing every use of your miles with as much documentation as you can. Apologizing for your continued attempts to book tickets after being told that your account can't be used to purchase tickets for others, promising not to do it again, and following through on that promise at least unless/until AS gives you permission otherwise also seems like a good idea. If you truly are innocent, maybe you'll succeed in convincing AS that you are. But continuing to book tickets for other people (the activity AS rightly or wrongly suspects is fraudulent) and having other people call on your behalf seems like exactly the wrong sorts of thing to do if you want to ever be able to use your miles.
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Old May 11, 19, 12:39 am
  #71  
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So AS gets to be the plaintiff, the judge and the executioner ?

I advise OP to contact who specialize in helping consumers against travel industry companies

Last edited by MasterGeek; May 11, 19 at 2:02 am
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Old May 11, 19, 9:16 am
  #72  
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Originally Posted by MasterGeek View Post
So AS gets to be the plaintiff, the judge and the executioner ?
Yes. Those are the terms agreed to when joining MP. You of course can fly the airline without joining MP, or in fact any FFP (which generally have similar terms).

https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mi...and-conditions

When you are buying miles you are buying a pig in a poke, and AS tells you “this is your pig and this is your poke.”

Originally Posted by MasterGeek View Post
Probably a decent idea, if dated given that this thread has been dead for months. Note that Elliott is on the record as thinking FFPs are scams.
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Old May 11, 19, 9:33 am
  #73  
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post


Yes. Those are the terms agreed to when joining MP. You of course can fly the airline without joining MP, or in fact any FFP (which generally have similar terms).

https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mi...and-conditions

When you are buying miles you are buying a pig in a poke, and AS tells you “this is your pig and this is your poke.”



Probably a decent idea, if dated given that this thread has been dead for months. Note that Elliott is on the record as thinking FFPs are scams.
Another T&Cs worshipper. Corporate to consumer T&Cs (especially the ones displayed as part of a long text) mean nothing because they are unilateral, one-sided, not been the subject of a fair negotiation and made to protect the corporation.

If your cell phone companies, internet providers , insurance companies and banks decide they don't want you as a customer because they don't like something in you or what you believe in, how will you live ?
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Old May 11, 19, 10:01 am
  #74  
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Originally Posted by MasterGeek View Post
Another T&Cs worshipper.
If you want to have a go at your MP or MLA for FFP regulation, knock yourself out. I would point out that governments allow casinos and lotteries to exist though (and in many cases profit from them, sometimes even running them), which are pretty straightforward swindles (the game on offer is rigged so the casino or lottery wins, and casinos are free to reject customers who they think can beat them). If they're going to allow that kind of low-hanging fruit on the tree, frequent flyer programs might be a bit higher up.

Oh, no, whatever shall I do that frequent flyer programs, casinos and lotteries exist? Aside from not joining or playing them unless I choose to, that is?

Originally Posted by MasterGeek View Post
Corporate to consumer T&Cs (especially the ones displayed as part of a long text) mean nothing because they are unilateral, one-sided, not been the subject of a fair negotiation and made to protect the corporation.
Do you seriously think FFPs could exist if they were all one to one negotiations made with each individual member?
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Old May 11, 19, 1:06 pm
  #75  
 
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I'd just complain to DOT over this if it ever happened to me. While they don't specifically regulate FFPs, they do regulate airlines in general and enforce a blanket rule against "unfair and deceptive practices".

I don't think that it would be too hard to argue that selling you miles and then cancelling the ticket that you booked with those miles constitutes an unfair and deceptive practice.
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