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-   -   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 8, 19 4:32 am

AS Cancels EK Award Tickets for My Friend [Possible Merge]
 
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. Alaska’s Customer Care office is NOT open 24 hours, so there was no one for us or Emirates to call to try to fix it (we tried).

Once Customer Care office opened 8 hours later, we were was informed by a Customer Care Supervisor in Seattle, that Alaska Airlines Policy forbids Mileage Plan members from using our own miles to book award tickets for friends or family members. She went on to say that if the passenger has the same last name as the mileage plan member, the ticket may not get “flagged”, although it was still a violation.

She showed us where on the Alaska website it states these terms, although to me it looked like a paragraph that was written for travel agents or brokers. The supervisor clarified again, and said whoever books the flight is considered the “travel arranger” and therefore that paragraph DOES apply, and it is absolutely forbidden for anyone to use miles for anyone other than the person whose name is on the account (unless you open a business account?!)! I’m still in shock. The call was recorded for verification purposes. My friend had to purchase a 1k last minute tix for the following day & is waiting now, still packed to head back to the airport in Cape Town.
I’ve been collecting Alaska miles myself & was excited for my friend to fly home on Emirates and had planned to book a business or first class ticket myself. After losing 2k and losing 2 invaluable & frustrating days I’m at a loss... has anyone heard of anything like this? Should I post part of the 1 hour recording where she clearly and repeatedly states the above policy? Any advise is deeply appreciated.

flo_147 Feb 8, 19 4:43 am

Wow never heard about that. In that case you shouldn’t be allowed to book 2 tickets (one for you and one for your partner) then as well. What a stupid argument - I just hope that this behavior / reasoning will not get the norm.

eddiehuang97 Feb 8, 19 6:51 am

That's definitely a wrong and irresponsible answer given by CC Agent. Please report that and ask for a formal response. You are not allowed to sell it, but you can definitely book a ticket for your friend using your own miles.

This is the section you are talking about in T&C:

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles, award tickets, upgrade certificates, and companion certificates may not be sold, purchased or bartered except as permitted on Points.com. Travel agents, travel arrangers and unauthorized brokers are not permitted to issue Mileage Plan tickets or to process or facilitate any other Mileage Plan transactions (including Mileage Plan account creation, account inquiries, and mileage or award ticket transfers) on behalf of others. If Alaska Airlines becomes aware that a member or a third party has misrepresented his/her identity in order to perform a Mileage Plan transaction, Alaska Airlines may, in its sole discretion, void the transaction. miles or award tickets issued, transferred or obtained in violation of these conditions of membership are voidable, in Alaska Airlines’ sole discretion. The member and/or the traveler shall be liable for the full, unrestricted value of awards issued as a result of improper or fraudulent transfers or otherwise in violation of these conditions of membership. Alaska Airlines shall not be responsible for any inconvenience, damage or loss incurred by the member or the traveler if travel is interrupted or an award ticket is invalidated due to violation of these conditions of membership. Alaska Airlines reserves the right to deactivate the Mileage Plan account and/or remove the miles from the account of any member who violates these terms until liability is fulfilled, and all other rights under applicable law to enforce these conditions of membership.

I think what it's saying is that travel arrangers can't operate on other people's account, but you definitely have every right to use your own miles. They might flag you and cancel the ticket if you just created your mileage account/don't fly with Alaska often and bought a huge chunk of miles to book the flight for your friend. However, you could totally book a flight for your friend.

Often1 Feb 8, 19 7:16 am

Looks as though OP got caught up in heightened anti-fraud efforts.

While this all sounds as though it got confused in the game of telephone, it is not about whether one can use one's own miles to purchase a redemption for someone else, but rather whether a person other than the account holder may access the account to make the purchase. The former is perfectly fine so long as there is no payment, trade, or barter in return for the redemption. The latter is simply an anti-fraud device.

It sounds to me as though AS believes that a third-party accessed the account to make the purchase rather than the OP.

This is only going to be resolved via a direct conversation between OP and AS with no intermediaries in which OP asks directly why AS cancelled the ticket without getting into any other details first. This may require written follow up and may ultimately require a small claims action for the money OP is out (if he purchased a cash ticket for the other passenger).

In the meantime, it is important to pull together the details of how the ticket was purchased. E.g., where was OP when he made the purchase, what device did he use, (home vs. office laptop or something else) and whether there is any other person who has his password and who may have accessed the account even if not for this particular redemption. Having all of this in hand can be helpful in case AS anti-fraud security people believed that the "travel arranger" was not OP.

aCavalierInCoach Feb 8, 19 8:38 am

I am pretty skeptical of stories like these and tend to think there is more to the story here... but if the purchase was truly for a friend, this is extremely bad behavior on AS' part. Cancelling the ticket as part of anti-fraud measures is one thing that can be a good faith mistake. Cancelling an underlying ticket after someone has checked-in has an entirely different, vengeful character to it that - if true - deserves much more exposure.

Often1 Feb 8, 19 8:43 am


Originally Posted by aCavalierInCoach (Post 30753749)
I am pretty skeptical of stories like these and tend to think there is more to the story here... but if the purchase was truly for a friend, this is extremely bad behavior on AS' part. Cancelling the ticket as part of anti-fraud measures is one thing that can be a good faith mistake. Cancelling an underlying ticket after someone has checked-in has an entirely different, vengeful character to it that - if true - deserves much more exposure.

That is common practice among other US and EU carriers as well. Nothing odd at all. The passenger is permitted to check in and is dealt with at the airport.

This puts aside the question of whether the ticket was fraudulently issued. If it was, it is a means of catching up with ticket brokers and the like.

aCavalierInCoach Feb 8, 19 8:45 am


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 30753765)
That is common practice among other US and EU carriers as well. Nothing odd at all. The passenger is permitted to check in and is dealt with at the airport.

I don't mean this to be snarky, but where have you found data points indicating such a pattern?

Eastbay1K Feb 8, 19 9:29 am


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 30753520)
Looks as though OP got caught up in heightened anti-fraud efforts.

While this all sounds as though it got confused in the game of telephone, it is not about whether one can use one's own miles to purchase a redemption for someone else, but rather whether a person other than the account holder may access the account to make the purchase. The former is perfectly fine so long as there is no payment, trade, or barter in return for the redemption. The latter is simply an anti-fraud device.

It sounds to me as though AS believes that a third-party accessed the account to make the purchase rather than the OP.

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.

BOB W Feb 8, 19 10:05 am


Originally Posted by Eastbay1K (Post 30753916)
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.

True. There is a history of one off posts from 1 posters, just to stir up trouble. Unless the first poster responds, I suggest that this thread be closed. Way too many questions need to be answered by the first poster to take this any further.

dmodemd Feb 8, 19 10:07 am

At one point United was auditing upgrades granted to friends and family. I had a GA call me to the desk on one of my flights and handed me the phone. On the phone was a UA auditor who questioned me on how I knew the person who had granted me the upgrade. It was someone I met on FlyerTalk and happened to know enough about them to barely satisfy their suspicions. Of course they are looking for whether I had paid for the upgrade or offered anything else for it (barter).

In this case, I wonder if there was any other investigation done where the recipient was contacted and their responses led to suspicions that caused Alaska to cancel the ticket. In any event, all parties should have been notified immediately. Maybe that suspicion occurred at the check-in desk?

MSPeconomist Feb 8, 19 10:25 am


Originally Posted by A3queen (Post 30753218)
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. Alaska’s Customer Care office is NOT open 24 hours, so there was no one for us or Emirates to call to try to fix it (we tried).

Once Customer Care office opened 8 hours later, we were was informed by a Customer Care Supervisor in Seattle, that Alaska Airlines Policy forbids Mileage Plan members from using our own miles to book award tickets for friends or family members. She went on to say that if the passenger has the same last name as the mileage plan member, the ticket may not get “flagged”, although it was still a violation.

She showed us where on the Alaska website it states these terms, although to me it looked like a paragraph that was written for travel agents or brokers. The supervisor clarified again, and said whoever books the flight is considered the “travel arranger” and therefore that paragraph DOES apply, and it is absolutely forbidden for anyone to use miles for anyone other than the person whose name is on the account (unless you open a business account?!)! I’m still in shock. The call was recorded for verification purposes. My friend had to purchase a 1k last minute tix for the following day & is waiting now, still packed to head back to the airport in Cape Town.
I’ve been collecting Alaska miles myself & was excited for my friend to fly home on Emirates and had planned to book a business or first class ticket myself. After losing 2k and losing 2 invaluable & frustrating days I’m at a loss... has anyone heard of anything like this? Should I post part of the 1 hour recording where she clearly and repeatedly states the above policy? Any advise is deeply appreciated.

I'm trying to understand how the OP could be "losing 2k" when the friend had to purchase a ticket for 1k. We don't know where OP is located, but an award ticket (one way?) from South Africa to JFK could look suspicious for a first redemption using AS miles given that there's no obvious connection between the passenger and the OP. If the passenger modified the ticket or actually booked it herself using OP's AS account, the verbiage about travel arrangers would seem to apply.

Frankly, it sounds to me like OP sold the award ticket to the "friend" for 2k. Just my opinion based on what I'm reading here.....

Flying for Fun Feb 8, 19 11:19 am


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist (Post 30754134)

[...]

Frankly, it sounds to me like OP sold the award ticket to the "friend" for 2k. Just my opinion based on what I'm reading here.....

Perhaps the $2K was spent on purchasing miles.

James

MSPeconomist Feb 8, 19 11:26 am

Someone would pay 2k for miles to give an award ticket to a friend, when the friend can pay only 1k to buy a last minute ticket? It must be a very good friend, and I guess we can assume that it was a business class ticket.

Did AS just cancel the ticket or did they take OP's miles and/or cancel the account too?

pbd456 Feb 8, 19 11:35 am

may I become your friend? I promise I will treat you wrll!

Flying for Fun Feb 8, 19 11:36 am


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist (Post 30754362)
Someone would pay 2k for miles to give an award ticket to a friend, when the friend can pay only 1k to buy a last minute ticket? It must be a very good friend, and I guess we can assume that it was a business class ticket.

Did AS just cancel the ticket or did they take OP's miles and/or cancel the account too?

But how much did the "friend" pay the OP for the ticket and have to refund? Too many unanswered questions to speculate further and unless the OP is willing to share all the details we will never know. Generally, silence speaks volumes.

James


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