eBay auction: Envelope w/ 500,000 American Airlines Miles

 
Old Mar 28, 02, 1:08 pm
  #1  
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eBay auction: Envelope w/ 500,000 American Airlines Miles

Over in MilesBuzz there is a thread Airlines bristle at sale of vouchers which discusses the pros, cons, legality, ethics etc. of selling miles on eBay using various methods such as the ingenious "white envelope". Now, I don't want to get caught up in the right vs. wrong discussion, but I found on eBay someone selling Envelope w/ 500,000 American Airlines Miles!!! This is easily the largest number of miles I have ever seen being auctioned.

My question is whether anyone would consider selling 500,000 miles for $6,600 (highest bid as of today at 11:07 a.m. Pacific time)?

For me, I plan on using my miles for personal trips when I am no longer a road warrior. In my book, 500,000 miles is more than just $6,600, 500,000 miles means going on vacation across the pond ten times and being able to ugrade to C or 5 international F tickets or a whole bunch of free domestic coach tix.

Now, this guy states that
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">I have created a way that generates miles for very little cost, so if you are interested I am also looking for a partner in this regards</font>
so maybe he has an infinite number of potential miles and so he isn't too concerned about running out of miles to sell. (You have to wonder though, if he has found a way to "generate miles for very little cost", why does he need a partner?)

Each F ticket alone probably costs more than $6,600. Granted, the value of 500,000 miles may be more or less depending on which airline you have accumulated them due to their award redemption policies, and so I can only speak for their value on AA, but for me, after sitting my butt in MRTC for the minimum 500 miles per LAX-SJC flight, eating way too much Kellogg's cereal and enduring countless cavity searches by the security morons, $6,600 is not nearly enought for me to part with those kind of miles.


[This message has been edited by onedog (edited 03-28-2002).]
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Old Mar 28, 02, 1:35 pm
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if one values their mi's @ $.02, then 500k mi's are worth $ 10k. i value them higher (which has been discussed ). plus i'm out of envelopes. so ...no bid
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Old Mar 28, 02, 1:49 pm
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I got an e-mail response from AA that they are aware of this auction and the offenders can have their AAdvantage account terminated immediately. Both the buyer and the seller.
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Old Mar 28, 02, 2:42 pm
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Old Mar 28, 02, 3:11 pm
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PLAT90s: Why did you get an email response from AA? Did you alert AA about this?

If you did, you have just opened up a whole can or worms.
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Old Mar 28, 02, 3:14 pm
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Could that be a real account?
12 flights with the same number of Q miles and Q points. Wouldn't they have bonouses etc that make these different? Also that many miles and no other transactions?
I think it's a fake.
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Old Mar 28, 02, 3:27 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Halifax Bouy:
Could that be a real account?
12 flights with the same number of Q miles and Q points. Wouldn't they have bonouses etc that make these different? Also that many miles and no other transactions?
I think it's a fake.
</font>
Maybe they only fly full fare economy. The bonuses wouldn't be reflected in the Q miles and Q points.

There are no listed transactions because AA periodically refreshed our account summary. Usually, its every month or two months.
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Old Mar 28, 02, 3:53 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Tango:
PLAT90s: Why did you get an email response from AA? Did you alert AA about this?

If you did, you have just opened up a whole can or worms.
</font>
Why is that? Are you a buyer or seller in that auction?

I don't think there is any can of worms that Plato has opened... if you read these boards with any frequency, you will know that AA monitors Ebay for auctions just like it monitors FlyerTalk for things happening over here.

Bottom line... don't take the risk if you aren't ready to get your hand slapped!
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Old Mar 28, 02, 3:55 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Tango:
PLAT90s: Why did you get an email response from AA? Did you alert AA about this?

If you did, you have just opened up a whole can or worms.
</font>
If you've got a question for me personally, feel free to use the e-mail I've listed.

To answer your question, yes I did let AA know via e-mail that this flagrant abuse was going on.

It's always possible that this is all a hoax and that the seller doesn't actually have this many miles to sell.

Either way, I don't think this is a transaction which should be concluded. People who abuse the system will impact other people due to the reaction they provoke. Doesn't take many mileage sellers to make the process of gifting mileage awards difficult for people who make an honest gift of their miles.
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Old Mar 28, 02, 3:58 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Tango:
PLAT90s: Why did you get an email response from AA? Did you alert AA about this?

If you did, you have just opened up a whole can or worms.
</font>
???
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Old Mar 28, 02, 5:14 pm
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Even money says that seller has already been busted.

How many people had exactly that many earned upgrades, lifetime miles, current mileage balance, YTD segments, etc. on that date? Answer: exactly one. And AA's technoweenies probably zapped his account. (Even a newbie mainframe hack with an SQL book could figure it out in ten or fifteen minutes.)

Even if I wanted to buy his miles, how would he turn his 947K into 500K for me? It sounds to me like he'd have to order travel certificates for you for flights that total up to 500K worth of award travel. (That's a lot different from having 500K in my account, counting towards my lifetime status and available for use for int'l upgrades at booking time.)

Basically, the whole thing stinks, and the guy laying out $6600 will get jammed.

As for his other verbiage about a partner to earn unlimited cheap miles, I don't buy it. I think he just wants a repeat buyer of his excess miles. Look at his YTD segments/miles: 38,000 miles, 12 segments, 2 1/2 months. This is an ExPlat that flies full-Y for business on a regular basis. Now look at the earned upgrades, combined with his statement that he likes to use his own upgrades (meaning he's earned a lot more than 42 in his life). I'm guessing this guy has earned 500-750K flight miles. Assuming he was PLT most of the way, there's most of your 1.5 million lifetime.

This guy doesn't have a sneaky loophole, and he doesn't have a secret way to earn cheap miles. He probably doesn't even know Flyertalk exists, or else he would have read enough threads like this one to know not to post a freakin' screenprint of his account on Ebay. While I think there's a 95% chance this guy is a rat, I suppose he might not even know that AA disapproves of his auction - until he gets an email.

He simply flies a ton on somebody else's nickel, he can't use all his miles, and his "partner" would be somebody who always goes through him to book travel (buying his miles).

Unfortunately, it looks like he has found at least 1 sucker.
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Old Mar 28, 02, 5:39 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by rmccamy:
While I think there's a 95% chance this guy is a rat, I suppose he might not even know that AA disapproves of his auction - until he gets an email.</font>
I find this hard to believe. Why would he be selling a plain envelope for $6600 with 500,000 free miles inside if he didn't know that the sales of miles was wrong?
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Old Mar 28, 02, 5:48 pm
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I think the guy is a total amateur and doesn't really know what he is doing. Why would anyone give him $6600 and trust him to "book" all of their flights for them? It seems that is the deal he is proposing.

However, I think these people bidding on his miles are professional brokers who know of way to get his miles transferred.
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Old Mar 28, 02, 7:00 pm
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Very large numbers of miles could be used in ways that accreat value and so if it was possible to buy them on a legit basis, the market for them would expand. Imagine 4 flight in CX 1st for $6K!
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Old Mar 28, 02, 7:11 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by rmccamy:
Basically, the whole thing stinks, and the guy laying out $6600 will get jammed.[...]
Unfortunately, it looks like he has found at least 1 sucker.
</font>
There's no telling whether the bid is true or is an insider's job (e.g. spouse bidding) to get the appearance of a wanted item for suckers to come.

Or that it isn't a bid from AA Corporate...
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