US Air Miles Expiration - Outrageous

 

Old Nov 21, 06, 10:14 pm
  #1  
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US Air Miles Expiration - Outrageous

i had almost 20,000 miles on us air's program. i rarely fly that airline because i am a regular northwest frequent flyer (with lots of miles on that airline). so ok, i don't expect to be treated like royalty on us air, but they basically got rid of my miles because i had not flown in three years (barely).

two emails and one call to customer service got the response i already saw on their site: buy back the miles for 1 cent per mile plus a service fee. nonesense, that's all they are worth! i told them i would never fly us air again if that was their view, and they don't seem to care. how stupid. i was about to book a flight on us air til they gave me this bit of nonsense. any thoughts?

no wonder ya'll hate them!

Last edited by myersgroup; Nov 21, 06 at 10:15 pm Reason: typos
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Old Nov 21, 06, 10:25 pm
  #2  
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Funny, I just received a letter from NW two weeks ago telling me the same thing for my 19,820 miles. I used them on newspapers and magazines.

So what's your point and are you blind to the marketplace?
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Old Nov 21, 06, 11:12 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by myersgroup
i had almost 20,000 miles on us air's program. i rarely fly that airline because i am a regular northwest frequent flyer (with lots of miles on that airline). so ok, i don't expect to be treated like royalty on us air, but they basically got rid of my miles because i had not flown in three years (barely).

two emails and one call to customer service got the response i already saw on their site: buy back the miles for 1 cent per mile plus a service fee. nonesense, that's all they are worth! i told them i would never fly us air again if that was their view, and they don't seem to care. how stupid. i was about to book a flight on us air til they gave me this bit of nonsense. any thoughts?

no wonder ya'll hate them!
You have stated that you are not a regular flyer of US. You spend your $$$ with NW. You earn your miles on NW. You havn't flown US in over 3 years. You are not a customer of US. Why do you expect them to do you any favors? Maybe you should have booked the flight on US that you claim you were about to book, fly it then ask for your miles back. Have you ever heard the phrase, "put up or shut up?"
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Old Nov 22, 06, 5:40 am
  #4  
 
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I believe that this is a fairly standard practice within the industry. If you fly with any regularity, and it sounds like you do, you should be aware of the program and it's restrictions.

The bottom line is that miles = money to the airline when they are redeemed. A good example is gift cards. Everyone knows that gift cards expire if they are not used within a certain time frame. Do you go back to the store and ask for the cash or a new gift card because you did not know when they expired?

The owness is on the consumer to monitor their assets, regardless of the type (be it credit card, gift card, miles, bonus points, etc).

That said perhaps your post will alert others to check their accounts and make sure their miles are not ready to expire, so some good may come from the situation.
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Old Nov 22, 06, 6:02 am
  #5  
 
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US Air sent me an email about three weeks ago. If I don't have activity before January, my miles expire. It looks like I need to go through their shopping mall to ITunes and buy a song. Sure it will only be 1 mile, but that is activity!

But really, I don't fly US Air either, if I loose the miles it is not the end of the world.
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Old Nov 22, 06, 7:51 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by trm2
US Air sent me an email about three weeks ago. If I don't have activity before January, my miles expire. It looks like I need to go through their shopping mall to ITunes and buy a song. Sure it will only be 1 mile, but that is activity!

But really, I don't fly US Air either, if I loose the miles it is not the end of the world.
As you can see U.S. is not exactly making it hard to maintain your miles. To the OP -be happy you kept your unused miles for so long as it is. Reducing their liabilities for outstanding mileage is a great business move, especially since it has little to no impact to the people they care about -the current customers.
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Old Nov 22, 06, 7:58 am
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Didn't someone post recently that it's changing form 3 years to 18 months?
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Old Nov 22, 06, 10:03 am
  #8  
 
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Welcome to Flyertalk, myersgroup

I'd say it's unfortunate, not outrageous. I manage the Miles account of an elderly aunt who's not flying much anymore, and I have received a timely email from US warning of expiration. Since you haven't flown with US for years, it's possible your email address has not been updated on the new website. In any case, as another poster has mentioned, your post serves as another reminder to all.

phlflyer927, Yes, starting Jan 2007, it's 18 months of no activity and your Miles vanish. I'm not sure whether it's 18 months from Jan, or whether they'd look in Jan and toss away the Miles after 18 months of no activity. Best to buy an iTune or two soon
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Old Nov 22, 06, 10:16 am
  #9  
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my thoughts on the posts

as the o.p. here are my thoughts:

1 - granted i am not a regular us air flyer -- they could have sought to earn my business as my second choice airline -- when i can really choose any airline (i'm going to go to delta, which is a nwa partner anyway).

2 - they lost out on real dollars when they didn't give me back the miles (i booked that particular flight on delta instead).

3 - i never received any notice. they didn't have my email but they did have my current address....would have been nice if i had some warning six months ago. no notice at all. (also, i have an old statement from us air which says nothing about expiration.)

4 - they could have offered better terms for the buyback. i offered to pay the administrative fee (i forget, something like $50 or $70), just didn't want to pay for miles i already earned.

5 - finally, yes, i do hope that this serves as a warning to others. (by the way, delta notified me last year that some old 'permanent' miles i had on their program were going to be expiring as a result of changes in their program. fair enough -- they gave me enough warning that i reacted.)
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Old Nov 22, 06, 10:22 am
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by trm2
US Air sent me an email about three weeks ago. If I don't have activity before January, my miles expire. It looks like I need to go through their shopping mall to ITunes and buy a song. Sure it will only be 1 mile, but that is activity!

But really, I don't fly US Air either, if I loose the miles it is not the end of the world.
That is a great idea or you can just buy something from a US Airways partner and recieve miles too. People think that activity is only using the miles.
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Old Nov 22, 06, 7:30 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by myersgroup
i had almost 20,000 miles on us air's program. i rarely fly that airline because i am a regular northwest frequent flyer (with lots of miles on that airline). so ok, i don't expect to be treated like royalty on us air, but they basically got rid of my miles because i had not flown in three years (barely).

two emails and one call to customer service got the response i already saw on their site: buy back the miles for 1 cent per mile plus a service fee. nonesense, that's all they are worth! i told them i would never fly us air again if that was their view, and they don't seem to care. how stupid. i was about to book a flight on us air til they gave me this bit of nonsense. any thoughts?

no wonder ya'll hate them!
What an odd question. You have not flown US Airways in 3 years, yet you want to be considered as a frequent flyer. Why? I think they have offered you a very good proposal, which is similar to what most other airlines would offer you, given the same situation. I don't understand your problem.
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Old Nov 22, 06, 8:53 pm
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It's too bad you didn't realize these miles can be kept alive by spending only $1.00 at iTunes.
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Old Nov 22, 06, 10:49 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by Darren64
Everyone knows that gift cards expire if they are not used within a certain time frame.
Not true everywhere. California state law prohibits sellers from attaching expiration dates to gift cards or certificates issued in the state.

Someone gave the company money, essentially to hold in trust for someone else to spend through the gift card. Money doesn't expire - thus, neither should gift cards or certificates.

Frequent flyer miles, though, are not cash and are offered as premiums - so companies are free to set their expiration terms.
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Old Nov 23, 06, 5:08 am
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by FCYTravis
Not true everywhere. California state law prohibits sellers from attaching expiration dates to gift cards or certificates issued in the state.

Someone gave the company money, essentially to hold in trust for someone else to spend through the gift card. Money doesn't expire - thus, neither should gift cards or certificates.

Frequent flyer miles, though, are not cash and are offered as premiums - so companies are free to set their expiration terms.
I did not realize that the law ws state by state, I always thouhgt it was determined by the merchant. Good to know.

As for the miles, while not cash, they do have a value attached to them by virtue of how they are spent. I believe that in accounting terms they would be counted as a debit when people cash them in, particularly if you are using the miles for a non US *A carrier. Althought I could be wrong.
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Old Nov 23, 06, 1:01 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by warbo
What an odd question. You have not flown US Airways in 3 years, yet you want to be considered as a frequent flyer. Why? I think they have offered you a very good proposal, which is similar to what most other airlines would offer you, given the same situation. I don't understand your problem.
again, i am the o.p.
surely ya'll would be sympathetic if you consider that:
1 - i received zero notice, repeat, zero, of the expiration. no letter, no email (they didn't have my email, to be fair). but c'mon ya'll, would a letter be worth sending?
2 - i am treated very well by northwest (my main carrier) as i am sure all you us air folks are treated well by that airline. but wouldn't you want a little consideration from the other airlines out there? should it be: regular f.f., you are cool, not: you are treated like dirt?
3 - all i ever got was a canned response from the us air folks.
4 - yea, i could have downloaded a song on itunes if us air had given me a chance, a hint, a little prompting?
i am not an unreasonable person... see my earlier posts on this thread.
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