1 Smugger's Perspective: Rising Air II

Well they’re at it again, this time with frequent flier miles.

So in addition to adding more to our air bill for seat preferences, meals, (insert luxury noun here), now we must contend with using (or rather keeping) our frequent flier miles. I mean I understand business is business, but if I’ve racked up over 100,000 miles or so and I want to cash them in; I shouldn’t be turned away at the ticket counter.

The problem supposedly is “frequent flier availability” or better noted as heavily controlled seat manipulation – you know the kind of shenanigans that occur when the screen shows the seat you wanted available but when you get to the next screen, it’s no longer available – but suddenly becomes available thirty minutes later or when you make it to the airport.

I am asking myself why the airline companies decided to offer frequent flier mile programs in the first place if this is the shuck and jive, bait and switch game they’re playing. According to Airfarewatchdog.com, “airlines are implying that you’ll be able to spend the miles, and it’s just not happening.” In order to get the seat or the date you want, you have to use more miles or open a credit card or join Bally’s or spend $100 on Buy.com; all the gimmicky type stuff to keep the frequent flyer game going. Learning about this, I feel like I’m playing Monopoly and have just landed on boardwalk and it has a hotel on it and I just haven’t got the money to pay its owner. I’ve got money don’t get me wrong, just not enough and if I want to pass go and collect, I have to do abc xyz thing. This is how the airlines are treating us customers.

But President Obama is in our corner, imposing on the airlines to make sure we get compensated everytime they give our seat to the highest bidder and making sure we can cancel flights 1 to 2 hours before without receiving a stiff penalty. That’s a start. At least now I’ll feel a little bit better since I can’t use my frequent flier miles unless I use them 6 months in advance or pay more upfront costs just to be apart of a program they started.

I hope they don’t start charging for the half a cup of Sprite and the bag of peanuts they give me.

Image via McHumor

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