21 July 2008

Devaluing one of the major currencies - FF miles

For those people who live inside the airline world - Frequent Flyer miles are not that important. For those who live outside - they are like a drug. Point Hounds, FF Junkies Mileheads - all good names for people who would other exhibit normal behavior. I have written before on the devaluation of the currency and now its here in spades.

Tim Hughes blog - The BOOT - has an excellent piece on the Qantas debacle which itself was a headline in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald. One of the grant journalistic rants of all time.


But this is not the only one.

BA has been really sneaky about theirs - it costs 5x in fees vs a Delta FF award to the UK from the USA. Why? I cannot figure out - they are both "free" tickets.

Delta has a new option which is based on the same calculator system as Qantas - its called Pay with Miles. So in fact that endearing behavior of Airlines - Obfuscation - now has a new face - multiple versions of the same currency - all designed to confuse the crap out of you.

Delta has another little trick up their sleeve too - You cannot use an upgrade coupon on Delta's Transatlantic Alliance flights if Delta is not the metal???

Wait - I remember that this was a totally equal JV between Delta and Air France. They share everything - right? Apparently not. DL's FF desk assured me that because the flight was operated by DL that I could not upgrade a ticket purchased and plated on DL.

So moral of the story - is that huge bank of FF miles out there has been silently devalued. Trillions of miles have had their real value - evaporate.

You have been warned.



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