Flying Frequently

I must be an optimist. Why else would I have a frequent flyer plan?

My account was just reset by the company to zero because I have had no qualifying flights for a year. Rather ironic that the reset was done the day before a flight that qualified for points.

I know the rules and I was sent a warning email, so I have no reason to complain.  Which is why I am not saying which frequent flyer plan I am part of – they played according to the rules, I’m the one who looks stupid.

They would be quite happy to sell my missing miles back to me. More money for them, I guess. I can’t see doing that though, given the way the rules keep changing, mid-flight so to speak.

The issue is “qualifying flights.” I have taken flights with airlines that are members of the plan in the past year. Multiple trips were rejected, I presume because they involved multiple stops. But there were no direct flights, so I had to take short ones. It isn’t like I didn’t try to accumulate points.

I must admit this isn’t the first time this has happened to me. I’ve had years when I had no reason to fly anywhere, and as a result my account was reset. Over the years I’ve never accumulated enough points to gain any rewards. Maybe that is my problem.

As I remember it, when airlines first started their rewards programs the points you earned never expired. I suppose my memory could be faulty – back then I never flew anywhere, so I wasn’t an early member of any of the programs. Maybe it has always been that way – do you know?

My impression was airlines started changing the rules becasue they were too successful. Too many people were earning too many rewards, costing them too much money.

These days, I have to think there is no reason for anyone who doesn’t fly a lot to join a frequent flyer program. It isn’t as if they are actually providing a benefit anymore.

When I first signed up, I received points on all my flights. Price point wasn’t an issue. Recently though I’ve noticed that, when I book a flight, the flight points I earn are dependent on how much I pay for my ticket. It is no longer distance traveled. In effect I am expected to buy frequent flyer points.

I guess that is fair enough. Their game, their rules. But it doesn’t encourage any loyalty on my part. I have half a dozen flights scheduled in 2020 that I haven’t booked yet. Given that I don’t expect to ever reach the rewards level of my frequent flyer program, I think I’ll be flying on budget airlines. I might as well save some money.

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