Air Mail

Air Mail

Another One Bites the Dust
The dot-com meltdown appears to have an insatiable appetite, as it continues to leave a wake of destruction. The latest casualty is MilesDirect, the mileage tracking Web site. Considered the most advanced of its kind in terms of features, MilesDirect decided to formally close down in mid-August, citing market conditions as the reason. Still operating as of the same time was MaxMiles, but its future is clouded by the stock price of parent company Netcentives — hovering near 8 cents a share, down from the all-time high of about $97 a share.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that, which I told you about last month, is now up and running. Early indications suggest that MileageManager’s initial group of members are a satisfied bunch, and even more features to the service are slated for the near future.

One of the MileageManager benefits in particular shows our commitment to the frequent flyers that join this program and to the programs we support. Because we understand that members often worry about the security of their private information, especially when so many similar online services are offered by companies with no track record or accreditation in the area of frequent flyer programs, we have made MileageManager the first online mileage tracking service in the world to offer award account protection. Every MileageManager customer is protected by AwardGuard, which protects members from unauthorized award transfers in the online accounts they consolidate with MileageManager. And, there is no additional charge to MileageManager customers for this protection.

This is yet another example of how we are trying to provide services and assets for frequent flyers to get the most out of their programs.

Revisiting National Car Rental Emerald Club
As you will recall, in the July issue I praised the new Emerald Club award chart citing that executives were apparently working hard to correct an error (in my opinion) they had made some years back by incorporating expiring points into the program. The award chart in question had been available to the public for months and had been quadruple checked by myself and others on this staff for its accuracy. Things looked great and I complimented National Car Rental on a job well done.

Guess what? Executives have now decided to redo that award chart, yet again, because they have decided it is 10 times too generous. There goes my car rental jackpot — not to mention my praise. This is yet another example of what’s wrong with some of these programs — members can never feel totally secure in what they’ve earned if things keep changing. More on this topic in the months to come.

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