Two recent court cases in Australia have illustrated the potential danger of trying to bilk your frequent-flyer plan.
In one case, two former Qantas employees have been accused of establishing 28 fictitious frequent flyer accounts, using common Asian names, in order to pocket the 11 million miles earned by people with those names.
In the other, boarding passes were doctored, then photocopied and faxed in to claim miles.
In an interview with The Australian, former vice-president of safety and security for Ansett, Peter Keating, said scams like these are becoming common.
“I reckon there’s a lot of it happening that the airlines don’t know about. The whole idea of frequent flyers is out of control,” said Keating. “Where the airlines have a problem is that when they introduce these programs and don’t put the proper systems in place to stop abuse, that is internal and external abuse.”
Other common scams include purchasing a ticket, checking in (thereby earning the miles), then seeking a refund, or having airline employees scrutinize membership applications, name themselves as the applicant’s referrer and pocket the bonus points.
And, of course, as active FlyerTalkers know, a recent auction on eBay offered 1 million Qantas miles for sale.