Ian Ayers, a professor at the Yale Law School had this to say when commenting about the “wonderful world” of customer relationship management (CRM) for public radio’s Marketplace:
“Say you and I have been bumped from a flight and there’s just one seat left on the next scheduled plane. Who gets it? In the old days, it might have been whoever had more frequent flyer points. But today, airlines are more likely to give the seat to the unhappier customer.” If one of the people involved has already had two flights canceled in the past six months, the airline would be more likely to give that person the seat, figuring that a buildup of problems might make that person go elsewhere for their travel needs.
He goes on to comment, “In fact, having tons of frequent flyer points might even hurt your chances, because airlines don’t have to worry as much about giving inferior service to loyal flyers who will tolerate just about anything to earn more miles.”