Letters – June, 17 2010

Letters – June, 17 2010

Where Are the Miles?

My son has tried to obtain credit from US Airways for multiple trips taken on Star Alliance members where his US Airways frequent flyer number was provided since January. I recently became involved and I too was stymied by the US Airways Problem Resolution Department.

I have flown US Airways long enough to have lifetime miles over 1,000,000 and have in the past been a Dividend Preferred member. Nothing seems to matter to them. I am particularly annoyed as Austin [my son] has earned Dividend Preferred Level miles and yet I am still responsible for paying for his baggage, as US Airways has not recognized his status. He leaves on United on May 21 for a trip to Hong Kong and again, his level with US Airways is not recognized, and he is not receiving the benefits of his level.

Given Austin’s stature, his future aspirations and his ability to influence the purchase of a significant number of airline tickets etc., I would think that an airline would be embracing him rather than kicking him aside. I see an airline more concerned with the $60 for baggage fees and $10 for seat selection and not the big picture of $100K in bookings. I have suggested that he change his allegiance from US Airways and Star Alliance to another carrier and another group.

Any help you can provide for Austin and others like him would be

Editors’ Note: InsideFlyer gave Mr. Schwartz a contact at US Airways, Michael Pool, and forwarded the above letter. Following is some of the resulting email conversation.
To: Michael Schwartz
From: Michael Pool

This is the first I’ve heard of this issue so I’ll ask our correspondence team to pull the letter for me and advise.
To: Michael Pool
From: Michael Schwartz

Thanks for the rapid response. I look forward to your review and hope you will be able to resolve the issue. To make it easier, the following is the
letter Austin sent and the other documentation.
From: Austin Schwartz
To: milesandsmiles.@thy.com

I spoke with a representative today and she informed me to contact this email address with my situation. Back in December and January, I flew two itineraries with Turkish Airlines. When I checked in, I gave them my US Airways frequent flyer number. I have never been credited for any of the flight segments. I contacted US Airways and they told me that I either had to have my boarding passes (which I don’t have anymore) or I had to have you contact them confirming my flights. I would prefer if you could do the latter, but if that is not possible is there any way I can get a copy of my boarding passes?
Itinerary #1
Turkish Airlines:
Leave: Syracuse, NY Dec. 23, 2009;Arrive: Antalya, Turkey Dec. 24, 2009Leave: Antalya, Turkey Jan. 14, 2010;Arrive: Syracuse, NY Jan. 15, 2010
Itinerary #2
Turkish Airlines:
Leave: Antalya, Turkey Jan. 8, 2010;Arrive: Tel Aviv, Israel Jan. 8, 2010;Leave: Tel Aviv, Israel Jan. 14, 2010; Arrive: Antalya, Turkey Jan. 14, 2010From: Austin Schwartz
To: Michael Pool, US Airways

Over the past 12 months as President of a major U.S. university’s Debate Club, I was responsible for booking trips for 2-12 members of the debate club to: England (miles for this November 2009 flight finally credited April 21, 2010); Antalya Turkey-Turkish Airlines; Israel — Turkish Airlines; Denver — United; Toronto to Taiwan — Asiana Airlines; Hong Kong — May 21, 2010 not yet flown.

Since nearly every airline’s prices are nearly identical, my reason for choosing US Airways or its Star Alliance partners for the debate club members was based upon the ability to obtain US Airways Dividend Miles for myself and my fellow debaters. While I have flown all of these roundtrips from New York airports, my Dividend Miles account does not reflect this.


Our flights to Istanbul and Israel were on Turkish Airlines and they have never provided to you the proof of my flights. I went from Syracuse to Chicago. From there I was booked non-stop to Istanbul. Unfortunately my flight on Wednesday Dec. 23rd was four hours late arriving into Chicago. As a result I missed my connecting flight and Turkish Airways flew me on Dec. 24th from Chicago — London — Istanbul — Antalya. My flight to Israel went from Antalya-Istanbul-Tel Aviv on Jan. 5th. On Jan. 13th I flew from Tel Aviv to Istanbul to Antalya and then from Antalya to Istanbul to Chicago on Jan. 14. (They forced me to fly the roundtrip from Istanbul-Antalya-Istanbul because my U.S.-Turkey ticket was through Antalya.)


We flew on March 12th to Taiwan and returned on the 19th. The day after my outgoing flights US Airways received and credited my Dividend account. To date you have not credited my return. When I contacted the Dividend Miles department I was told that I had to wait 45 days before you could do anything. It is now more than 45 days since the flight and you still have done nothing.


On April 8th we flew Syracuse to Washington, D.C. and then from Washington to Denver on United, we returned on Delta. My Delta frequent flyer miles were reflected by Delta in April yet I have still not received my US Airways miles.

My father is fit to be tied and as a member with nearly 700,000 miles and many years of loyalty to US Airways, he contacted the President’s office and asked for assistance. He was extremely upset as I flew today from Syracuse to Philadelphia to Tampa on US Airways and he was forced to pay for my baggage. He indicated to me that this would be the last trip he ever pays for on US Airways as he thought at the time he booked the trip that based on my trips I would be a Silver Preferred and would have qualified for no baggage charges.

Moreover, he explained that as a Silver Preferred my upcoming trip to Hong Kong would have received bonus points. Given the substantial distance of this travel the bonus points would have been high. Both my father and I are upset by the failure of US Airways to reflect my miles.

I was told by one of your agents that if the airlines (Turkish, United and Asiana) didn’t provide you with the confirmation of my flights, that you would need me to provide copies of the boarding passes. Many of these boarding passes have long since become unavailable. I have the itinerary, the bills, the stamped passport proving my travel. Additionally, in each country I flew I was responsible at their entry points for completing documents which demonstrated the aircraft and flight numbers of the carrier bringing me into the country. The fact that Turkish Airlines and Asiana Airways have failed to provide you with confirmation of my flights should not be held against me.

Do you really wish to lose a 21-year-old President of the Debate Team and winner of the University’s Cobb Award for superior service to his University as a customer? My major is International Business Law and my frequent travel to debates around the world will be dwarfed by the travel I will do as an International Business Lawyer.

If you continue to stone my attempts to obtain the credit for the miles I earned, continue to unfairly charge me for baggage when my status should remove those charges and continue to not provide me with the privileges of an elite status with increased mileage earnings and upgrades to first class, I will be forced to change the allegiance of not only myself but the others I am responsible for booking travel.

It truly is time for you to make the calls to Turkish, United and Asiana and to provide me with the earned credits. Moreover, once these miles are placed in my account, I believe you should retroactively take responsibility for the prior failures. A space-available upgrade on my Hong Kong trip and upgrades domestically would at least partially compensate me for the fees I have incurred.

Regards from a future Chairman’s Preferred if you provide immediate attention to this issue and compensate me for my many issues fairly.
To: Michael Schwartz
From: Michael Pool

UA flights have posted given successful confirmation of flight activity and no double dipping with United.

OZ (Asiana) flights are more complicated. It appears that the customer or an agent requested miles be posted into an Asiana account and a Dividend Miles account (double dipping). The outbound flights were initially posted to the US Airways account and then also requested to be posted to the OZ account. As the miles were first posted to the US Airways account, this posting will prevail and the duplicate miles posted to the OZ account were removed. The return flights were initially posted to the OZ account and, as they are still stored in that account, cannot be posted to the US Airways account. If you look at the boarding pass provided in the customer letter, the Asiana (OZ) frequent flyer number is clearly visible on the Taipei-Seoul boarding pass.

The TK (Turkish) flights have all been pended, meaning we have entered the flights into the Star Alliance double dip database and are awaiting confirmation that the segments were flown and that miles have not been awarded already.

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