Letters – June, 17 2011

Letters – June, 17 2011

Medallion Flyers Unite

Nice article on frequent flyer use of social media. Does InsideFlyer have a Twitter feed? Delta Diamond Medallion Flyers are organizing on Facebook (Delta Diamond Medallion Flyer group page) with the hope that Delta management will appreciate the frank input of their best customers. All Delta Diamonds are invited to join us!

Richard Leff

Editors’ Note: Thanks for the comment about our May cover story. We’re glad you found it of interest. To answer your question, we do not have a Twitter feed for InsideFlyer magazine. There are, however, Twitter feeds from Randy Petersen (@ranflyer) and from sister organizations BoardingArea.com (@BoardingArea) and SeatExpert (@SeatExpert).

Where’s My Gift Card?

I don’t know if I would bother with the latest offer from Priority Club of a $75 rebate for two consecutive weekend nights. Last summer they had a similar promotion (it involved getting a $50 gift card after two stays), and I never got the card even after calling Priority Club three times about it. They kept promising to look into it and nothing came out of it. They should be so ashamed.
J. B. Legrand

Traveling in Style

I work for a large company that has at least 100 people in the field, flying at least once a month–some much more–and I am constantly surprised at how the travelers view their memberships in frequent flyer programs so differently. There are some who really know how to max out their travel to get the most benefit from their targeted memberships while others have miles and points spread all over the place and seem to get little value out of any of their memberships. And then, unbelievably, there are those who don’t bother with frequent flyer programs at all. (I wish I could earn their miles into my accounts!)

Thank you, InsideFlyer, partially because of the information I find in your magazine, I’m happy to say that I’m one of the few who really know how to play this game! Just this year, I spent miles on the partners of United and the partners of American for some really wonderful trips to Europe and South America. I’m sure I would have never been able to travel in such style if it weren’t for United Mileage Plus and American AAdvantage. I planned ahead, I was flexible with my dates and ultimately, I was very pleased with the results.
James Riker

Promises Fulfilled

Randy–when you gave Michelle and I a Freddie Achievement Award, in our acceptance speech, we said we would reach $1,000,000,000 raised for Charity. Well, we hit that mark recently. We have raised over $1 billion for over 10,000 charities in the last 16 years. Just thought you’d like to know.
Stuart Paskow, CEO
Mitch-Stuart, Inc.

Congratulations on this very impressive and worthy achievement! We knew you were on to something special when you created the first frequent flyer mileage program for charity by teaming up with American Airlines in 1994. Congratulations again for your continued work for charitable organizations.

Pleased with PointBreaks

I recently stayed at the Staybridge Suites Denver Airport hotel on a PointBreaks stay. Normally 20,000 points, my stay was only 5,000 points per night. As a Gold elite, I received a welcome gift that included a bottle of water, snacks and chocolate. The hotel had a free hot breakfast buffet and in-room Internet was complimentary as well. There are rumors that Priority Club Rewards may discontinue offering PointBreaks awards, but I hope they continue offering these discounted awards that are one of the best deals out there. I, for one, would sorely miss them if they disappear.
D. Isenburg

Editors’ Note: Read this month’s cover story to read what IHG recently said about PointBreaks awards.

Where’s the Privilege?

Over the years I have been able to accumulate close to 1.5 million miles with Jet Airways Jet Privilege. The problem I am facing is not of accumulating miles, but rather, the problem I am facing is of redeeming miles.

I have tried to redeem my miles at various times in the last one year on domestic as well as international flights. I have tried to redeem miles sometimes as early as one month before the flight. But alas the same problem. No seats available. This is very disappointing since it completely defeats the purpose of earning miles. More miles of mine have been lost in the last one year on expiry than spending them.

This is a major problem and is not only being faced by me but many people I know. This is a major complaint of the Jet Privilege program. I know of many people who have stopped accumulating miles on Jet Airways due to this reason.

There are just not enough seats for redemption. If this is the case, I ask Jet Privilege to please stop giving people the chance to earn miles. At least it will not create bad word of mouth when people are just not able to redeem the miles they have earned.
Abhishek More

Reviewing the New Rapid Rewards

I am a new member and was wondering if you have reviewed or will review the new Southwest Airlines Program that went into place April 1, 2011? This program as you know switched from credits to points. I have been a member of their program for 23 years and just recently tried to use points for a trip and I personally found out that the program can take away as much as 70 percent of the value of points earned based on the way you now have to use the points. I would be interested in your review and viewpoint. I cannot tell you how upset I am. A reward ticket used to be a reward ticket to be used anywhere they fly, assuming that they still have seats allocated for that flight. Not any more
Jeffrey Train

Editors’ Note: Thanks for your note, Jeffrey, and sorry to hear that your experience with the new Rapid Rewards has not been very rewarding. Check out our updated review of Southwest Rapid Rewards online at InsideFlyer.com.

If Only Every Cloud Had a Bonus Miles Lining

Delta Air Lines gets a lot of negative reviews from passengers so I thought I’d share my recent experience to challenge that perception. A few weeks ago I was flying into Philadelphia on Delta Air Lines during a thunderstorm. We weren’t able to land because of the storm and circled the airport a few times before the pilot came on the loudspeaker to tell us that the storm was moving too slowly and we were going to land at the nearby Allentown airport. We waited on the tarmac for about 45 minutes in Allentown and were given snacks while we waited. The pilot kept us informed about what was going on and after the storm had passed, we flew back to Philadelphia. I didn’t complain to Delta about the delay because the bad weather wasn’t the airline’s fault and the pilot came on the loudspeaker every 15 minutes to keep us informed about the situation. I heard some passengers complain about missing their connecting flights and others had people waiting at the airport for them, which was inconvenient. But if it’s not safe to land a plane or run out of fuel circling the airport waiting for a storm to pass, then diverting to a nearby airport seems like the best solution. I don’t know what else Delta could have done in that situation.

A few weeks later, I received an apology from Delta and 2,500 bonus miles. I wasn’t expecting the miles but it was a nice surprise for the inconvenience, even if the weather was at fault and not the airline. Thanks for the extra miles Delta! I might hope for another thunderstorm the next time I fly if it means I can rack up some miles just for sitting on the tarmac.
Lara Palmer

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