American Samoa to Keep Flier Miles for Government Travelers

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by LarryInNYC, May 22, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    The government of American Samoa has decided to claim the frequent flier miles earned by government employees travelling on business: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/05/22/world/ap-us-flier-miles-taken.html.

    The miles will be used to assist citizens who need to travel for medical treatment. Hawaiian, the only airline with regular service to the territory (according to the story) from the rest of the US has already agreed to deposit the miles in a government account rather than the one belonging to the flier. The new policy starts next week.
     
  2. LETTERBOY
    Original Member

    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Glad I don't work for the government of American Samoa.
     
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  3. rockyrock

    rockyrock Silver Member

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    It wasn't so long ago the US gov't wouldn't let us keep the miles earned on flights and hotels. Although i enjoy the perk, it opens the door to abuse.

    I once worked for someone that had an unlimited travel budget, he quickly figured out how to manipulate the system by choosing destinations and layovers in certain areas to ensure the flight was on the carrier of his choice. He also managed to find conferences to attend two years in a row in Japan or Korea, then in the UK then DC--allowing him to circumnavigate the globe in one trip. At the end of his tenure he had a few hundred thousand miles and an equal amount of hotel points banked in his personal account--all thanks to the US tax payer. There were several other folks at the organization following in his contrails.

    The next guy that came in ordered an audit and found that cutting travel was a way to significantly reduce our budget--duh. He decided that he would make his mark by saving the government hundreds of thousands a year in travel expenses...
     
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  4. milchap
    Original Member

    milchap Gold Member

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    I did the same thing in my portfolio. The abuse was horrible. It was time to stop the miles featherbedding.
     
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  5. iterfacio12

    iterfacio12 Silver Member

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    Just because some abused the system doesn't mean the government should confiscate everyones miles. These individuals are still traveling a great deal, putting up with the same level of hassle and exhaustion that other, business, travelers endure. Imagine if all those flights paid for by your company didn't earn miles (same with hotels); most of the men and women on this forum probably wouldn't be. You simply have to have a system in place that ensures that such abuses don't occur. When I've worked (contracting) with the State Department, I have to fly the cheapest, Economy ticket, that fits the timeline of my pre-ordained schedule. The only way I could fly the airline of my choice was to find a cheaper ticket than they did.
     
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  6. rockyrock

    rockyrock Silver Member

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    Once it is viewed as an entitlement the line blurs and the door for abuse is open.

    Creating more bureaucracy to provide oversite on a program where federal employees are profiting on taxpayer dollars hardly seems like being a good steward of Americans hard earned tax dollars. What makes more sense is the government collects all the points/miles and uses them for traveling credit. This would be no doubt take many layers of government to manage as well so that leaves us where we are at today: Uncle Sam would rather have it's employees benefit from the points instead of corporate America (i.e. hotels & airlines) getting a break by not issuing them.

    I enjoys the perks of this program and have used my points for personal traveling many times. I feel it is important to view it as a privilege though not a entitlement.
     
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