Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling for a probe of frequent flyer programs to determine whether they deliver the value that they promise. In particular, he wants the Department of Transportation to look into the issue of evaporating miles, a relatively new phenomenon brought introduced via expiration dates in recent years.
“As the holiday travel season approaches, we cannot let airlines and credit card companies continue to fly off with hard-earned frequent flier miles,” Schumer said in an announcement scheduled for Sunday. “When a consumer accumulates valuable frequent flier miles, they should not have to constantly worry that they are going to expire with little or no notification from the airline.”
Frequent flier model programs began 20 years ago, most with no expiration dates for the benefits. In the last decade, airlines have created three-year windows for consumers to use the miles, Schumer said.
The Air Transport Group, a industry trade group, defended its member companies by pointing out that “the system hasn’t been targeted by regulators.” Well, yeah. That’s probably why Senator Schumer is raising the issue.
“It’s time to probe frequent-flier accounts, senator says” [USA Today]