Should the government regulate loyalty programs?

Frequent-flier programs are rigged to favor airlines, deceive passengers and cost consumers billions of dollars. The DOT IG is investigating the issue.

What the &#** is wrong with loyalty programs?

Loyalty programs must be more tightly regulated by law, and in some cases, banned outright. Fortunately, there's some good news on that front.

TSA Pre✓improved — now open for everyone

Recently there have been major changes in TSA's Pre✓ program for air travelers. Ned Levi discusses TSA Pre✓ generally and highlights the changes in the program, as well has how to be eligible to use TSA Pre✓ security lines at TSA airport security checkpoints. Also discussed is the combination of TSA Pre✓ with Global Entry for international travelers.
By |January 27th, 2014|Columns|29 Comments|

What we’re reading: AA/US aligns flier benefits, DC-9’s final scheduled flight, frequent flier mileage runs

AA/US aligns customer benefits, DC-9 completes final scheduled flight, frequent fliers do mileage runs for status

After loyalty program changes, airlines brace for Million Miler march

If you don't like some of the recent changes to your airline loyalty program, talk to Mike Croswell. He's a United Airlines "Million Miler" who assumed that his three decades of devotion to the airline would be reciprocated after he stopped being a frequent flier.

Consultants help turn frequent flier awards into tickets — for a price

Christine Ballentine is a loyal US Airways customer, and she's been saving up her frequent-flier miles for a trip to France this summer. But turning them into a ticket hasn’t been easy.
By |February 28th, 2012|Today|3 Comments|

“Dude, where’s my upgrade?” Why more fliers with miles and status get stuck in coach

While airlines like to promote free tickets with their mileage programs, the award that many even semi-regular clients want is an upgrade. These are the very awards that are getting harder to get.
By |February 24th, 2010|Today|12 Comments|

Pick your upgrade poison, frequent fliers: higher fares or co-pays?

One of the most sought after benefits for frequent fliers is not free tickets, but the chance to escape the cattle car in the back, and sit up in business or first class with an upgrade.
By |October 30th, 2009|Today|19 Comments|

Reactivate this: After airline cancels miles, frequent flier promises “I’ll never fly American again”

When American Airlines stripped 43,000 miles from Peter DeForest's frequent flier account because of "inactivity" it offered to return them if he signed up for one of its email offers.
By |September 16th, 2009|Today|19 Comments|

Starts today — the biggest TSA change you never have heard of

It's "Secure Flight." And if you haven't heard of it yet, you will. The question is just how much havoc this rule change wreaks while they fine tune it.