ALGONQUIN TRAVEL SCHOOL
Travel Counsellor Online Program
Attention, Air Miles passengers.
Your points may soon be grounded:
(continued from page 1)
“How will I know when my miles expire?” The company tells members to log in at the website and ask for a personalized email statement, which tells them how many reward miles are set to expire each quarter for the next 12 months.
Could Air Miles follow Aeroplan’s lead in scrapping the date stamping as the deadline nears?
“We have no plans to change or revoke the expiry policy,” said spokeswoman Natasha Lasiuk. “We announced this policy to collectors in 2011, giving them lots of time to use their miles before any of their miles could possibly expire.”
But is it realistic to expect everyone to remember a policy change made five years earlier? Why not remind them in 2016?
“Air Miles expects collectors to log into their account and request an expiry statement, even though they’ve never had to do this before,” Lesley Taylor said in an email, asking me to publicize the change.
She tried using Twitter to ask Bryan Pearson (@pearson4loyalty), president of Air Miles’ parent company, about attempts to alert members about the change. He dismissed her concerns.
“All info is available at AirMiles.ca,” he replied. When she asked again, he said, “Expiry is not new. It was announced over four years ago.”
Loyalty plans can change their rules whenever they like. Pay attention to your reward points if you don’t want them to vanish.
Air Miles and Aeroplan make money pleasing their business partners, such as airlines, hotels and retailers. That’s why their policies encourage member activity and disenfranchise those who are inactive.
Check into a loyalty plan’s website every few months. Find out how to use small amounts of points for gasoline, groceries or home items.
Don’t hoard all your points, waiting for seats on long distance flights that may never materialize. Ask about donating points to charity to remain active.
A footnote to this article by Barrie Morgan
I recall reading a while back that one of the main aspects of this points situation is on the financial reporting by the airlines.
The value of unredeemed points is reported as a liability in their balance sheets.
There were so many points still outstanding that had not been redeemed by the flyers, that in theory, if all decided to redeem their points at the same time, the airlines would go bankrupt.
They would not be able to honour all those points gathering dust.
I also recall that only 4% of the advertiser's coupons in magazines and flyers were redeemed.
So I guess that many supermarkets set their "special" and "50% off" promotions based on the expectation that 96% of the coupons end up in the blue bin.
Note: these comments are my own and I have been unable to google the source of my recollections - but they do seem to make sense.
Issue 4. May 2016
This newsletter has been prepared by:
Instructor - Travel Counsellor Program
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with campuses in Ottawa and Mississauga, Ontario, Canada