OK, now airlines have gone too far (or have they?)

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, they’ve done it again.

Here’s the latest outrage, courtesy of Josh Dare. He booked five tickets to Europe on United Airlines (sigh, yes — United Airlines) and then had the audacity to purchase a sixth ticket using points earned through his credit card.

Well, no one’s perfect.
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United Airlines gets it dead wrong (but it’s still right)

Margaret Sheppard and her husband, Don, were loyal United Airlines customers. They flew United whenever they could. They also spent using their co-branded MileagePlus credit card, an account they shared.

So when Don passed away, Margaret Sheppard assumed that transferring the remaining 48,000 miles into her name would be little more than a formality.

It wasn’t.
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Should the government regulate loyalty programs?

Frequent-flier programs are rigged to favor airlines, deceive passengers and cost consumers billions of dollars. At least that’s the contention of one Florida frequent traveler named Alan Grayson.
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Are travelers giving up on loyalty programs?

It’s finally happening.
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The world’s most useless frequent flier programs revealed

Airline frequent-flier programs may be useless, but some are more useless than others.
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You’re not so special! The hidden messages of the airline industry

Sometimes, airlines reveal their true feelings about you with a simple word or phrase.
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Can Capital One really “erase” my debts? And while you’re at it, could you do another rant about loyalty programs?

When Capital One offers to “erase” part of her debts with award points, Kate Morrical calls on a loyalty program skeptic to clear things up. Find out what happens next.

Question: You’ve gone on record plenty of times with your feelings about loyalty programs, so I wondered if you’d seen this ad for Capital One’s “Purchase Eraser.” In it, Alec Baldwin implies that he can “erase” a $700 purchase with 30,000 miles.

But the program overview clearly states that any purchase over $600 is 100 miles per dollar to redeem.
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Fly a mile, earn a mile? No, that would make too much sense

James A. Harris / Shutterstock.com
James A. Harris / Shutterstock.com
Looking back, Jill Constable’s mistake wasn’t flying to Australia on American Airlines and Qantas. The connections from Dallas to Sydney, Ayers Rock, and Cairns made sense, from a scheduling point of view.

It was the reason she chose the so-called “codeshare” flights.

“I wanted the miles,” she confesses.

Constable assumed that she’d receive credit for all of her flights to and from Down Under, plus the domestic flights booked through American. (Codesharing, for the uninitiated, is the fundamentally dishonest act of selling another airline’s flight as if it was your own, but I’m not going down that rabbit hole today.)
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Betrayed by a company? Here are 5 secrets for avoiding it

Kimberly Palmer/Shutterstock
Kimberly Palmer/Shutterstock

The call between Frank Alioto and his favorite cruise line went down like something straight out of a made-for-TV drama. You know that turning point where the hero actually turns out to be the villain? Just like that.

He and his wife, Susan, had accumulated 130,000 loyalty points over the years, using a special credit card called an “affinity” card that lets you earn more loyalty points, but can come with a series of unfavorable terms, like a higher annual percentage rate or a yearly fee.

“The program promises, among other rewards, that 125,000 points can be redeemed for a free five- to seven-day Caribbean cruise for two,” he says. And the Aliotos had collected for years, assuming that once they earned enough “loyalty” points, they’d get their promised cruise vacation.
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