Can someone please help save Viviane Tran’s honeymoon?

Viviane Tran and her husband are flying from Washington to Tokyo on US Airways for their honeymoon in April. They’ve scraped together 240,000 Dividend Miles for the occasion to splurge for first-class seats.

And then they received the email. The one saying their flight schedule had changed. The one that threatens to destroy their carefully-planned postnuptial vacation. And they need your help fixing it — now.

Where are the frequent flier miles I won?

Boyko/Shutterstock
Boyko/Shutterstock
Larry Babbin wins lots of frequent flier miles from American Airlines, but the points never appear on his statement. Now the company is giving him the silent treatment. Can these miles be saved?

Question: American Airlines ran a contest in which it gave away 25,000 frequent flier miles every day. I entered every day last month and “won” three times. I have email confirmation each day that I won and a written assurance that the miles would be deposited within seven days to my account.

It’s been over a month, but I haven’t received the miles. American hasn’t even posted the winners on the website even though they are listed for every other contest American has had.

In 2014, beware of the word “free”

Mega Pixel/Shutterstock
Mega Pixel/Shutterstock
How dumb do they think you are?

As the dust settled on the now-finished holiday shopping season, I couldn’t help but wonder. One study concluded it was one of the strongest seasons in recent memory, adding that more than seven shoppers said they plan to take advantage of “free shipping” offers, while nearly half expect “free” returns.

I nearly choked on my espresso when I read that. Did they just say “free”?

Right about now, half of you are saying to yourself: TANSTAAFL! That’s shorthand for “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch,” and you’re right, of course. Bonus points if you can tell me which Robert Heinlein book it’s from. (Yeah, I grew up reading sci-fi novels.)

The other half? “Grinch!” (Belatedly.) Or worse.

Missing miles on a United Airlines codeshare flight

Tom Bilek/Shutterstock
Tom Bilek/Shutterstock
Glennellen Pace and her husband are missing thousands of frequent flier miles after a trip to Australia and New Zealand. Is there any way to find them?

Question: My husband and I traveled to New Zealand and Australia this past fall. Our airline tickets, which were booked through a travel agent, were purchased through United Airlines.

United, as is often the case, put us on partner airlines for portions of the journey. The airline made two changes to our flights before we left, and in the process they removed our frequent flier numbers from our reservations. We were advised to get these reinstated when we checked in. We tried to do this, but the agent finally told us he was unable to get the computer to take the numbers, so we could take care of it upon our return.

Upon our return, I contacted the United frequent flier phone number to get our miles credited. I ended up spending literally hours with this. Sparing you the details of that time spent, United ended up crediting us for both of our flights between Portland and San Francisco, and between Sydney and San Francisco, but has refused our miles from San Francisco to Auckland (6,531 miles each) and from Christchurch to Sydney (1,322 miles each). They told me, “Air New Zealand says there are no frequent flier miles in your fare class.”

I have until Friday to cough up $14,000 – should I pay?

Olyy/Shutterstock
Olyy/Shutterstock
Given my backlog of cases, it’s unusual to cover something I just heard about a few hours ago. It’s even more unusual to redact the name of both the passenger and the airline.

But as you’ll see in a minute, this is a highly unusual problem with an imminent deadline. At stake? The highest-level elite status and several million frequent flier miles.

Oh, and the fate of our republic.

I’m kidding.

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