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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A few miles short of elite status on United Airlines — now what?

No one likes to start the New Year on the wrong foot, especially if it means you’ll be treated a little bit less special by your preferred airline. But that’s exactly what Matin Nazir is facing.

He didn’t qualify for Premier status with United Airlines for 2012, after five straight years of elite-ness.

Perhaps most frustrating, he’s only a few miles — and a few hours — from renewing his Mileage Plus status.
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Lost HHonors: “Life” member stripped of Hilton elite status

card hhonorsIn 1991, Robert Annenberg paid $150 for life membership in Senior HHonors Gold VIP program. Last year, Hilton terminated his membership without warning. Is Annenberg’s elite status gone?

My initial response — and one I’ve repeated to several Hilton guests with the identical problem — is that he’s probably lost his HHonors status for good. The lawyerly terms and conditions for Hilton’s loyalty program is crystal clear that it can basically change its contract any time, for any reason.

But the more I thought about it, the more I thought how wrong that was. The terms are irrelevant — lifetime means for the rest of my life.

Right?
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