Sunday, May 6, 2012

Traveler vs inept bureaucracy

How do you exceed ‘unlimited lifetime miles’ on airline travel? Apparently when the ‘elite revenue team’ (of former ticketing agents) decides you’re doing something ‘fraudulent by nature’. This means it complies with the rules .. but smells fishy. I suppose you could say it doesn’t pass the test of reasonableness. In the case of Steven Rothstein [ link ] who paid for a pass that included a companion seat; it comes down to your definition of a companion. But who determines who and who isn’t a companion when the contract doesn’t spell it out..? And if the contract doesn’t spell it out ..where do they get off calling it ‘fraud’? Because he makes frequently trips to Hawaii with different companions ..? Perhaps helps a college student he meets at the airport trying to get home for the holidays? Now if he sold those seats that would be one thing, however, this isn’t the case. He never charged them a cent. No, the way you charge him with exceeding the ‘unlimited miles’ program is by getting a federal court judge to agree that he was doing something ‘fraudulent by nature’. But, by nature ..that’s an indeterminant and subjective charge. Sounds more like the airline was looking for an excuse to terminate his contract, which he paid $350,000 for in 1987. They were doing it under the cover of ‘fraudulent by nature’ hoping to avoid being counter sued for breach of contract. But I can’t imagine anyone paying $350,000 being fooled or intimidated by that. No, this has got to be a case of customer vs. inept bureaucracy. Even I’ve been there before.

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