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The end of frequent flyer programs?

Dear Tim,

I have heard “rumors” from many people that American,
British Airways, Delta (to name a few) are going to “do
Away” with their frequent flyer programs this year. Any
truth to this? I would sure hate to lose the miles I have
been saving for a trip next year.


Dear Connie,

First, no… I haven’t heard anything to that effect. And
it’s almost certainly just plain not true. This is, I should
mention, a rumor that surfaces periodically, like some of
the other recurring “urban legends” that compete for our
attention. And there’s no more truth to it than to the rumor
that unsuspecting tourists are waking up in ice-filled
bathtubs missing kidneys and other vital organs.

Second, if the airlines did terminate their programs, they would surely give members plenty of advance notice… both to avoid a monstrous PR disaster and to avoid a run on frequent flyer awards as everyone rushed to cash in their miles before the deadline.

While there are plenty of things to worry about (the stock
market, Social Security, SAT scores), the imminent demise of
frequent flyer programs needn’t be on the list. At least for now.

Tim Winship
Contributing Editor

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