Advertisement

Frequent Fliers

November 01, 1998

Reading your article "Navigating the New World of Frequent-Flier Miles" (Travel Insider, Aug. 30) made me more angry over my treatment by one airline.

At the end of your article you blame your inability to fly from LAX or San Francisco on Aug. 11, 12 or 13 etc. on your late attempt to reserve and your lack of flexibility. Well, how about this: Recently I called the airline to use my frequent-flier miles to fly to London and back to Los Angeles. They had no coach seats for February, March or April of 1999. That's zero out of 90! What do you think of those odds? I gave them eight months' notice. I would have more chance to win the lottery.

Do you think this constitutes fraud--offering miles when there is no way to redeem them? There is no disclosure of how many seats are actually available and no way to get into a queue (they won't take reservations more than a year in advance). Am I in a Catch-22? It seems to me that some government regulation would be appropriate here. Can I sue for fraud?

ROBERT KOVNAT

Los Angeles

*

Regarding the letter "Unhappy Fliers" (Sept. 20): Why do so many people complain about the difficulties in using frequent-flier miles? Do they really believe they are getting something for nothing?

In all the years I have flown using my frequent-flier miles, I have only had two instances where there were absolutely no free seats available. Why? I understand and respect the need for blackout dates and high-traffic periods. During those periods, I pay for my flight to build up free miles for later.

Also, I'm flexible enough to fly a day or two earlier or later than my preferred date; sometimes it's only a matter of an hour or two difference. And most frequent-flier programs allow you to fly any time if you trade in extra miles. On some airlines, for example, if you trade in 40,000 miles rather than the usual 25,000 for an economy coach-class domestic flight (subject to availability and restrictions), any unbooked coach seat on the plane becomes available.

TOM OGDEN

Los Angeles

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|