Redemption flights BS

Aug 31st, 2019, 08:14 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 910
Redemption flights BS

Xcountry's recent post about shopping grudges, including Icuy's Delta Air stories, got me to thinkin' about redemption flights. There has been a recent class action lawsuit against Air Canada, regarding its bogus 'fuel surcharges' and mysterious extra fees that were inflicted upon unsuspecting Air Canada flyers who used their frequent flyer points a few years back. Mrs Z and I were flabbergasted once, when the cost for one such AC redemption flight was about $800 per head. Ridiculous. We felt conned.
Any stories about extra fees bumping up your redemption flights?

I am done. The scam.
zebec is offline  
Aug 31st, 2019, 08:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,484
British Airways was sued in US federal court for the same "fuel surcharge" scam. There was a limited settlement (I wasn't in the plaintiff class but could have been) but BA simply re-named the fee "carrier surcharge" and nothing changed. Even the fare code, YQ, remained the same. A rose by any other name...

All the other airlines followed suit.

The effect of those surcharges is to reduce the value of your miles to, well, very little. I generally don't redeem miles unless the total amount saved (counting taxes and fees) is greater than 2c per mile.

You probably know this, but some years ago when Air Canada was facing bankruptcy, they sold off the Aeroplan frequent flyer program(me) to private investors. At the time it was worth more than the rest of the airline. FF programs are huge cash cows to the airlines. They sell billions of miles to credit card companies for a fraction of a cent each (actual prices are top secret) which the credit card companies re-sell as "bonuses" to patrons. After expiration of the miles and "leakage" (same as with gift cards and certificates - what do you do with a thousand leftover miles or the last $3 on a Macy's gift card?) the net number of mile used (and usually used for cheap economy seats that would fly empty anyway) is way less than the number sold, i.e profit.
Gardyloo is online now  
Aug 31st, 2019, 09:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,210
On the other hand, I did three RTWs on a OneWorld award in business class, for only 50% more miles than I would have "spent" for economy. (Alas, the award I used seems not to exist these days). I also used miles for biz for the longest stretch of another RTW. I won't use miles for BA because the fees are ridiculous, and I only use miles for economy if I am booking late and regular fares are high, which is rare. I don't think I have ever used miles for domestic flights.
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 31st, 2019, 10:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3,006
I completely gave up on Aeroplan (and Air Canada) quite a few years ago because their 'free' flights were ludicrously expensive.
outwest is offline  
Aug 31st, 2019, 06:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 34,636
The other "trick" is not having any rewards seats available on any of the flights you need or you can get the day but not the 10:00 am flight but the 11:00 PM flight is available. It frequently sucks.
crefloors is offline  
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