Can This Relationship Be Saved?
Aw, gee, American Airlines . . . why do you keep doing this to me? Year after year, for almost 25 years, I keep adding miles to my Aadvantage account, and about this time every year I start thinking about summer travel to the mainland or to Europe. Ideally, that means finding the flights I want on the days I want, putting together a good workable itinerary, and paying for it with some cash and some of the miles I’ve spent a whole year accumulating.
And then American gets me all excited with what looks like a good deal at first blush . . . but isn’t.
For instance, today I’m looking for a flight from Los Angeles back here to Maui in early June and I’m getting very close to my budget for that trip. I’d love to use some of my miles for that last leg of what should be a very nice vacation.
So, I’m checking on the American Airlines web site to see what flights might be available on the day I’d prefer. And I see — Wow! — a non-stop flight from LAX to Maui for 22,500 miles! That’s a good deal, because 30,000 miles is usually the best available deal, if it’s even offered, and most of the time they hit you for 50,000 miles.
So 22,500 miles is . . . Uh-oh . . . wait a minute! This is an Alaska Airlines flight, and it doesn’t leave from LAX. It departs from the Hollywood-Burbank airport and it first goes to Portland, Oregon, where I would change planes for the flight to Maui. LA to Maui in 9-and-a-half hours! Well that sucks! Isn’t there a non-stop American Airlines flight from LAX to Maui?
Yes, there is! In fact, there are two flights at a cost of . . . NINETY-THOUSAND MILES?? Holy winglets!
“Hello? Hawaiian Airlines? I’d like to book your flight 33 from L.A. to Maui on . . . “
I’ve had similar experiences with a hotel’s frequent-guest programs that provide points for the more nights you stay at their hotel.
Seems like your experience is similar to mine and is likely the norm with respect to corporate mile/point programs. The more popular they become or the more points/mile you accrue, the higher their “prices” seem to go.