Frequent miles to fly – many people get excited when they hear those words. How many of you signed up for credit cards or bought in certain places just to get 500 to 1,000 points? Many of you, don't you? But did you know that even though you bought and paid for these frequent flying miles, you cannot sell these miles.
Surprising isn't it? Well, it's even more surprising to find that while you can't sell miles, your favorite airline has done this. Sites like Points.com can acquire miles less significantly than it would in a free market. Much less than the amount of money airlines are making from their frequent airline miles programs.
Confused? Then let us have a little background on the subject. The frequent flyer programs were first created as rewards for customer loyalty. These miles could be converted into discounts or credits on airline tickets. But soon that changed from a simple customer loyalty program into a commodity that could be earned in different ways, including buying a particular store or using a certain credit card.
Basically, he started paying for those loyalty miles. And, in turn, airlines have begun to take advantage of these sales because of their relationships with sellers. As profits increased from these sales, airlines began to place more and more restrictions on how you can use your miles and when. The increase in shutdown periods has taken over.
Thus, consumers had a ton of miles that they could not use or were preparing to expire. Now, with the panic entry, they decided to do the next best thing. Sell these miles, make money and finally make some profit from the miles. Frequent passenger brokers have started to appear to service this segment of the market and help those in need.
However, the airline industry couldn't leave this alone alone enough. Fearing that this simple exchange of goods would threaten them, they began to intimidate their most precious commodity: the consumer. They would deactivate the accounts or take away miles from anyone who dared to sell what they owed.
He continues to fight for the right to buy and sell frequent flyers for many reasons, including the courtroom (see Delta SkyMiles case from a few years back). At both ends of the spectrum are advocates and opponents.