Frequent Flyer Miles: Use 'em or Lose 'em

Tracy Stewart, September 02, 2008
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. I was informed by Air Canada's AeroPlan Customer Service that my 44,000 air miles were forfeited due to inactivity in my AeroPlan frequent flyer account.  They said they had sent me an email asking if I wanted to keep the account active, but I was out of the country and away from my computer at the time.  Is there any way to get my 44,000 miles re-instated?  I sent them a letter two weeks ago explaining the circumstances and requested they re-instate my account with the 44,000 miles but have not gotten an answer. Is there anything I can do?

    A. Frequent flier programs are self-regulated by the airlines that run the programs. Air Canada is no exception.  Their rules are pretty clearly stated on their website.  Here are the two excerpts that apply to your situation:

    15. Each member is responsible for keeping up to date on Aeroplan regulations and the amount of Aeroplan Miles in his/her account. Aeroplan shall attempt to communicate statement and/or other program information and/or promotional information to members. Aeroplan shall have no liability for any failure to do so.

    18. All mileage in an account expires if the Aeroplan member has not accumulated or redeemed Aeroplan Miles for a period of 12 consecutive months. Mileage may expire without further notice.

    We suggest throwing yourself at their feet and asking for an exception in your case.  Remind them that you are a happy customer who has flown with them in the past and that they'd be doing a lot to influence your decision about what airline to fly in the future.