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Mileage Mistake

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Mileage Mistake

Q. For obvious reasons, I am not going to tell you the name of the airline, and probably shouldn't even be asking this question in a public form, but here goes: last December, I cashed in some miles to obtain a frequent flyer award ticket. Lo and behold, on my January frequent flyer statement I was awarded full frequent flyer miles on the free flight (about 6000 miles). As anyone can figure out, this was some kind of computer glitch. My question: if I "spend" those miles on a future trip, will the airline discover their error and come back to me and charge me for the flight I used them on? I realize you can't predict airline business practices, but just wondering if you've heard of a similar situation.

A. As you probably know, this is a highly unusual situation. With airlines merging and changing their frequent flyer programs, websites, and computer systems, mistakes are bound to occur. I'd say the worst that could happen is the airline will deduct the miles from your account at some future date if they discover the error, but more likely they'll just let it go. It's probable that you weren't the only one who got a little holiday "gift" in this software snafu. Of course, you could bring this to the airline's attention if you want to be an honest Abe.

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