Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cashing In

For years, I had been slowly collecting frequent flier miles. Anytime I was traveling for the military, went to visit family, or took a vacation, I made sure to get the frequent flier miles.
Finally, last year, I decided I was going to finally use them. I confirmed the balance and figured it was good for at least one round-trip ticket. I called the airline, happily, to finally get my “free” ticket. And I would have gotten it, had the miles not expired the month before. My balance went from tens of thousands to zero.
I pleaded with the customer service rep. “But I’ve been saving them for years!” “The account showed that they didn’t expire until next year!” “But please!”
I did have the option to reinstate my miles – for $200. On principle alone, it seemed ludicrous to pay for something that had been mine in the first place. Not to mention, practically speaking, that I’d rather put that money towards a ticket with no black-out dates, etc.
The miles were gone, and I gotten nothing out of them except for the valuable lesson to use the miles! There’s no reason to hoard them when they’ll probably just expire. So now I’m spending those miles with reckless abandon.
With my airline miles, I’ve elected to get a number of magazines, and I even got some for my parents. Because, why not? I’ve got miles to spend! These magazines are now visiting my mailbox at no charge.
[These wouldn’t necessarily be my top magazine picks, but I figured they suited me better than some of the other choices, like say Cigar Aficionado or Western Horseman.] And though they’re not “frequent flier miles” (but I forget and call them that anyway), I’m finally using my hotel award points that I’ve collected on all of my business trips over the last year.
I wasn’t sure how many points I had, so I was pleasantly surprised that it was enough to cover three free nights! (I’m trying not to think about how many nights I was away from home to earn enough points for 3 free nights…)
Husband and I are going to use them next weekend when we go to a friend’s wedding. Can I just brag for a second that we’re getting what would have cost us over $300 for free?
Oh, and the hotel has a free breakfast.
Ok, I’m stopping now.


Allison said...

oh man. I would have been SOOOO mad :( But yay for new magazines! :)

nanny said...

That is awful to loose those miles...can't believe they wouldn't help you out....

Betsy said...

I can totally understand your frustration. I have a CVS coupon in my purse that expired a couple of days ago - I'm still going to try and use it tonight (w/o hubby).

Crazy Shenanigans said...

I would have been so upset about the miles!!! At least you're getting something out of them now!

Magnolias and Mimosas said...

That totally sucks...and now has me worried that all of points will expire. Better go check on them!

HereWeGoAJen said...

Ooh, I hate it when that sort of thing happens. I once had a gift card that slowly dwindled down to nothing (it was bought in a different state) and that made me so mad.

Random Musings Of My Life said...

I LOVE free flights! And we hoard them too but are very carefully checking expire dates!

Jackie said...

The airlines are always pulling something like that. So glad it worked out in a few great ways for you.
I love those magazines :)