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WebFlyer Home > News & Advice > Ask Randy

Ask Randy

Dear Abby and Dr. Ruth can solve some of your problems, but they say all miles lead to Randy Petersen. Got a problem? Let him try and solve it, but please remember, lots of people have problems and just like at the deli counter, you might have to take a number. Have a question? Here's your chance to Ask Randy.

Here's what you asked and here's what the guru said:

Dear Randy,

Do you think the audit of frequent flyer programs started by the Democrat from Florida (Alan Grayson) will result in any benefit for frequent flyers?

Am I the only one a bit leery about asking government to step in to examine FFPs? What's your take on this?

- Jon

Randy replies:

Good question. I was recently approached by a staff member of Congressman Grayson's who it seems, has been a long-time reader of InsideFlyer and a "fan" (that's what they said) of my projects over the years. We'll feature an interview with him in the next issue. As for the audit: This makes about the umpteenth time that a person in a political office has lobbied for a look at frequent flyer program rules and procedures and my educated guess is that for the umpteenth time nothing will come of this.

Typically a call for an audit is the result of two factors: 1) the congressman didn't find award availability for himself or a member of his staff when they wanted to use their "personal" miles; 2) was the result of a complaint from an important constituent.

As for benefits for frequent flyers? There is a better chance for a success story for FFP members by battling things out in social media and small claims court. It will however be interesting to hear what the Congressman says when we chat.

Dear Randy,

I just read that Delta is doing away with the Round-the-World tickets starting Jan. 1, 2015. I've been saving up my miles for a ticket and now this? Is it coming from Delta or is this a move from SkyTeam? I thought you might have an insight into this that others might not have. I still have quite a few miles before I can redeem for the flights and am afraid I won't be able to get enough before the first of the year.

- Michelle S.

Randy replies:

This is likely not a SkyTeam issue since even American AAdvantage discontinued their oneworld Explorer round-the-world awards back in April. It is likely a streamlining of SkyMiles since they are introducing one-way awards that will allow members to piece together a RTW award--though likely at a higher total award "price".

So, what to do? For your sake, I wish we could set the wayback machine to when Continental OnePass offered the ability for members to attach their miles to a specific award at the then current rate for redemption, even if the award later changed to require more miles. We liked that. But let's review your options.

- Award availability. Make sure your goals and timing for use of this award are reasonable.

- Real life. Do your current plans for 2015 allow you to take the time off and away from real life to enjoy the award? Please ... it is so not worth it to only go for a week.

- Where are your resources? Do not consider exchanging miles from other airline programs into SkyMiles just to bolster your account total. This is a common mistake when short for an award, burning miles at less-than-reasonable rates simply to meet an award deadline. Resources such as other credit card programs (American Express Membership Rewards) and hotel programs offer reasonable and standard methods to convert points into Delta SkyMiles.

- And I'm assuming you've taken advantage of all the financial offers from Delta that offer bonus miles to quickly add to your mileage account.

As mentioned, maybe you can still make this work after the RTW awards are gone--so never give up the dream.

Keep watching . . . questions updated monthly!


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