Is the Hero Miles program still necessary?

Operation Hero Miles allowed frequent flyers to donate their miles for American troops to use. The federal government was flying troops back to the US but not paying for their domestic flights home. But now the Pentagon is covering those costs. Folks behind Operation Hero Miles, though, still want to keep it going.

    Now that the Pentagon is covering those costs, Ruppersberger says Hero Miles are still needed for troops on emergency leave and to help families visit their loved ones at 14 military hospitals around the country.


    Ruppersberger says he will contact the airlines participating in “Hero Miles” to explain the continuing need and encourage them to continue their support of the effort.


    So far, American have donated more than 400 million frequent flyer miles – equal to 16,000 free round-trip tickets.

I think that the program served its purpose, and is no longer nearly as important. At the same time, the was the biggest frequent flyer miles charity effort to date — and more formal programs like this one are needed. It’s time to branch out from Operation Hero Miles, with airlines permitting more flexible donation programs.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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