Here’s chutzpah — an American AAdvantage Executive Platinum member gets caught making fictitious premium cabin reservations to boost own upgrade changes. American kicks them out of the program. But he argues he should be able to keep the miles and status he had earned from US Airways, since he ‘only’ defrauded American (or only got caught defrauding American).
Carlos Conde is a longtime AAdvantage member, traveling weekly for work and often for leisure, as well. He’d racked up 600,000 miles, 16 eVIP upgrades and had executive platinum status.
He was also a US Airways dividend miles member with elite status.
When the two airlines merged, Conde’s programs were combined into a new AAdvantage account with all miles, status and upgrades. But last month, he was contacted by American Airlines’ “corporate security” department and notified that he had been expelled from not one, but both programs, with virtually no recourse for appeal
American claimed he had been making fictitious premium cabin reservations for flights on which he was traveling, tying up those seats to improve his upgrade changes.
So did he do it?
Conde does not argue too strenuously about this claim and the subsequent termination from the AAdvantage program.
(In fact, he begged forgiveness.)
He wasn’t expelled from ‘both programs’ he was expelled from American AAdvantage, and there is no longer a Dividend Miles program.
He argued that he ought to be able to keep the miles in his account that he had earned via Dividend Miles before the two programs had merged.
American and US Airways are one airline, with a single operating certificate from the government, and even if he only committed fraud against American and not US Airways when he was an elite wanting upgrades on both (unlikely) there’s no way in which he is going to retain status and upgrades in the AAdvantage program ‘because he earned that through US Airways’ when he’s been caught making fake bookings to try to manipulate upgrade inventory.
What’s striking the number of people of who are sympathetic because… corporation.
I’m critical of loyalty programs quite frequently, even the fraud departments of some of those programs (I’m looking at you, Air France KLM Flying Blue — and I’ve even written critically of a rogue investigator for American).
Yet some ‘consumer advocates’, in my view, go too far.
American Airlines holds all the cards here. Conde lost.
Or has he? What do you think about this? Read the discussion and weigh in on it. If you have any suggestions for how Conde can recover his miles, please let us know.
This reminds me of the old Saturday Night Live commercial for the law firm of Green & Fazio.
Let’s be frank, what does a ‘No Trespassing’ sign mean when you’re as drunk as I was?
They can have their $2.6 million back, but who’ll give me back my tooth?
…Do you want to spend the rest of your life wondering, maybe I should have sued?