Wandering Aramean asks, “What to do when the industry’s largest consumer advocate is so wrong?”
He explains, “For better or for worse the largest airline passenger customer advocacy group in the United States is FlyerRights.org.”
And then shares this gem of advice from the group on how to deal with the current pilot sickout and work slowdown at American Airlines:
[I]f you have stacked up the frequent flyer miles we recommend you immediately book your trip on AA or a code-share partner just to avoid the risk of losing those miles in the event AA shuts their doors.
Wandering Aramean points out that this hysterical advice is being given in the organization’s fundraising, and that the advice is silly because American Airlines isn’t going out of business and their frequent flyer program isn’t ending.
In fact the airline has plenty of cash and the frequent flyer program itself is profitable.
Moreover, it seems strange to suggest that one book tickets to fly American in the future if you think that American is going to shut down.
And it’s also strange to suggest that booking tickets on an airline partner is a sure-fire way to make sure you get to travel in the event the airline were to shut down. While governed by local laws based on where you’re flying from and the partner you’re on, it’s not at all obvious that if you book a ticket through an airline that’s out of business that the airline you’re supposed to be flying will honor that ticket. Again, there’s lots of factors that this will depend on.
But I have to take issue with the characterization of FlyersRights.org as “the industry’s largest consumer advocate.”
As I noted two years ago, the organization’s ‘membership’ numbers have been inflated by simply totaling up the number of people who signed an online petition plus estimating the number of calls the organization has received. And for good measure, the organization seems to massage the data in their reports to get the outcomes they want. And there’s a sex tape, too…