Some programs have expiring miles. For instance, miles earned today will expire in 3 years if unused.
Other programs have expiring accounts. You account becomes inactive if there’s no earning or redemption in, say, 18 or 36 months — but any activity in your account extends the life of your miles.
JetBlue and Delta miles don’t expire. That can be good or bad. Expiring miles reduce expenses for a program, and hopefully they redirect that investment to the more active members in a program.
What’s completely absurd, though, is the one airline with a policy much more draconian than this: the entire program expires.
Copyright: jvdwolf / 123RF Stock Photo
As an artifact of Italian law, the Alitalia Millemiglia program itself ends. Then they restart it.
All miles go away. But Alitalia offers a way to ‘earn back’ the miles that are already yours.
The current program was scheduled to expire December 31, 2015 but they’ve continued to ‘extend’ it — first to August 2016, then to December 2017. No more.
- Current miles are valid through March 31, 2018
- If you want to keep your miles after that you must take 4 Alitalia flights between January 1 and March 1.
If you take 4 Alitalia flights you’ll get your miles back in the new program which begins April 1. This is not an April Fools’ joke.
You might say ‘but Italian law’. However Millemiglia hasn’t suggested they’ve tried to change Italian law. They have continued to extend the program, but aren’t going to any longer. And they set the criteria for extension, which could be far easier to meet (or offer options different people could meet). They get to both take advantage of Italian law and hide behind it.