Airlines are facing difficulties everywhere they turn. Passenger numbers are down to levels not seen in decades and people want their money back for flights that were canceled. No one is booking flights for future travel. The government is forcing the airlines to fly routes and keep staff on board to get bailout cash.
While all this is happening, frequent flyers are yelling about their status and infrequent flyers are worried about their miles expiring.
The last thing airlines need right now is having to spend money on IT solutions for their loyalty programs. Extending miles, granting status and reprogramming ancient computer systems all take time and money. Things airlines are short of right now.
Leave it to Hawaiian Airlines to find a simple solution to a possibly complicated problem.
In the HawaiianMiles program, your miles expire if you don’t have any account activity for 18 months.
All airlines are having problems, but Hawaii has put some of the most strict quarantine restrictions in place of any of the states. There is currently a 14-day quarantine in place for travelers to the state and even for those traveling between islands, a large part of Hawaiian Airlines customers.
Hawaiian responded to the mileage expiration problem by extending all HawaiianMiles accounts due to expire this year until the end of 2020.
Our current policy will expire miles balances after 18 months of inactivity. Any miles earn or redemption transaction counts as an activity. On January 1, 2021 our standard expiration policy will go back in effect and therefore any account showing no activity for the previous 18 months will have their miles expired.
Trying to code all accounts might be an IT nightmare. Imagine if Marriott Bonvoy would try to solve this problem?
Hawaiian went and solved the problem Hawaii style.
They issued accounts 1 mile, backdated to 6/1/19. That’s 18 months from the end of 2020.
It’s brilliant in its simplicity. Sure, Hawaiian had to eat the 1 mile for all the accounts but I’m sure that cost less than paying a programmer to try and make their system keep the accounts from deleting the miles from accounts with no activity.
For all of the other loyalty programs still having problems with their IT issues, you need to find the cousin that works for Hawaiian Airlines who came up with this solution and hire them as a consultant.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary