Early this morning I posted about the horrible devaluation Alaska Mileage Plan made to their award chart for travel in Emirates first class. The cost of Emirates first class award tickets increased between 67% and 100%. Those are some insane increases. It’s one thing if they had provided notice of these changes, but they didn’t, which I have a serious problem with.
When I first wrote about this, some people responded by saying “it’s their program, they can do as they choose.” That’s definitely true. All mileage programs are solely at the discretion of the airlines — they can change any aspect of the program at anytime without even having to provide a reason. Given what a commodity miles are becoming (and the direct opportunity cost to earning them, in many cases), that can be worrisome.
For example, over the weekend a friend of mine spent ~$1,000 to purchase Alaska miles so he’d have enough miles for a one-way Emirates first class ticket, as flying Emirates first class was his dream. He was planning on booking it this weekend, as he was just firming up his travel plans. And this morning he’s pissed, and texted me a bunch of four letter words — he spent cold hard cash on those miles, and based on the redemption he was pursuing, the value of those miles was halved overnight.