Is It Loyalty Or The Stockholm Syndrome?

Usually I am pretty transparent about the organization I am talking about, but I am so afraid I am going to loose my 292,420 loyalty points I can’t disclose who this lousy excuse for an airline is.

Last year I booked “loyalty award” travel tickets to Maui, but because of a business conflict, I couldn’t make the trip.

This year, I wanted to take my family to Hawaii to visit my sisters and realized that I still had my unused award tickets to Maui.

I then called this lousy excuse for an airline and told them that I would like to change my award redemption travel miles from Maui to Oahu. Of which, they said they would happily do, but I would be charged $350 to put the loyalty points back into my account.

That was several months ago. I happened to check my “loyalty award” statement and saw that I was still short 120,000 points after paying the $350 fee.

So, I called into the “preferred multimillion miler” travel line and they told me they didn’t charge me enough to put my miles back into my account. They needed to charge me another $25. Then, they had the audacity to ask me if it was okay to charge me another $25 to release my loyalty award points from their captivity.

At this point, I didn’t want to leave any loyalty point behind. Of course I was going to throw another $25 to bring those loyalty points home from captivity.

After getting my “loyalty points” back into my account and feeling ever so loyal for only having to pay some mysterious $25 amount on top of the atrocious $350 amount, I re-booked my trip from San Diego to Oahu!

So, after four phone calls, three emails, fourteen blind transfers, six IVRs, 33 minutes of classical music (I think it was Bach) yes indeed my loyalty award has finally been approved.

I got four tickets to paradise!


The moral of the story; the next time you get a loyalty award from your airline of choice, do yourself a favor, proceed with caution.

You may not be a loyal customer. You may indeed be a hostage undergoing the Stockholm Syndrome!

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