Have Hotel And Airline Programs Become Too Complicated?

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When I was replying to the comments that readers of LoyaltyLobby had left and emails that I had received over the weekend, I started to think that maybe these programs have become overly complicated and almost impossible to understand by reading the terms and conditions.

terms-and-conditions-spg

(Terms and conditions of SPG program. 16 pages and more than 8000 words)

Have program become too complicated? Leave your opinions/comments below.

Here are two examples:

United customer service failure

Last week I made a post about a DOT complaint that I did due to United’s failure to post proper credit for two Swiss segments. The United DOT “specialist” had no idea what he was writing about when he claimed that the segments were not eligible for credit on Mileage Plus because the ticket was issued on RJ’s (Royal Jordanian’s) ticket stock.

too-complicated-united

The post received quite a few comments and I was trying to explain difference between ticketing, marketing, and operating carriers and how I ended up Finnair flight when I redeemed some Delta SkyMiles on Air France.

I need to write a piece about ensuring getting a mileage credit for your flights. Stay tuned for that in the next couple of weeks.

Hilton HHonors program

When you stay at Hilton family of hotel, you can choose between earning points & points, points & fixed miles or points & variable miles. It makes things even more complicate when some airlines are only partners in fixed miles but not on variable miles option. Also, whether you should choose fixed or variable miles is dependent of the brand that you are staying at and the eligible folio amount.

too-complicated-hilton

This is really confusing and sometimes it is difficult to find these various options on Hilton’s website. I wrote about an article about Hilton’s double dip options that you can access here.

Conclusion

It would be time for hotels and airlines to have a look at their programs and simplify them. They are complicated to the point that quite a few potential members just even want to deal with them and consider them waste of time. I do believe that they are partially right. If you are not willing to put up some time to learn the ins and outs, you are likely not getting a reasonable return for your loyalty.

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