Yesterday, I wrote about a probe to GOL that Brazilian prosecutor has initiate due to unannounced changes to its Smiles program (access the piece here).
GOL had the old award charts on its website, but had rose the number of miles required to number of destinations. GOL blames this a “system mistake” and will credit the accounts of around 4000 Smiles members that were charged higher number of miles.
You can access the article on Brazilian news paper about this issue here. You can use Google Chrome to translate it.
GOL was very fast at backpedaling these changes. Does anybody truly believe that this was a “system issue” rather than attempt to change the award charts overnight and without proper disclosure?
If airlines and hotels want to change the number of miles/points required for free flights or hotel rooms, why not do it the right way? Publicize the new requirements and do an email blast about them. Let the members to redeem at the old levels for certain period of time (2 to 3 months), so that they don’t feel being screwed over.