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Tag: airline marketing scam

United’s “Double your miles, all summer long” promotion is another marketing scam

by on Jun.10, 2009, under Airlines

With double and triple Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) coming to an end next Monday, June 15, 2009, United has launched a Double Miles promotion (link to promotion) to try and keep its customers from going to another airline.  On surface, the double miles promotion seems like a sweet deal following the Double & Triple EQM offer. The double miles offer allows you to earn double miles on flights between June 15, 2009 to September 15, 2009, up to three round trips.

So what’s the catch?

If you read the fine prints in the Terms & Conditions, the double miles offer is only available for the following fares:

  • United First (F, A, P)
  • United Business classes (C, D, Z)
  • United Economy (Y, B, M, H, Q)

This means you will need to travel on either First, Business or a Full Fare Economy ticket to earn double miles. This is a marketing ploy similar to Delta’s Triple MQM offer (see previous post). This is another “caveat emptor” offer (aka: scam).  It doesn’t hurt for you to register as you may have last minute travel plans which requires you to buy a full fare economy or business class ticket.

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Everyone’s offering Elite Qualifying Miles… (Part 3): Delta’s “caveat emptor” offer is a scam

by on Mar.24, 2009, under Airlines

It took about a week … but Delta finally responded with their own Elite Qualifying Miles offer (actually it’s Medallion Qualifying Miles aka: MQM). Delta has up the ante by offering TRIPLE MQM miles for flights between March 23, 2009 to June 15, 2009. Here’s the link for you to register if you’re interested.

HOWEVER, we believe this is a huge ghetto Delta scam. The Triple MQM announcement is a pubic relations play in response to UA, AA and Continental’s offers. Upon reviewing Delta’s ticket prices and fare class restrictions (see below), you will not qualify for double MQM unless you are willing to pay for an above average priced ticket. To get the triple MQM, you will need to pay an arm and a leg.


As a frequently flier between JFK/LAX myself, Delta’s round trip JFK/LAX flights are usually $280 which are L, U, and T classes. For the H, Q, K class bookings, you are looking at $400 to $500 for the round trip JFK/LAX ticket. I did not even bother looking at the other classes as they are last minute purchases or same day prices which can run $800+.

Furthermore, the fine print on the Delta offer states that you will not get your triple MQM bonus miles until 8 weeks after the promotion ends – so roughly mid-August.

In summary, Delta is making you pay for the MQM/Elite status. I am sure Delta will see a backlash from the public after this promotion ends. There will be many people out there who hasn’t read the fine print or the chart and believe they have earned status come August only to find they are only 1/3 of the way there.

Guess this offer is Delta’s way of saying: “caveat emptor” or “we found another way to scam you.”

Check out my previous posts for links to UA, AA and Continental’s offers. Continental by far is the most transparent and generous offer.

Everyone’s offering Elite Qualifying Miles… (Part 1)

Everyone’s offering Elite Qualifying Miles… (Part 2)

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