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Miles & Onboard Expectations
Your website is all about how to earn miles & points during our day to day and turn them into airline tickets and such. I have a question that might be stupid, but it’s been sincerely in the back of my head: in regards to using miles, is there a significant difference when it comes to bumping passengers if you bought your ticket with cash or miles, or in other words, by accumulating miles through my credit card, and buying a plane ticket, will that increase my chance of being “prejudiced” against because I got the ticket with miles instead of money? Will they treat me differently, will I have a greater chance of being bumped, will my privileges be limited in fine print? I have flown with mile bought tickets but I usually pay full fare and never really paid attention to this. I hope you understand my question and look forward to an answer!
Interesting question and it’s not a dumb one. I dont know the answer to it but award tickets are not the same as non-revenue tickets.
Award tickets arent actually “free” – you had to have obtain those miles somehow! If youre redeeming miles for business and first, I dont think you need to worry about being bumped. For economy, I’m not sure.
I’ve been bumped off a domestic flight before that was booked with miles. The gate agents treat it no differently, you would still be eligible for whatever compensation they offer.
When we’re dealing with involuntary boarding, that may be different. Usually a computer will randomly select passengers to involuntarily deny boarding (or sometimes it will be based upon time of check-in).
But when they are soliciting volunteers, it doesn’t matter how you booked your ticket!
My only bad experience was with AA last year and it wasn’t a bump but rather flight changes for international flights to Paris. My friend was to join me on a business trip and we booked economy – she using saver miles and I paid cash. We booked on separate reservations and I have status with AA so I phoned and had us seated in priority seating. A few months later we were moved off the original Paris flights to flights leaving much later and we were seated separately, both in center seats in the back with plenty of open seats everywhere. I phoned and had us seated together and asked that our reservations be linked. Then a month later she was moved off my flight to a flight a day later! By this time, I was really annoyed! I phoned again and they agreed to put us back on our original flights together and I held my breath up until we actually boarded the aircraft. In phone conversations AA agents blamed “the computer” but it sure seemed like my friend’s award ticket was at the root of all this craziness.