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March 14, 2013

Airlines deny cellos frequent-flier miles

by j.cassada

There was an article in The Wall Street Journal today, titled “When Flying, Are Cellos People Too?”, that I thought was relevant to our discussions about the airlines and loyalty programs. To summarize, it is common practice for people who play the cello and travel by plane to buy two seats to ensure the safety of their cellos during flight. Most of these people have signed their cellos up for frequent-flier programs to help with their travel expenses. Airlines such as Delta and American, however, argue that only people can participate in loyalty programs because “[a]n object doesn’t have a loyalty experience.” When Delta realized that Grammy Award winning cellist Lynn Harrell was breaking the rules, the airline erased the half a million miles that Mr. Harrell and “Cello Harrell” had accumulated and banned Mr. Harrell from the loyalty program.

The article provides yet another example of extremely poor customer service offered by many airlines in this country. The airlines should be trying to make life easier for their customers, especially those customers who fly often, like Mr. Harrell. 

Here is a link to the article:

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