Are Miles Becoming “Less Attractive”? (Answer: No, They’re Not)

A quick note about today’s NY Times column by Joe Sharkey about frequent flyer miles and credit cards.  There was something ridiculous in there that needed pointing out.

The article mentions that “as miles become less attractive, some airline cards now emphasize added benefits…”  Sharkey also quotes Joe Brancatelli, who writes a business travel website (and who generally knows what he’s talking about), saying that people are less interested in miles than ever.

I just wanted to point out that miles are actually more attractive than ever, and the idea that people are less interested in them is garbage.  The column offers no proof for this whatsoever, and with the growing airline alliances, miles are more valuable than ever before.  Actually, the whole point of the article – that you can get a whole bunch of miles and other perks just from credit card offers – goes to show that you can easily (easily!) amass enough miles for a free business class ticket to Europe simply by opening a credit card or two.

And given the reach of the alliances, that means anywhere in Europe.  The reach miles can take you plus the wideranging ability to gain miles without flying makes these programs more valuable (not less) than ever before.  Sharkey knows better than this…

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  1. And that is what differentiates a columnist from a scientist (and maybe a serious journalist): they can write a fluff piece and make assertions without offering any evidence or proof and sell it as fact.

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