Just a friendly reminder that claiming ignorance of the rules doesn’t mean that the airlines won’t shut you down – hard – when they decide that you’ve been violating them. And when the violations have been going on for 15 years and the company sent you a letter 10 years ago to stop it that probably doesn’t help your case. But that’s the story being told this week about Lynn Harrell, a cellist who flies around the world performing and who always buys an extra seat for his cello. Turns out that he’s also been collecting frequent flyer points for the cello and Delta doesn’t really like that.
His account was terminated in January (not sure why it took 10 months for the public shaming efforts to materialize) and now he’s without the account for his cello or for himself. And he claims to have lost "several hundred thousand" points in both accounts. Oh, and he’s blacklisted from joining the SkyMiles program again, too. Presumably so is the cello. Harrell blogged about the event as well, including this nugget:
I am sorry and perplexed that airlines like Delta are willing to turn down the opportunity to maintain long-time customers and income (my career has been in full swing for more than 40 years!) for nothing more than the ability to make a quick one-off buck now by selling my miles.
I actually believe that the guy probably didn’t know he was breaking the rules. And it seems strange that it took Delta a decade to follow up on the initial communication about the practice. I’m guessing there is a little more to the story, but what there is there is definitely entertaining.
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