Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Make Use Of Your Frequent Flyer Miles While You Can

AirplaneIf you or someone you know owns Delta Skymiles, you or they better make use of them while the person is alive or risk losing them all. Recently, Delta changed its policy so that its members can no longer transfer their frequent flyer miles to another after a member dies. This policy decision has sparked outrage among its members. One of their platinum status members noted that the reason that he is particularly angry is because he believes that the policy will ensure that Delta will get to retire those miles. He claimed that people who do travel frequently, the road warriors as he called them, travel too often on business to actually put those miles to use. He also remarked that it is often the case that they choose to transfer their frequent flyer miles to others for their use. Therefore, from his perspective, Delta is essentially hitting the delete button.

Some travel agents have argued that it is not surprising that many people would be angry with the policy considering that many people view frequent flyer miles as money. It makes no sense to people that their money would simply disappear following their death. Delta countered by arguing that they are not the only airline with this type of policy. In fact, "United, Southwest and JetBlue already have similar rules in place." The measure by Delta Airlines is likely the result of trying to cut costs.

See A. Pawlowski, Delta Skymiles Now Die When You Do, NBC News, Mar. 27, 2013.

Special thanks to Jerry Cooper (The Trust Advisor) for bringing this article to my attention.


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