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Airlines Battle Mileage-Tracking Sites
Posted By Sonya Donaldson On October 17, 2011 @ 7:00 am In Data Security,Managing Technology | 2 Comments
Airlines are gearing up for a fight with companies that enable consumers to manage frequent-flier miles online for multiple accounts. The past year alone, Southwest  and American  airlines have sent “cease and desist” letters to companies that track airline loyalty programs. Each airline points out a different reason for its objection: American’s complaint is about data “scraping,” while Southwest says the process threatens customer security. Delta Air Lines, which hasn’t yet joined the fray, is also not a fan of the sites.
Sites like MileWise , AwardWallet , and GoMiles  let users upload their loyalty information: typically airline, hotel, and car rental details. Users can then track their accounts, see when miles will expire, and find out what tickets would cost in miles, for example. The companies let users essentially exercise their “buying power,” says The Wall Street Journal’s Scott McCartney—and therein lies the problem.
It turns out, airlines, not consumers, own the miles as well as account passwords. And customers are not supposed to share that information. Although it might be bad business to go after customers, the airlines are treating these middle-man sites are fair game. In the midst of this dust-up, American now says it hopes to upgrade its site to help members “compare fee prices with mileage requirements.”
Read more at The Wall Street Journal.
Article printed from Inc. Technology: http://technology.inc.com
URL to article: http://technology.inc.com/2011/10/17/airlines-battle-mileage-tracking-sites/
URLs in this post:
 Southwest: http://www.southwest.com
 American: http://www.aa.com
 MileWise: http://www.milewise.com
 AwardWallet: http://awardwallet.com/
 GoMiles: https://www.gomiles.com/
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