Friday, April 13, 2012

741. Miles Start With "M"

I had a bunch of frequent flier miles I had forgotten about and that that were on the verge of expiring, so the credit card people sent me a notice in the mail letting me know I could convert the miles into free magazines instead of flights.  Now, I am not really good at math, but I do know that a trip to Paris costs more than People magazine.  I called the airline. 
“I’d like to turn my miles in for a free flight, and possibly free hotel if I have enough points,” I smiled through the phone line, giddy in the knowledge that I would be going to Paris next week or (worst case scenario) the week after. 

“Certainly, madam, and just how many miles have you accrued?” cooed the customer service rep in his lovely exotic Indian accent.  He identified himself as “Mr. Patel.” 
“Yes, Mr. Patel, let me see here, on the document that you all sent me, it says here I have 832.” 

The silence on the phone told me that this was a LOT of miles.  He would most likely have to get a supervisor and a calculator to complete such a complicated transaction. 
“Did you say, 832 million miles?” queried Mr. Patel hopefully.    

“832 thousand?” he inquired politely. 

“Just 832,” I corrected him, “eight-thirty-two.” 
“Oh, okay.”

“Does this mean I can upgrade to first class?” 

He paused, and then I heard a weird noise that sounded suspiciously like a head banging against a computer keyboard.    

“Madam, 832 miles is not going to get you a flight to Boston.  From Boston.  You have enough miles to convert to one free magazine subscription.”  His formerly delightful accent was beginning to lose its appeal. 
“I don’t live in Boston.” 

“Would you be interested in, perhaps, Car and Driver magazine?  Or Essence?” His accent was now grating on my nerves. 
I took a deep breath, trying to regain my patience.  “You’ll need to put your manager on the phone, Mr. Patel.  I won’t tolerate this type of withholding of prizes.  I’m not sure about how things are where you live, but here in America, that is illegal.” 

I waited a really long time on hold while Mr. Patel and his pals most likely laughed and threw darts at a map of America.
In the end, I did speak with a supervisor.  She was much nicer and much more professional than Mr. Patel had been, and her accent was easier to understand.  Her name was Nimisha and she was willing to work with me.  She kindly let me know that I could easily upgrade my existing mile balance for that trip to Paris by merely paying a few dollars difference.  Like $14,972.  This seemed reasonable. 

Right about then, The Husband (who I thought was watching sports on TV) snatched my cell phone out of my hand and clicked it shut. 

“Were you talking to those mileage people again, MOV?  I told you to stop calling them.  And you got another one of those ‘Cease and Desist’ legal mumbo jumbo letters today, so it’s not just me.” 

“Fine,” I pouted.
I called the mileage reward customer service people back the very next day.  Oh, how they had changed their tune! I may not be able to fly from Boston to Boston (roundtrip), but I have earned enough points to get two free magazines.

(“Magazines Or Vacations”) 


  1. And this is why I hate airmiles. Have you seen the movie Duets? It's funny. And it has airmiles in it.

  2. I had a bunch of expiring miles recently - and actually could have made it to Europe and back on them! However... can't make a trip right now :(

    Instead, I bought a whole bunch of earrings, a wallet and something else... can't remember what. The earrings were pretty and there were so many that I shared them with my family. At least I got something out of it!

  3. This is hilarious. I had a nice laugh so early in the morning:)

  4. I've flown exactly 7 times...I wonder if that would qualify me for miles or a subscription? Probably neither. Thanks for the laugh!

  5. I'm clinging to my airmiles for dear life so I can one day fly to Hawaii. (I have a few more than 832.) So, which magazines did you get? ;-)

  6. OH MY GOSH. Are you freaking kidding me? Did this really happen ... or are you just an amazing fiction writer?

    I am still laughing.

    I think we lived in the same womb. Do I know you?


  7. Like Bozo, I wasn't able to convert my miles to a flight, so I got merchandise instead.
    50,000 miles got me a Spongebob eraser and three giant Super balls.

  8. It wouldn't have mattered if you had 832 million as they aren't really worth anything. I have over a million, yep more like a million point 3, and it will get me nowhere. Everytime I have ever EVER called there are no available seats. A few years ago a caught one free flight if I was willing to have them pick the date and it was a 5:30 AM fligt to Boise, ID. Yeah, I have a son that lives there I took it but the reality is those FF miles are a big fat joke. Southwest however, gives you a free flight for every seven or so you take and I have had dozens of freebies on them. Yey, SW!!!

  9. I collected enough air miles to fly to a little village 33 miles away. One way. I chopped up my Air Miles card and laughed raucously. There are always seats available to nowhere, but never any seats available to somewhere. One way. No way. Air Miles was invented to be useless, has been useless, is useless, and will always be useless. You can always read magazines free in the dentist's office, trust me, it will be less painful. ":)

  10. My ex-boyfriend travels on business from Louisiana to Canada every week. He trades in "no life" for a free cruise every year. Then, he spends the rest of the year talking about his cruise...ugghh, thankfully he is an ex-boyfriend.

    You give me miles of smiles MOV...what is that worth?

  11. I love your blogs .they make me laugh. Have you ever tried stand up comedy?

    1. no, but I have thought about it!!! (but isn't being a mom like being a stand-up comedienne?)

  12. oh those accents that are so hard to understand! I wonder
    if they have the same problem understanding us? I just call back
    and try to get someone I can understand.

    stopping by from A to Z challenge

  13. They wouldn't even convert those air miles to land limo miles? How unreasonable!

  14. "Madam, 832 miles is not going to get you a flight to Boston. From Boston."

    I think that's the funniest thing I've heard today. :)

  15. HA! This post made me laugh so much :)

  16. Oooooh! 2 free magazine subscriptions! And I thought I had got such a great deal when I turned in my 1123 miles for a Miller High Life beer koozie. I am so talking to a supervisor next time. Nice score MOV!

    Princess WeeWee

  17. LOL. this reminds me of how I earned 27k points on my credit card, where 1 point = $1 spent most of the time, and got a very fancy toaster for my trouble!

  18. thank you for all your comments! this was a super-fun post to write. :)



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