Louisiana air travelers who take to the skies from Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Orleans, Lake Charles, or any of our state's airports know the importance of details when you fly. There are important details such as when you're supposed to take off and land and your flight numbers and then there are not-so-important details as knowing what coffee shop is located nearest your departing gate. For some of us, that makes all the difference in whether it's going to be a good flight or a not-so-good flight.

Erik Odiin via Unsplash.com
Erik Odiin via Unsplash.com

What if I told you that over the course of your lifetime, you'd be flying some 208 times? I wouldn't have believed that fact twenty years ago but based on my current appetite for travel I would say hitting 208 flights before my bucket is kicked wouldn't be a bad estimate. Now, even if you don't fly that much you are probably aware that most airlines offer a rewards program or airline miles.

How Do Airline Miles Work?

Airline miles are not really miles at all, they are a "number" that reflects a kind of "currency" created by the airlines to reward frequent customers for their loyal patronage. The "airline mile" has less to do with actual distance and more to do with the amount of money that you spend with the airline to fly that distance. The "miles" or "points" earned can be used for ticket upgrades with the airline or can be used for savings on hotels and rental cars too.

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If you just need to assign a monetary amount to an "airline mile" you can count 1.7 cents as an average value. And while that might not seem like much when you add up those pennies over tens of thousands of miles then you're talking about "real money".

Can People Steal Your Airline Miles?

They not only can steal your miles but they are doing that to quite a few Louisiana travelers as we speak. If you belong to American Airlines AAdvantage Program you need to check your account and your miles right now. 

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Several travel writers have reported anomalies with AAdvantage Program accounts in which airline miles have been "stolen" by online hackers. One writer reported having some $13,000 in "airline miles" removed from his account and used by someone else.

To make a frustrating situation even more frustrating, in order to have those stolen miles replaced the writer had to file a police report. And according to American Airlines, that's the policy. So, if you check your AAdvantage account and see that you are missing some miles, in order to get those miles replaced you will need to file a police report. 

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American Airlines appears to be having the biggest issue with stolen miles of all the major US carriers but that doesn't mean your frequent flyer miles won't be compromised on another airline. And if you feel you've been "hacked" it's always a good idea to report the incident to the airline and local law enforcement. They can't stop what they don't know is going on.

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Gallery Credit: Bruce Mikells






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