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Strange case of Melbourne agent and business tickets

April 17, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A Melbourne-based travel agent has allegedly taken payment for business class airfares while using their own frequent flyer points to make the booking.

The Australian Frequent Flyer (AFF – australianfrequentflyer.com.au) a long-established site and forum offering “tips, tricks and chat for the Australian frequent flyer”, reports that one of its members fell victim to the practice, discovering the travel agent’s actions only when the airline refused to credit any points for a flight to Europe.

No points or status credits were earned because the flights had in fact been booked using frequent flyer points. Yet the AFF member says they paid the Melbourne-based travel agent for two business class tickets from Australia to Europe with Singapore Airlines.

The AFF member hasn’t named the travel agency, “but says it is a bricks and mortar agency in Melbourne” the report states.

A return business class Melbourne-London flight would normally earn over 26,000 KrisFlyer miles or Velocity points – enough for the passengers to upgrade to KrisFlyer Silver or Velocity Gold status, AFF says.

The site opines that the practice may contravene the frequent flyer program’s terms and conditions, but it’s hard to be sure, as it’s possible “the agent may have legitimately purchased and redeemed frequent flyer points on the customer’s behalf”.

AFF says it’s unusual to hear of a bricks and mortar travel agency engaging in such dodgy practices – though online sites specialising in obtaining discounted business and first class tickets for customers, using points obtained by the agency, are nothing new. The sites don’t always reveal that the tickets will be booked using someone else’s frequent flyer points.

An airline may cancel such a ticket, but AFF says that in the Melbourne case, its member got to travel as planned.

Written by Peter Needham

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