I am an Air Miles card member having 239,751 Air Miles points (equal to Dh2,397) in my account. I had kept those Air Miles for a particular purpose and in July when I was trying to utilise those Air Miles points, it seems that Air Miles had forfeited all my Air Miles points. When I had contacted the customer service, I had got a very simple answer: “My account was idle for some time, hence forfeited my points.”

How can they take back my Air Miles points lying in my account without my permission or without informing me? This is my hard earned money kept for a particular purpose and the expiry date of the Air Miles is on March 31, 2019, which I was clearly monitoring. After my fourth reminder to their contact, I have got a reply that once forfeited, Air Miles cannot be reinstated. Now they are keeping silence on this issue.

I am fed up with this issue mainly because of their attitude and secondly it’s a matter of my hard earned money, hence seeking Gulf News help to solve this issue.

An early action about this would be highly appreciated.

From Mr Yeshodharan Gangadharan Yeshoda

Abu Dhabi

The management of Air Miles responds: Unfortunately, in this instance, the member’s miles have expired as he had not made a qualifying transaction in the last 15 months.

Expiry policies such as ours are very common in the loyalty and frequent flyer industries. Air Miles introduced an expiry policy in 2013 that was communicated to Air Miles members through various channels including emails, direct mail and a press release issued when the policies were introduced.

By way of background, Air Miles has two policies related to expiry.

Our terms and conditions state that “We may close any Air Miles account on which no Air Miles have been collected or redeemed for a continuous period of 15 months. Upon account closure, any Air Miles in such account will expire.” In other words, members must have at least one qualifying activity by either earning or using their miles within a 15-month period to ensure their account stays active. A qualifying transaction includes: earning Miles via the HSBC credit card or across any Air Miles partner by using the Air Miles card or redeeming for a flight, hotel or shopping vouchers.

The two expiry policies are on the Air Miles website, under “Terms and Conditions” and there is a link to the Air Miles Terms and Conditions across all of the emails that are sent to members.

Mr Yeshoda responds: Thank you very much for your reply. They don’t want to give me back my Air Miles points, hence all these excuses. As mentioned in their comments, this clause was not at all there when I had started collecting Air Miles through HSBC credit cards. Later they had introduced these clauses for expiry. There are so many ways to communicate, but they never sent any mail to me regarding the issue nor any communication between us for the same subject.

Second excuse, they mentioned was, “all these expiry policies are mentioned in their Terms and Conditions clause.” Whenever we get a statement what we are looking at is our balance Air Miles points and their expiry date (which is March 31, 2019). How many of us are reading the terms and conditions column every time we get the statements, to see any changes in the conditions?

Here it is my right to get my Air Miles points back, but if they are not ready to give back by telling all these simple excuses, let them be happy with that.

Air Miles responds: We’re sorry that the member’s miles expired in this instance as he had not made a qualifying transaction in the last 15 months.

As mentioned, when we introduced the policy back in 2013, we communicated in various channels to ensure that we would reach all of our members. This included both direct mail and email as well as a press release.

Activity policies such as ours are very common in the loyalty and frequent flyer industries as they play a big role in reminding members to stay active.

A couple of great tips to ensure members stay active in the program are:

1) Keep your eyes open for special partner promotions on our website to earn extra bonus miles.

2) Download the Air Miles mobile app and have access to the virtual card to earn Air Miles whenever shopping at a partner store. Members can also redeem for e-vouchers and m-vouchers starting from just one Air Mile.

3) Consolidate your spending on one credit card to maximise your earning power. HSBC credit card holders can collect Air Miles automatically every time they use their HSBC credit card. And if they swipe their Air Miles membership card at an Air Miles partner, they earn miles twice on the same purchase.

(Process initiation: September 23, 2018. Response from organisation: September 25, 2018. Process completion: October 4, 2018.)

Editor’s note: Do you have similar issues that you would like to raise with us? You can write to us at readers@gulfnews.com.