Class-action Lawsuit Launched Against Air Miles

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Air Miles. CBC wrote up an article on the matter. But here is a quick summary.

The claim is against LoyaltyOne (owner of Air Miles) to “remedy harm caused by the Air Miles program to its users.” The main points are:

  • Lack of rewards for expiring points
  • Long waits for customer service by phone.
  • Not allowing members to redeem for cash rewards.
  • Being blocked from some rewards when members actually have enough miles to buy them.

It was only a matte of time being we saw this lawsuit. That being said, I really wonder if Air Miles is even being phased at this point.

My Thoughts

This is how I see things play out.

  1. When December 31, 2016 rolls around, I can see lots of miles expiring from members who were unable to redeem in time. This plays right into Air Miles’ hand, because it is highly profitable when miles expire.
  2. Nice upwards bump to LoyaltyOne’s bottom line. Because of this, I do not see why they have to bother too much to cater favourably to their members.
  3. This step is the make or break. Once the miles start expiring, are we actually going to see a drop off in the client base? Even if there is a drop off, that just means that there will be less miles in circulation, which means less rewards being redeemed. This may also end up helping LoyaltyOne’s bottom line. They will have a leaner business, where only serious members will stick around.
  4. Therefore, I don’t see a drop off in their client base really hurting them too much in the short and medium term. What will hurt them is when their partners stop purchasing their miles to issue to clients.
  5. Once retailers see that there are very few people presenting their Air Miles card to collect miles, the retailers may not find it benefits to be offering Air Miles anymore. Only then, will we see an effect against LoyaltyOne’s bottom line, as their partners start dropping out. And I do not see partners dropping any time in the short or medium term. It may be in the long term before this happens.

Anyway, Air Miles has been such a hot topic lately on the news, but it is really on your minds? What are your thoughts on the future of Air Miles? Will they survive this waive of bad news?


  1. I predict either a reversal on the policy, or at least a softening of the expiry period. Many “miles” have already been redeemed as a result of the strategy.
    The “brand” is taking a beating over the whole fiasco, so they should be looking at ways to improve their standing.
    Personally, I don’t care either way. I’ll redeem expiring points closer to deadline, even if its for a hotel room that I don’t even use. In the same time it has taken me to accumulate enough airschmiles for 2 roundtrip flights, I have enough Aeroplan left for 8 roundtrip first class to Hawaii plus a couple of shorthauls. And that’s just what is left. The numerous free flights Aeroplan has given me are already redeemed.
    To me Airmiles always sucked. The expiry policy just makes it suck worse.

    1. A reversal of the policy would be nice and pull an Aeroplan.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience!

  2. Airmiles are becoming very useless these days. I just use my mother’s AIr Mile card to collect points and redeem it in metro for grocery.

    1. Seems to be the trend. Maybe cash rewards makes more sense because there is less headache, even though it may be less value.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.