For years Amtrak has made changes with no notice to its loyalty program. Even multiple times in a matter of days. A practice they’ve engaged in many times, and been called out in the Wall Street Journal for. (Amtrak even eliminated their satisfaction guarantee because too many customers were dissatisfied.)
Now that former Delta CEO Richard Anderson is in charge at Amtrak I haven’t expected anything different. So I’m not really disappointed and certainly not surprised to learn that Amtrak has imposed new expiration rules on the program without notice and without even telling members.
Effective last Wednesday Amtrak Guest Rewards points expire after 24 months of inactivity, instead of the previous 36 months.
Expiring points means reducing the liability on Amtrak’s books. And expiring points when members thought they still had time to redeem or earn more is a particularly shady way of doing it.
Several years ago Jeff Robertson, then leading the SkyMiles program, explained that they eliminated expiring miles because CEO Anderson believed it was the right thing to do. Of course they did this after first imposing more draconian expiration rules and clearing plenty of mileage liability off their books, which they did not then restore.
If not expiring miles was the right thing to do before, what made Anderson change his mind that more draconian expiration rules are right for customers today?