Dumpster Fire Airline Alitalia to Expire Everyone’s Miles Unless They Take 4 New Flights

Some programs have expiring miles. For instance, miles earned today will expire in 3 years if unused.

Other programs have expiring accounts. You account becomes inactive if there’s no earning or redemption in, say, 18 or 36 months — but any activity in your account extends the life of your miles.

JetBlue and Delta miles don’t expire. That can be good or bad. Expiring miles reduce expenses for a program, and hopefully they redirect that investment to the more active members in a program.

What’s completely absurd, though, is the one airline with a policy much more draconian than this: the entire program expires.

Copyright: jvdwolf / 123RF Stock Photo

As an artifact of Italian law, the Alitalia Millemiglia program itself ends. Then they restart it.
All miles go away. But Alitalia offers a way to ‘earn back’ the miles that are already yours.

The current program was scheduled to expire December 31, 2015 but they’ve continued to ‘extend’ it — first to August 2016, then to December 2017. No more.

  • Current miles are valid through March 31, 2018

  • If you want to keep your miles after that you must take 4 Alitalia flights between January 1 and March 1.

If you take 4 Alitalia flights you’ll get your miles back in the new program which begins April 1. This is not an April Fools’ joke.

You might say ‘but Italian law’. However Millemiglia hasn’t suggested they’ve tried to change Italian law. They have continued to extend the program, but aren’t going to any longer. And they set the criteria for extension, which could be far easier to meet (or offer options different people could meet). They get to both take advantage of Italian law and hide behind it.

(HT: Reader Tom in the comments)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Yeah. Lets see you talk down bankruptCy laws in the USA allowing the orange doofus to steal.

    The entire debt is expired. Wow

  2. I think you are making a bigger deal if this that is warranted. AZ is in bankruptcy, these miles are going to become worthless unless someone or some company decides to take AZ on, billions of debt and over staffed HQ and all. This just looks like an effort to shed liabilities to make the company more attractive. Of course, I’d be very surprised if there was any AZ frequent flyer program in by April 2018.

  3. So 4 segments in 3 months to keep miles from expiring. I’m assuming you also earn miles for the 4 segments. It’s just a forced challenge.

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