What’s Worse Than Expiring Miles? You’ll Lose All Your Miles When This Frequent Flyer PROGRAM Expires!

LarryInNYC asks about the Alitalia porgram as an option for crediting the dirt cheap Etihad fare. Etihad, after all, took a big stake in the airline .. because it’s apparently more important to funnel traffic through Abu Dhabi than to actually make money.

I fly to Italy at least once a year, so Al Italia might be interesting, but do I remember correctly that they reboot the whole program every few years with loss of accrued miles?

Larry has it right — the current program expires December 31, 2015!

According to the program rules, Alitalia is currently offering their ‘2013-2015 program’.

“MilleMiglia Program” or “Program” means this rewards program whose purpose is to promote loyalty among Promoters’ customers, and which is effective from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2015, unless extended.

…5.19 This rewards scheme enables Miles to be earned until December 31, 2015, subject to any Program extensions (see Art. 1.1). Rewards may be claimed by Members until June 30, 2016, and will be awarded to the rightful owner within a maximum period of six (6) months of the end of the scheme (i.e. by June 30, 2016) pursuant to Presidential Decree no. 430 of October 26, 2001, with the exception of Rewards that must be delivered to the Member’s home, in which case the regulations specified on the pages relating to such initiatives on the website www.alitalia.com will apply. Miles earned before December 31, 2015, which have not been used by June 30, 2016, will be deleted from the Member’s personal account, subject to any Program extensions.

This is an artifact of Italian law, and we’ve been down this road before. Each Alitalia accrual program is separate. Even totally active accounts lose all the miles when the program ends, although Alitalia offers a mechanism to extend the miles (really, to credit miles from the previous program to the new program). That’s required, in the past, flights credited to the new program within a specified period of time.

Alitalia is a quite useful American Express transfer partner but this is a real reason not to transfer points speculatively, only points you’re going to use in the immediate term.

And a reason not to credit Etihad flights to Alitalia.

Any miles earned in 2015 must be used by June 30, 2016 or they will disappear unless you follow the instructions Alitalia sends you to keep them alive, details of which we do not know yet.

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. How a propos you wrote about this now as I’m STILL trying to figure out each to do with those miles.

    Another commenter at TPG mentioned Etihad’s family account program. My four family members traveling JFK -AUH would collectively earn about 27,500 miles, a useful enough amount (I think — not familiar with their redemption chart) when combined. Any thoughts?

  2. Lost 28,000 miles in Alitalia programme in 2001. Flew only once with them (accruing miles in Flying Blue) thereafter and had problems at Milano airport. Will try to avoid it altogether if at all possible.

  3. Notice this: “from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2015, unless extended.”

    A spark of hope?

    BTW, Alitalia is matching status as crazy, with validity up to March/2017 (!) – how does this fit into the expiry?

  4. Don’t anyone dream of crediting miles to Alitalia even though I think the airline is good and I have never had a problem with them , but the FF scheme is terrible. Best place to credit AZ miles is usually Flying Blue.

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