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How To Redeem Stolen Airline Miles If An Account is Hacked

Excerpt from Bloomberg Businessweek

Aug 12, 2013 5:20 am

Skift Take

Despite the recent hack of the US Airways Dividend Miles program, it’s not easy for miles thieves to unload their haul.

— Eliza Ronalds-Hannon

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Larry Downing  / Reuters

A U.S. Airways jet departs Washington's Reagan National Airport next to American Airlines jet outside Washington Larry Downing / Reuters


When it comes to miles theft—a crime that has historically been committed by airline employees or travel agents—making a clean getaway with the loot is exceedingly difficult. Award tickets and upgrades must have a passenger’s name, and merchandise bought with the stolen miles must be delivered somewhere. “Every way I sort of turn in thinking about this, it just ends up being kind of a bad way to go from the standpoint of the thief,” says Tim Winship, editor of FrequentFlier.com. “I’m kind of at a loss here as to kind of what a viable way of using the miles would be.”

 

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