American Airlines wants to make it harder to check your account balance

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American Airlines wants to make it harder to check your account balance

Million Mile SecretsAmerican Airlines wants to make it harder to check your account balanceMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Gary from View from the Wing wrote about how American Airlines has sent letters to AwardWallet and other mile & hotel point tracking sites asking them to stop providing information on American Airlines’ mileage balances to their users.

I use AwardWallet and love being able to update both Emily and my frequent flyer and hotel accounts with just 1 click!  Using a service such as AwardWallet, UsingMiles, or GoMiles makes it very easy to keep track of the 40+ accounts which Emily and I have.

But American Airlines has sent letters to these mileage tracking services asking them to stop providing information on American Airlines’ customers mileage balances.

This follows Southwest’s decision last year to not allow mileage tracking websites to access data from Southwest.

As Scott McCartney reported in the Wall Street Journal:

Southwest said it decided last year, as mileage managers began to proliferate, to ban them from its site because it was worried about the security of account information, which includes stored credit-card numbers.

While  security breaches may appear to a legitimate concern, I don’t really buy it.  Mint.com has access to all my bank account and checking information, and the banks are happy to let a third party site track their clients’ account information.

But if it really is a security concern, Gary has a solution.

Why not just require these websites to certify their security standards and indemnify the airline in the case of negligence?

Bottom Line:  American Airlines would be upsetting a lot of customers if it prevents third party mileage trackers from accessing information on customer’s mileage balances.

I really wouldn’t have warm, fuzzy feelings if I was forced to log-in to American Airlines’ website to check my account balance.

While I check my AwardWallet balances many times a day (in fact, I have it on my iGoogle homepage), I check my Southwest account balance (which can’t be accessed on AwardWallet)  much less frequently, perhaps once every 2 weeks.

Update: Gary Leff points out that American doesn’t mind if some sites like Points.com has access to your account information because they have a business relationship with Points.com.  So are the “security concerns” just a way for American to get more money from the mileage tracking sites?

How would you feel if you were forced to log into each airlines’ website to check your mileage balance?

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I just “discovered” Award Wallet this week and I already love it. I can never seem to keep all those points/miles accounts straight and now in an instant I can keep up with them all. Do you entrust your passwords to Award Wallet or do you keep them on the local machine?

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@Thomas – I entrust them to Award Wallet, but it is safer to keep them on your local machine.

I think AA is not as concerned about online security as they are about cutting ties with companies where they do not have direct business partnerships with. I think this is going to backfire on AA. blog. likebright. com

I don’t think it’s a security issue at all. Besides the website advertising, I think AA just wants more miles to expire. And when we use AwardWallet we are reminded of the expiration date so that doesn’t happen. I would be really disappointed in AA if they are removed from AwardWallet.

Get your head out of your asses.

Of course it has nothing to do with security. If it did, they would fix their extremely aging infrastructure and absolutely miserable security controls. Instead, this is about the almighty page view and visitor impressions.

I’m worried that AA will go bankrupt soon. Not investment advice. They just keep making decisions that alienate people!

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