Two of My Favorite Topics

Tim Harford at Marginal Revolution touches on two of my favorite topics in one short post.  I have written a number of times about how frequant flyer mile holders seem to come out whole from airline bankrupcies when every other creditor has to take a major hair cut.  Even pensions are cut before frequant flyer mile obligations. Tim shares some ideas and a link to an Economist story with more on this topic.

What really caught my attention was when he discussed whether difficulties in getting any airline help in actually cashin in the miles was a stealthy way of repudiating the miles.  In his analysis, he has this nice restatement of Coyote's Law:

Never attribute to conspiracy that which is adequately explained by


  1. speedbird:

    Good Law.

    Ever noticed how otherwise incompetent people are often remarkably good at covering things up?

  2. veresch:

    I am using to keep track of all of my air miles. I think this is the only smart way to handle your miles as otherwise I forget about some of the award programs that I am participating in and hence I don’t redeem the miles that I have. I have seen airlines cutting off on miles lately too; for example, with Lufthansa if you buy discounted tickets you only get half of the miles flown.