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Many of us know that Award Wallet really simplifies managing miles and points accounts. If I used just one hotel and airline program then I could easily keep an eye on those balances without the help of any program, but the reality is I have points in dozens of programs. I know the same is true for many readers of this blog. Even if I was just responsible for my own programs, that would still be a lot to keep track of without a site like Award Wallet that keeps track of all the balances and expiration dates in one place. It also simplifies logging into the programs by keeping your account numbers and passwords in one place. Until yesterday you could track virtually all major hotel and airline programs, with the exception of Southwest and American Airlines. The worst thing that can happen to points is that they expire unused. However, with Award Wallet it is easy to keep an eye on all expiration dates at one time.
However, I don’t just have my dozens of programs to keep an eye on. I have my husband’s and my daughter’s as well. To a lesser extent I also have my parents and in-laws accounts to be aware of. Those with larger families have even more. A spreadsheet can help with tracking and managing some of the information, but a spreadsheet can’t replace the auto-updating of point balances and expiration dates the way that Award Wallet does.
News broke yesterday that Delta had gone the way of American Airlines when they sent a cease and desist letter to Award Wallet that demanded they cease allowing Award Wallet users to track and access their Delta accounts via the Award Wallet site. However, I was too busy yesterday picking my daughter up from school, taking her to swim lessons, going to Grandparent Day ceremonies, getting the family fed, the toddler bathed and in bed, etc. to write about it…the exact same reasons that I am also too busy to effectively track all of the many miles and points programs my family uses without the assistance of a product like Award Wallet.
For those not familiar with how Award Wallet works, you can choose to have Award Wallet store your passwords so you can access them from any computer, or you can choose to store them locally on your specific computer. I remember when American Airlines no longer allowed their frequent flyer accounts to be accessed by Award Wallet there was a bunch of talk and speculation that it was due to security concerns. I’ve since heard
excuses reasons related to screen scraping, proprietary information, wanting traffic directed back to the airline websites, etc. I frankly don’t care what the reasons are as there are likely solutions to whatever the problems are if the airlines wanted to remain customer friendly in this respect. I would happily pay a reasonable fee for this service via an app or similar.
I completely agree with Gary when he says that he is less engaged with programs when he can’t see the balances update regularly. American Airlines is a perfect example. I rarely check on the balance, and rarely do things to make it increase. Multiply that effect out across multiple family accounts and it isn’t hard to imagine why the accounts that are easier to use and manage get more attention. I still value my AA miles, but they just aren’t in the forefront of my mind since I don’t see them on a regular basis in Award Wallet. Though perhaps that is the point…?
Families are way too busy for this nonsense. I hate to say it, but I don’t think this is the end of the Award Wallet fall-out. That said, I really hope that other airlines realize how valuable this service is for some of their customers, and understand that engaged customers can be some of their best long-term customers. Thumbs down, Delta. I also really hope that Award Wallet is working diligently to come up with a solution with the various airlines so their great product doesn’t have the rug entirely ripped out from under them.