Category Archives: Ethics

Million Mile Secrets and a Curious Case of Ethics

A few days ago, Million Mile Secrets posted an article about how to bypass the normal airport security line by using the elite status line. The gist of it is he suggested showing a loyalty card from a program that seems like shows you have elite status, even though you really don’t or would not otherwise be eligible for the elite line. If you took a look at the comments (which I recommend you do for all points posts you read), you saw that about 90% or more of the comments were people that were upset about the article.

So why were they upset?

I think it’s a very interesting case, actually. People were upset for various reasons. First, there are some people that just don’t like him and wanted another opportunity to bash him. These are irrelevant to me.

The second group of people said it wasn’t fair to the people that rightfully earned the ability to use the elite line, and all these “newbies” would clog up the lines in the future. I agree with this, though I doubt Million Mile Secrets has so many readers that it would tangibly impact the airport lines on a regular basis. But what I find interesting about this is that these people cried out for fairness.

A third group of people said that said it was deceptive, deceitful, and against the rules. They said it wasn’t like finding a loophole or something that you could exploit – they suggested it was just plain wrong and immoral.

When MMS made his first comment reply, he said he appreciated the feedback he was getting. He also defended himself by saying that it’s also not “fair” that someone can earn more miles from a credit card signup than flying or that they can get a cheaper fare using obscure loopholes. I respectfully disagree, and I’ll try to explain why.

First, in my eyes, these last two groups of people are awesome! Why? Not because they’re hating on Million Mile Secrets. I haven’t met him but I’m sure he’s a great guy, and he’s got a loyal following for a reason. Rather, I think they’re awesome because they feel so strongly about following the rules that it angered them to hear someone they thought was advocating anything different.

This makes me extremely proud to be a part of the frequent flyer community. While we’re all absolutely in support of finding loopholes and exploiting them as far as we can (things like mistake faresfuel dumping, transferring miles to several accounts, using obscure airlines to buy cheap miles, or getting free matched status, etc.), we do it all within the rules of the program. There’s no lying, cheating, deceit, or anything of the sort.

And don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying Million Mile Secrets is a liar or cheater or anything. He CLEARLY states to only do what you feel comfortable with. As I’ve pointed out several times in past posts, everyone has a different level of comfort with different deals. There’s a lot of gray area in what we do, but MMS just happened to find the line that goes from gray to black according to most people.

So to the frequent flyer community, I say WELL DONE. Good for you for being in the points game as legitimately as you can!

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