Major US airlines such as AA, United, Delta and Southwest have made it almost impossible for travelers to check and track their frequent-flier miles status by any means – including third-party mileage tracking websites such as MileWise – other than the airlines’ websites.
In early 2013, Points.com and Superfly.com were the only options available that enabled travelers to track their miles and points from nearly 100 loyalty programs for free from a single location.
Points.com manages the back-end of some 40 airline loyalty programs and has permission to access the frequent-flier accounts of Delta, United, American and Southwest.
Superfly, which does not have access to the airline accounts, launched a service called Superbox which, on obtaining permission from users to access their Gmail accounts, uses the airlines’ alert emails to aggregate airline, hotel and credit card account data in a single user dashboard.
In early 2014, TripIt.com announced that its app could extract frequent flier miles from United, Delta, Southwest and American Airlines statements and track them for users.
Why do the airlines make this so difficult for fliers?