What Happens to Airline Miles When You Die
Airline miles, also known as frequent flyer miles or loyalty points, have become an integral part of the travel experience for many people. These miles can be earned through various means, such as flying with a specific airline, using co-branded credit cards, or participating in partner programs. However, one question that often arises is: what happens to airline miles when you die?
The fate of airline miles after death depends on the airline’s policies and the specific terms and conditions associated with each loyalty program. While some airlines may have specific provisions for transferring miles upon death, others may have less clear-cut policies. Here are some common questions and answers regarding the fate of airline miles after death:
1. Can airline miles be transferred to someone else upon death?
Some airlines allow the transfer of miles upon death, but this varies from airline to airline. It is essential to review the terms and conditions of the specific loyalty program to understand the possibilities.
2. Are there any fees associated with transferring miles after death?
Again, this depends on the airline’s policies. Some airlines may charge a fee for transferring miles, even in the case of death.
3. Can airline miles be included in a will?
While airline miles are considered personal property, not all airlines allow them to be included in a will. It is crucial to consult the terms and conditions of the loyalty program to determine whether this is a possibility.
4. Can family members access or use the miles of a deceased person?
Without proper authorization, it is generally not possible for family members to access or use the miles of a deceased person. However, some airlines may make exceptions under certain circumstances.
5. Can airlines close or deactivate an account after death?
Yes, airlines have the right to close or deactivate an account after the death of the account holder. This is to prevent unauthorized access and ensure the security of the account.
6. What happens if the deceased person had elite status with the airline?
In some cases, the elite status of a deceased person may be transferred to a spouse or another family member. However, this is subject to the specific policies of the airline.
7. Are there any alternatives to transferring airline miles after death?
If transferring miles is not an option, some airlines may offer alternatives such as donating the miles to a charity or using them for memorial flights.
8. Can airline miles be converted into cash after death?
Generally, airline miles cannot be converted into cash. Their value lies in their use for flight redemptions or other loyalty program benefits.
9. What happens if the deceased person was part of a family account or shared account?
In the case of a family or shared account, the fate of the miles depends on the specific policies of the airline. Some airlines may allow the remaining members to continue using the miles, while others may have different rules.
10. Can an executor or family member contact the airline to inquire about the miles?
Yes, an executor or family member can contact the airline to inquire about the miles. They would need to provide proof of death and any required documentation as per the airline’s policies.
11. Are there any time limits or expiration dates for transferring miles after death?
Some airlines may have time limits or expiration dates for transferring miles after death. It is crucial to review the terms and conditions of the specific loyalty program for such details.
12. What happens to airline miles if the loyalty program is discontinued?
If the loyalty program is discontinued, the fate of the miles will depend on the policies set forth by the airline. They may provide alternative options for redeeming or transferring the miles.
13. Can a deceased person’s airline miles be inherited?
In some cases, it may be possible for a deceased person’s airline miles to be inherited by a spouse or family member. However, this is subject to the rules and regulations of the specific airline.
In conclusion, the fate of airline miles after death depends on the policies and terms and conditions of the loyalty program. It is crucial for individuals to review these details and consider their options for transferring, redeeming, or utilizing their miles effectively. Seeking guidance from the airline’s customer service or consulting legal professionals may also be helpful in navigating this aspect of estate planning.