The Washington Times - October 23, 2008, 04:50PM

Next time an airline offers you 5,000 miles as a “good-will gesture” for something that went wrong on a flight, you might want to negotiate a bigger number.

Miles devaluation is here, and along with rising air fares, service cutbacks and various fees, it is likely to remain a prominent feature of the travel experience for a while. Some U.S. carriers have already increased the number of miles needed for an “award ticket,” and others, no doubt, will follow suit.

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Airlines have awarded so many millions of miles in recent years, thanks to numerous credit card and other promotions, that they started to weigh on the carriers’ balance sheets. That weight is hurting them badly at a time of record jet fuel costs, so they are looking for ways to offload as many of those miles as possible.

Read my column on the subject:

KRALEV: Air miles’ value drops

Do you think the value of your miles has gone down? What’s your favorite frequent-flier program?

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