That's Reason #10974 (or thereabouts) why I'm glad I'm not a management consultant anymore. The list is lengthy, and also fictional, but regardless the profession has a lot of downside to it.
The perks? Among them, frequent flier miles up the proverbial wazoo.
And here is my problem - I left consulting in 1999 and have used some of those miles since. But not nearly as many as I'd like. Why?
Because they are never, ever, usable.
The biggest case in point I have is the annual trip I take with some of the GSB boys to Myrtle Beach, SC. Both United Airlines and Continental either fly there or work with partners that do.
I've called seven months in advance or earlier each year for the last three years and never -- ever -- been able to redeem those miles. Sometimes, they'll offer up the "chance" to use 50,000 miles for a coach seat. It's clear what the airlines game is here. They have a huge liability out there with these miles. So they do what they can do either reduce the financial impact of that liability by making it virtually impossible for folks to use, or to reduce that liability by essentially always charging twice the "rate" for a domestic flight.
This year, the United woman I spoke with told me that the trip was on a difficult weekend because it was Spring Break.
The trip is April 26-29. That's barely even SPRING, let alone Spring Break. I just had to laugh.
Fortunately, I can find fares cheap enough to make it not too rough, but it's a serious joke to me. I couldn't even use them internationally for the honeymoon. I honestly don't know what to do with the miles, and if anyone has suggestions about how to turn them into something I'd actually appreciate it, I'm all ears.