Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
and I see how you need more than the advertised rate for the dates that are more interesting to you - if they are available at all; and I see how I now need to pay fuel surcharges on top of airmiles to actually get a plane ticket, and I see how the rules change along the way and suddenly some kinds of plane tickets no longer get the same quota of airmiles.

Why be stuck with a unit that's less liquid and less practical than the real stuff?

The only reason airlines give airmiles is to be able to give them to the passengers rather than to their employers who pay for the plane tickets. If they gave money, it would not go to the "right" hands (ie those that are able to choice of airline, ie people who get to spend someone else's money to travel and will influence that decision in ways that can be advantageous to them). I'm not sure that's really what you have in mind: airmiles are principal/agent arbitrage instruments...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Oct 26th, 2009 at 06:03:21 PM EST
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