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Airport Frequent Flyer

5 Ways to Get Kicked Out of a Frequent Flyer Program

It’s not unheard of, and it’s worth knowing what you should look out for.

Frequent flyer programs are anything but simple. The arcane rules, blackout dates, expiring miles, credit card programs, and numerous other complicated details make your annual taxes look like a walk in the park by comparison. One aspect of these programs that is pretty straightforward, however, is that once you join it’s pretty difficult to get kicked out.

Make no mistake: Inattentive program members can suffer lost miles and lost rewards, but actual expulsion is rare and limited to just a few scenarios. That said, it’s not unheard of, and it’s worth knowing what you should look out for. Here are five ways you could get kicked out of your frequent flyer program.

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By Carl Unger

Contributing Editor Carl Unger believes that every trip is worth taking. He loves an extended trip to Europe as much as he enjoys exploring the towns and landscape near home. Basically, you'll find him wherever there is good food, fresh air, and plenty of stories to bring home.

Carl has been writing for SmarterTravel since 2005. His travel writing has also appeared on USA Today and the About.com Boston travel guide.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "It's not revolutionary, but a small Moleskine notebook is my one travel must-have. It's great for noting things you want to remember and it takes up hardly any space in your bag."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Japan. I'd love to take a month off and visit the cities, temples, and countryside. I'm fascinated by the country's juxtaposition of ancient traditions and modern ambitions."

Travel Motto: “Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” –Terry Pratchett

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Window."