Two Airlines Battle Mileage-Tracking Websites

Websites that help consumers manage their frequent-flier miles are the hot new thing in travel. And that bugs Southwest and American airlines.

The two carriers have sent “cease and desist” letters in the past year to several websites that track travelers’ loyalty programs. Southwest argues the third-party sites threaten security of passenger information; American doesn’t want outsiders “scraping” data off its website.

Sites like AwardWallet, MileWise and GoMiles have been growing in popularity. You give the mileage manager account information for all your loyalty programs, usually airlines, hotels and car rentals to see, in one place, when miles are about to expire or which program is close to an award or elite-status level. Some show cash prices for a ticket as well as what a ticket would cost in miles—a comparison that requires multiple searches on an airline’s website.

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