A lot of people are forever griping about how the travel sector – specifically airlines! – are always out to make more money out of travelers. You can’t really blame the people who complain. We know just how unfair many practices are. However, when the news about Haiti’s plight made the headlines, we have to give credit to the travel industry for their quick response.
Various airlines have already flown a considerable amount of relief supplies. Airlines such as American Airlines have flown several planes to Haiti to deliver goods such as medical supplies, food, and other essentials. Even other airlines which do not have regular flights to Haiti have set aside some of their planes just so they could be used for relief services. I think that yesterday, I even read something about doctors and other medical personnel being encouraged to go to Haiti and volunteer – the flight is free of course.
Another way by which the airlines are helping out is by encouraging their regular customers to give monetary donations to accredited organizations. These include the Red Cross, UNICEF, and Yele Haiti. The idea is for a person to make a donation – there is a minimum amount – and they will receive free miles in return. The details of the rewards vary from one airline to another, but the idea remains the same.
A variation is for users who have rewards points or frequent flier miles – they can opt to donate these points. This is what United Airlines is doing in conjunction with the Red Cross. The miles that are donated can be used by the charity to fly aid workers to necessary areas.