In the last day or two I've been seeing news articles that say Venice could possibly suffer the same fate as New Orleans. Or how New Orleans should be rebuilt as a U.S. Venice with canals instead of streets.
Interesting speculation, but let's not forget that hundreds of thousands of people are without family, homes, and jobs. Let's not forget that these people (in the entire region, not just New Orleans) need our help. Here's a painless way to help: donate your frequent flyer miles to the Red Cross or another charity.
This is what the Red Cross website (www.redcross.org/donate/donatemiles.html) has to say:
FlightFund members may donate their miles in 5000-mile increments into the Miles of Hope program. FlightFund members who wish to participate in this program should call the FlightFund Service Center at 1-800-247-5691 or visit the America West web site.
Continental's frequent flyers may donate their OnePass miles online by visiting the airline's web site (www.continental.com/onepass/oDonateMiles.asp). Or, customers may make a donation by phone by calling 713-952-1630 (choose option 4 to speak with a customer service representative).
Delta Air Lines
Delta Airlines has generously supported the Red Cross over the years by allowing its customers to donate their frequent flyer miles. The Red Cross was privileged to be Delta's "charity of the quarter" for a three month period in 2000, during which we were highlighted on their web site. Since then, while not specifically mentioned by name on their web site, it remains possible for Delta customers to donate miles to the Red Cross by phone, fax, e-mail or regular mail.
To make a donation through SkyMiles OneSource Automated Telephone System, call 1-800-325-3999. Have your SkyMiles account number and PIN available when calling. To donate miles by mail, e-mail or FAX, please prepare your request in writing making sure to include the following information:
* Your SkyMiles account number,
* The amount of mileage you wish to donate, and
* The name of the organization you want to receive your donation.
* Delta will make sure your miles get to the charity you've indicated.
By e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
By fax: 404-773-1945
By mail: Delta Air Lines, Inc.,
SkyMiles Service Center, Dept. 745
P.O. Box 20532
Atlanta, GA 30320-2532
Whether you donate by phone or in writing, the donated mileage will be automatically deducted from your account and reflected on your next mileage summary.
For More Information: http://www.delta.com/skymiles/use/donate/index.jsp
WorldPerks members wishing to contribute miles to the American Red Cross may contact Northwest directly at 1-800-327-2881. Please note that the initial donation must be a minimum of 5,000 miles and larger donations may be made in 1,000-mile increments. Get more information here: www.nwa.com/corpinfo/aircares/donate/.
As part of its AirCares program, Northwest Airlines runs a promotion through which its customers can donate $50 to the Red Cross and receive 500 WorldPerks bonus frequent flyer miles in return. Interested donors should make their contribution directly to the Red Cross. Upon receiving their donation receipt from the Red Cross, donors can forward it, with their WorldPerks account number, to Northwest to have their frequent flyer account credited by the airline. For more information on this promotion, contact Northwest directly at 1-800-327-2881 or write to:
601 Oak Street
Chisholm, MN 55719
Mileage Plus members can make donations to the American Red Cross through United Airline's Mileage Plus Charity program. The minimum mileage requirement for a donation is 1,000 miles and all donated miles will be used strictly for disaster-related travel. All donations should be made through the Mileage Plus Service Center by calling 1-800-421-4655. Get more information here: http://www.united.com/page/article/0,,1363,00.html.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can the American Red Cross provide free flights through airline agreements for people requiring travel due to medical needs, family deaths or other reasons? The miles donated through these agreements are accepted and utilized solely for disaster-related travel purposes in support of Red Cross disaster response. Travel assistance to families that have been affected by disasters is handled through individual case work and needs assessments, which are performed by national disaster personnel or local Red Cross chapters.
The Red Cross often receives requests to use these donated air miles from individuals in need of free travel assistance due to a medical or other personal emergency, such as a death in the family. Due to the restrictions noted above, miles donated to the Red Cross cannot be opened up to individuals or groups with travel needs that are beyond the scope of the Red Cross mission.
There are organizations whose missions support certain types of emergency travel. We are pleased to provide a referral link to an assortment of travel assistance organizations (www.redcross.org/donate/travelasst.html) that can provide help to those seeking donated travel. The information provided for each organization includes the scope of their work (whether they provide services nationally or just in a particular region), a description of their services and mission, and phone numbers and web site address, when available.
Some agencies specialize in the type of travel assistance they provide, such as medical transport only, while others will arrange emergency transportation for a variety of crisis situations. Refer to the descriptions provided or visit the agency web sites to determine the specific travel needs each supports.
**Please note that these are referrals only and do not guarantee assistance from these organizations in any way.
If you'd like to donate to another organization working on the Hurricane Katrina clean-up/rebuilding, visit your airline's website. Most of them have instructions on how you can donate your miles.