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Retired Air Force Colonel says hotel chain deleted his account with 166K travel points

Hotel chain says their policy is to delete points after 12 months
Posted at 5:01 PM, Feb 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 17:58:46-05

Retired Col. Steve Layne, who traveled the world during three decades in the U.S. Air Force, planned to cash in his hotel points for future vacations – until the hotel chain wiped out his account.

That’s when he reached out to Taking Action Reporter Jackie Callaway for help.

By retirement, Layne had racked up 166,000 rewards points with the International Hotel Group chain – which includes the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza.

“I would love to use those points to travel and see some things I've never seen before in the United States,” said Layne.

But a few months ago, Layne discovered the hotel chain had deleted all his points without warning.

He called repeatedly and sent a certified letter to IHG headquarters but said he was told the points expired.

ABC Action News contacted International Hotel Group and asked about the missing points – now worth about $1,700 – and days later, the hotel group sent Layne a letter notifying him his points balance had been restored

Several hotel chains, including the International Hotel Group, have a policy that points expire after 12 months of no activity.

IHG said Layne’s email notification preference had been turned off, which is why he never received the warnings about his expiring points.

Layne said he never changed the email notification settings for his account.