But, what about the points?

In most businesses, employees who travel are allowed to keep their earned frequent flier miles and points. Government jobs can be a little different. Often, agencies require employees to apply their accumulated travel benefits to future government travel. For sure, Santa Clara County in California is one of the latter.

It seems the director of their county child support services, John Vartanian, developed a scheme whereby when traveling, he would put all employee charges on his own personal credit card. That’s for his travels as well as others traveling with him. That way, all the hotel points would be credited to him personally, not to mention the additional points earned from the credit card use itself. Then he ‘neglected’ to turn these points over to his government agency, contrary to policy.

Alas, Vartanian was not caught by a county audit. No, it was revealed by a local TV investigative reporter when a co-worker became suspicious. According to the report, he personally kept all the points for over $55,000 in charges. Last month he was suspended from his job and last week he was fired.

With extreme disappointment, they are leaving BoardingArea readers unsatisfied. Many questions remain but here are a few:

  • Just how many points were earned, and where?
  • Did Mr. Vartanian have elite status with any hotel?
  • What credit card did he use to charge these purchases?
  • Did he take advantage of all the available promotions?
  • Was he skilled at churning cards to max out his points?
  • Did he ever status match to another hotel so he could take advantage of Hotel B’s promos?

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  1. Haha, maybe true but the point (no pun intended) is we don’t know how many points he earned for his $55K. For Hilton properties, for example, that could be over 600,000 points, not counting signup bonuses. Inquiring minds still want to know.

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