A bit of background is in order first. A long time ago, there used to be a really fun frequent flyer program called US Dividend Miles, courtesy of the now assimilated US Airways. Awards were well priced, but far more importantly, they were manually processed, which means if you could convince an agent that "Barcelona" was a South-American sounding city, then you could easily fly New York – Barcelona – Mexico, for instance. No checks were performed, and quite literally, if you got an agent that knew that Hong Kong was actually on the other side of the world from Honduras, you hung up and called right back, and here you go, round-the-world itinerary with stops in South Africa, Australia, South America and Greenland for good measure. It was basically like bmi's program, although a little bit less egregious (with bmi, agents were geographically incompetent and lax, so you could book a short economy leg, append a long first class leg, pay the short economy fare, then send your boarding passes for the first class leg, earn 300% mileage flown on those, and suddenly find yourself with more miles than you started with. A true perpetuum mobile for miles, but that died when BA bought them).