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Missing miles? Retroactive mileage credit policies of 20+ airline programs

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This article was last updated Jan 06, 2016, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

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If you’re trying to hit elite status with your favorite airline, or are saving up for an award, you know that every mile matters, and if you’ve come up short for last year, there’s still time to claim credit for flights that didn’t hit your account.

Most major programs give you up to a year to claim flight credit.

But if you’re new to a program, and just enrolled, the rules can be more restrictive. Some like Delta SkyMiles® and American AAdvantage® only let you credit flights up to 30 days before you enrolled, while others like Southwest Rapid Rewards let you claim up to a full year before you enrolled, which lets you catch up quickly.

Don’t double dip. Remember that requesting credit for a flight that you’ve already received credit for in another program is against the rules of most frequent flier programs and can lead to your account being shut down. So if you flew a United flight and credited it to Lufthansa Miles and More, don’t fill a missing mile request to credit it to your United MileagePlus® account.

Here’s a rundown of the policies for all U.S. programs and many major non-U.S. programs, with links to the forms where you can claim credit.

U.S. Airlines

Alaska MileagePlan

  • Member before the flight: Up to 12 months after the flight (though flights 11-12 months past can only be credited by contacting Customer Care). Partner flights can only be requested up to 6-9 months from the travel date, and dates vary by partner airline.
  • Not a member before the flight: Up to 6 months after the flight.

American AAdvantage

  • Member before the flight: Up to 12 months after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Up to 30 days after the flight.

Delta SkyMiles

  • Member before the flight: Up to 9 months after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Up to 30 days after the flight.

Frontier Early Returns

  • Member before the flight: Up 180 days after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Up 180 days after the flight.

Hawaiian Miles

  • Member before the flight: Up 120 days after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Unclear.

JetBlue True Blue

  • Member before the flight: Up to 364 days after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Up to 364 days after the flight.

Southwest RapidRewards

  • Member before the flight: Up to 12 months after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Up to 12 months after the flight – even if you weren’t a member at the time of the flight.

Spirit FreeSpirit

  • Member before the flight: Up 30 days after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Up 30 days after the flight.

United MileagePlus

  • Member before the flight: Up to 12 months after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Up to 30 days after the flight. Or for $50 you can credit flights more than 30 days and up to 6 months before you enrolled.

Virgin America Elevate

  • Member before the flight: Up 12 months after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Up 30 days after the flight.

Non-U.S. Airlines

Air Canada Aeroplan

  • Member before the flight: Up 11 months after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Not possible.

Air France / KLM Flying Blue

  • Member before the flight: Up 6 months after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Up to 6 months after the flight.

Alitalia MilleMiglia

  • Member before the flight: Up 4 months after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Unclear.

ANA Mileage Club

  • Member before the flight: Up 6 months after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Up to 6 months after the flight via ‘retroactive registration.’

Avianca LifeMiles

  • Member before the flight: Up 12 months after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Unclear.

British Airways Avios

  • Member before the flight: Up 6 months after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Up 3 months after the flight.

Emirates SkyWards

  • Member before the flight: Up 6 months after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Up 2 months after the flight.

Etihad Guest

  • Member before the flight: Up 6 months after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Up 3 months after the flight.

Korean SkyPass

  • Member before the flight: Up 12 months after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Not possible.

Lufthansa Miles & More

  • Member before the flight: Up 6 months after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Unclear.

Qantas Frequent Flyer

  • Member before the flight: Up 6 months after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Up 30 days after the flight.

Qatar Privilege

  • Member before the flight: Up 180 days after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Up 30 days after the flight.

Singapore KrisFlyer

  • Member before the flight: Up 6 months after the flight, though credit can be denied if there is no evidence you provided your member number before the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Up 6 months after the flight, only for Singapore Airlines operated flights.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

  • Member before the flight: Up 6 months after the flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Up 6 months after the flight.

The above offers and/or promotions may have since changed, expired, or is no longer available.


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