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Missing Miles? Retroactive Mileage Credit Policies of 20+ Airline Programs

Missing Miles? Retroactive Mileage Credit Policies of 20+ Airline Programs

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This article was last updated Nov 19, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

If you booked a flight without your frequent flyer number — or if you flew on an airline before you signed up for its loyalty program — you may still be able to get credit for those unclaimed air miles.

Many airlines offer retroactive credit for flights you’ve already boarded — even if you signed up for that airline’s loyalty program long after you returned. You can also request retroactive credit for missing miles that should have already appeared in your account.

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Some airlines are more generous than others, though, in recognizing unclaimed flights. Southwest, for example, will give you credit for up to a year’s worth of flights, even if you weren’t a Rapid Rewards member when you traveled. American, on the other hand, will only give new AAdvantage® members credit for flights that were taken within a month of their enrollment. Meanwhile, other airlines, such as Alaska Airlines and Air Canada, don’t offer credit for flights you took before becoming a frequent flyer at all.

Here’s a closer look at the policies of some of the most popular domestic and international airlines.

U.S. Airlines

Alaska Mileage Plan

  • Member before the flight: You can get credit for any domestic travel that you’ve taken within 11 months of submitting a request or any international travel that you’ve taken within up to 12 months (dependent on airline) of filing a request.
  • Not a member before the flight: You’re out of luck: Alaska Airlines doesn’t award credit for flights that you’ve taken before becoming a MileagePlan member.
  • How to get credit: Take a screenshot of your ticket receipt and boarding pass. Then fill out this online form. If your partner flight isn’t eligible for online requests, send a copy of your request, your passenger receipt and any eligible boarding passes to [email protected] or to: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. P.O. Box 13670, Des Moines, WA 98198-1009. Wait at least seven days after Alaska Airlines flights and at least 14 days after partner flights before submitting your request.

American AAdvantage

  • Member before the flight: You can get credit for any flight you’ve taken within 12 months of submitting a mileage request.
  • Not a member before the flight: You can only get credit for flights taken within a month of becoming an AAdvantage member. Those flights must have also occurred sometime within the past year.
  • How to get credit: You can submit a request online for American Airlines and partner flights. Wait at least three days after your flight to submit your form. If you’re requesting credit for miles you earned from other partners, such as hotel, dining or credit card partners, you’ll need to contact those partners directly. American Airlines has created a contact information sheet for non-airline partners.

Delta SkyMiles

  • Member before the flight: You can request credit for unclaimed flights within nine months of travel.
  • Not a member before the flight: You can request credit for any eligible flights that you flew within nine months of opening a SkyMiles account.
  • How to get credit: For Delta operated and partner flights, you can file your request online. However, wait at least 48 hours after a flight before filing a request. You should just need your ticket number. You can also request miles for non-airline partners online. However, you may have less time to do it. For example, if you’re requesting mileage credit for a hotel you booked through Delta.com, you’ll have just six months to file your request.

Frontier Miles

  • Member before the flight: You have 180 days (roughly six months) after you fly on Frontier Airlines to request retroactive mileage credit.
  • Not a member before the flight: You can request for any qualifying flights you completed within 180 days of becoming a Frontier Miles member.
  • How to get credit: You can fill out an online form to request your unclaimed miles. Frontier allows you to upload screenshots of tickets or other evidence. However, you should just need your ticket number, Frontier Miles number and confirmation code to get credit for your flight. Wait at least three days after you flight, though, to request missing miles.

Hawaiian Miles

  • Member before the flight: Hawaiian gives you up to 120 days (around four months) to request credit for a past flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: Even if you’re a new member, you can still request credit for flights taken within 120 days of submitting a request.
  • How to get credit: Wait at least five days before submitting a request. You can submit your request online for Hawaiian flights. However, you’ll need to contact travel partners for any unclaimed partner miles. If you’re missing miles from Hawaiian’s shopping mall, contact the Hawaiian Miles service center.

JetBlue True Blue

  • Member before the flight: One of the more flexible airlines when it comes to retroactive flight credits, JetBlue gives you up to a year after you travel to claim True Blue miles.
  • Not a member before the flight: Even if you just joined the True Blue program, you can still request credit for any qualifying JetBlue flight you took within the past 12 months.
  • How to request mileage: You can submit a claim online or call customer service at 1-800-538-2583. Wait at least two weeks after your flight, though, to request your miles. It can take up to 14 days for points to post to your account.

Southwest RapidRewards

  • Member before the flight: Southwest is also generous with the amount of time it gives Rapid Rewards members to claim a past flight: You can claim retroactive mileage credit for any Southwest flight you’ve taken within the past 12 months.
  • Not a member before the flight: New Rapid Rewards members can also request credit for flights taken anytime within the past year.
  • How to get credit: Submit a claim online by logging into your Rapid Rewards account and clicking “My Rapid Rewards” and then “Manage.” Click “Request past points,” then enter your confirmation number to find your eligible flight.

Spirit Free Spirit

  • Member before the flight: Don’t wait: Spirit only awards retroactive mileage credit for flights taken within 30 days of your request.
  • Not a member before the flight: Even if you just joined, Spirit Airlines will still allow you to apply for mileage credit within 30 days of flying on Spirit Airlines.
  • How to get credit: You can request credit online by logging into your account and clicking “Request Mileage Credit.” Mileage can take up to 10 days to post to your account, though, so if you’re just missing miles, you may want to wait to submit a request. If you’re missing miles from some kind of a promotion, submit a complaint and include relevant information, such as your Free Spirit Account number and the promotion you enrolled in.

United MileagePlus

  • Member before the flight: You have up to a year after you travel to submit a claim for a qualifying flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: If you’re a new member, you can only request credit for flights taken within 30 days of your enrollment — unless you’re willing to pay a fee. For $50, you can request credit for flights taken within six months of becoming a MileagePlus member.
  • How to get credit: You can request credit online after logging into your MileagePlus account. For United operated flights, you should just need your ticket number. However, you may need to upload additional documents for partner flights. Wait at least five days, though, to submit your claim if you’re waiting on missing miles. If you’re a new MileagePlus member and want to purchase credit for older flights, contact the MileagePlus Service center.

Non-U.S. Airlines

Air Canada Aeroplan

  • Member before the flight: You can request retroactive credit within 11 months of traveling on Air Canada or a partner flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: You’re out of luck. Air Canada only allows you to claim credit for flights you took as an Aeroplan member.
  • How to get credit: You can request credit online after logging into your Aeroplan account. For Air Canada and partner flights, wait at least eight days for missing miles to show up in your account. For non-airline partners, you may have to contact them directly. You may also have less time to claim your miles.

Air France / KLM Flying Blue

  • Member before the flight: You have up to six months after your departure to claim miles on an Air France or partner flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: You can still claim miles within six months of your flight, even if you weren’t yet a Flying Blue member.
  • How to get credit: You’ll need to wait at least two weeks after a flight to claim any missing miles. You can claim your miles online. However, you’ll need to provide your travel details, including your ticket number or booking reference.

ANA Mileage Club

  • Member before the flight: You can request retroactive credit for an international ANA flight within six months of your travel.
  • Not a member before the flight: You can only request retroactive credit for flights taken after you become an ANA member.
  • How to get credit: You can apply for retroactive credit online, through email or by mailing your request to ANA. Wait at least three days after your flight to request mileage credit. Also, be sure to hold onto your documentation, such as your boarding pass and receipt. ANA may ask for that information when verifying whether you qualify for credit.

Alitalia MilleMiglia

  • Member before the flight: You can claim credit for any travel you undertook within four months of your request.
  • Not a member before the flight: Even if you just became a MilleMiglia member, you can still claim retroactive credit for any flight you took within the past four months.
  • How to get credit: You can file a mileage request online for Alitalia flights. If you flew with an airline partner or are seeking credit for non-airline partners, you can email a request to [email protected], fax a request or mail a request to MilleMiglia.

Avianca LifeMiles

  • Member before the flight: Avianca offers existing LifeMiles members one of the most generous retroactive credit policies amongst international airlines. You have up to a year after your travel to claim your miles.
  • Not a member before the flight: Avianca doesn’t allow you to claim credit for flights you undertook before you became a LifeMiles member, though.
  • How to get credit: You can file a mileage request online  for Avianca flights. If your miles are missing, you can also send a message, with your LifeMiles number, to [email protected].

British Airways Avios

  • Member before the flight: You have up to six months to claim your Avios.
  • Not a member before the flight: You can claim any British Airways flights you took within three months of opening your Avios account.
  • How to get credit: You can file a mileage request online. However, you’ll need your ticket number handy. If you don’t have your ticket number, you can call British Airways customer service and request mileage over the phone.

Emirates SkyWards

  • Member before the flight: You have up to six months after you travel to claim retroactive mileage credit.
  • Not a member before the flight: You can claim credit for flights you’ve taken within two months of becoming an Emirates SkyWards member.
  • How to get credit: You can file a claim online. However, be sure you have supporting documentation to back it up. Emirates may ask for boarding passes and transaction documents as well as your ticket number and flight information.

Etihad Guest

  • Member before the flight: You can claim credit for any flights you’ve taken within six months of your request.
  • Not a member before the flight: You can get credit for flights taken up to three months before.
  • How to get credit: You can file a claim online. However, Eitihad may request additional documentation, so hold onto your boarding pass.

Korean SkyPass

  • Member before the flight: You have up to a year after you board your flight to request mileage credit.
  • Not a member before the flight: You can’t claim credit for flights you took before becoming a SkyPass member.
  • How to get credit: You can file a claim online or visit a Korean Air office with your boarding pass and receipt.

Lufthansa Miles & More

  • Member before the flight: You can request retroactive mileage credit within six months of your flight.
  • Not a member before the flight: You still have six months after your flight to claim mileage credit, even if you weren’t yet a member.
  • How to get credit: You can file a claim online. However, wait at least seven days after a flight to submit a claim. Also, hold onto your documentation, such as your boarding pass and receipt, until your miles have posted to your account.

Qantas Frequent Flyer

  • Member before the flight: You have up to 12 months to request retroactive credit.
  • Not a member before the flight: You can only request credit for flights taken within 30 days of becoming a Qantas Frequent Flyer.
  • How to get credit: You can file a claim online for Qantas flights. For partner flights, contact the partner directly.

Qatar Privilege

  • Member before the flight: You have up to 180 days (around six months) to claim your missing miles.
  • Not a member before the flight: You can request credit for any flight you’ve taken within 30 days of becoming a QMiles member.
  • How to get credit: You can file a claim online. You’ll need your flight information and ticket number.

Singapore KrisFlyer

  • Member before the flight: You can claim credit for flights taken within six months of your request.
  • Not a member before the flight: You also have six months to claim a flight, even if you weren’t yet a member.
  • How to get credit: You can file a claim online. However, wait before you file a request for missing miles: It can take up to a month for Singapore flights to get credited and up to eight weeks for partner trips to show up in your account.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

  • Member before the flight: You have up to six months to claim retroactive credit for past flights.
  • Not a member before the flight: You can also claim mileage credit for flights taken before you became a mileage club member, as long as the flight occurred within the past six months.
  • How to get credit: You can file a claim online. However, wait at least five days after your travel before submitting a claim. Also be sure to save your boarding pass and other evidence until the miles have posted to your account.

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