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If I Take a Flight That Departs in 2013 and Returns In 2014, in Which Year Will My Miles Post?

by on October 6, 2013 · 4 comments

in Elite Status, Sunday Reader Questions, Video Blog Post

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TPG twitter follower Osuadam84 asks:

“If I take a flight that leaves the last week of December and comes back the first week of January, which year will my miles post to?”

I’ve actually been asked a similar question about overnight flights several times and it’s a really easy one.

The answer is you get credit for a flight in the year in which you take off, so if one leg of your itinerary is in 2013 and the other is in 2014, you’ll get 2013 mileage and elite credit for the flight that takes off in 2013, and 2014 mileage and elite credit for the flight that takes off in 2014. So even if you were flying on New Year’s Eve itself and landing on New Year’s Day, your flight would be credited to the old year. And for example, even if you travel and miss a day going to Sydney and the miles get posted in another year, they will be retroactively credited back to count for the year in which the flight took off.

Elite Status

When it comes to elite status, you get credit for a flight in the year in which you take off

When it comes to delays, I’ve found that mileage is still credited based on the scheduled flight time. So let’s say you were supposed to depart at 11:50pm on December 31st, and somehow your flight was delayed until 12:20am on January 1st, you would still get it credited for the prior year since that is when your flight was scheduled.

The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter when you land, just when you take off. For elite status purposes, January 1st is when the elite status clock restarts on most airlines and your elite-qualifying balance is set to zero, so try and get as many departures in this year as possible to hit the elite level you want.

Hopefully that answers your question and feel free to tweet me @thepointsguy if you have any more questions.

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  • Michael Rasmussen

    Given what you said in the previous paragraph I think the sentence should read “The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter when you land, just when you are scheduled to take off.”

    Though that is a bit overwrought.

  • Austin

    It’s (semi) rare, but say you’re flying from Tokyo to SF and the flight leaves the 1st but lands the 31st. What happens then? And you’re a USA based flyer if that makes a difference.

  • thepointsguy

    It’s when you take off – doesn’t matter when you land

  • http://www.facebook.com/bubbajoe.tbonemalone.1 BubbaJoe T-Bone Malone

    That would be a weird one, like JAL 2: take off at 12:05AM at Haneda on 1/1/14, arrive SFO 4:15PM on 12/31/14.

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