Claim Your Missing American Miles for 2016 Flights

Dec 19, 2016

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Time for another end-of-year housekeeping task! Most airlines allow you to retroactively credit flights to your mileage account up to 12 months after you’ve flown them. So if you’ve taken any flights on domestic airlines in 2016, now’s a great time to go back through your tickets and confirm that everything has been properly credited.

For folks just starting out in the points and miles game, the good news is that nowadays many airlines even let you retroactively credit some flights you took before signing up for their frequent flyer program. The bad news is you have much less time to credit flights if you haven’t previously enrolled in the program, so it’s important to get on top of it.

Today we’ll take a look at the rules for retroactively crediting American Airlines flights, both in the primary AAdvantage loyalty program and the Business Extra program.

American AAdvantage

American allows you to request credit for missing flights up to 12 months after flying. The carrier requests that you wait at least 15 days after flying before requesting missing miles, but if for any reason you forgot to include your frequent flyer number on your ticket, you can go ahead and submit a claim right away.

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To request AAdvantage miles for flights you’ve already flown, you can submit your ticket information using American’s “Request flight miles” form on its website. Keep in mind you’ll need both your flight and ticket number, so be sure to have those on hand. You can usually find both on either your receipt or boarding pass.

You can submit up to four missing flights for credit at once, and you can include companions who flew with you as well — miles for them will be credited to their own AAdvantage account. Remember that you can also credit Oneworld partner airline flights to AAdvantage using this same form if you haven’t already credited them elsewhere.

Now, if you’re not already a member of the AAdvantage program, you’ve got a much shorter window. You only have 30 days after your flight to sign up and request the miles. Sign up for the AAdvantage program on American’s website and then use the “Request flight miles” page to ask for mileage credit.

Remember that American changed its mileage-earning structure on August 1 of this year, so your mileage will be calculated differently depending on when you flew. Flights before August 1 will be credited using the old distance-based system, while mileage for flights after that date will be based on the airfare.

Business Extra

Separate from the main AAdvantage program, American also administers a loyalty program for business customers called Business Extra.

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While you might think this program doesn’t apply to you, keep in mind you can be a sole proprietor with just one additional traveling employee to be eligible, and there’s no annual revenue requirement for businesses based in the United States. On top of that, flights credited to AAdvantage can also be credited for Business Extra points, so this is a terrific opportunity to double-dip.

Just like with the AAdvantage program, you can retroactively credit flights to your Business Extra account up to 12 months after the flight date. Business Extra makes crediting multiple flights even easier than AAdvantage, since you can submit up to 15 flights at once. Sign into your Business Extra account and use the “Flight Credit Request” page to enter the ticket number and passenger details for each flight.

Unfortunately, flights flown before joining Business Extra are not eligible for retroactive credit, so you’re out of luck on past activity. But if you’re planning on crediting future flights, make sure to enroll soon so you don’t miss out on any future points.

Business Extra only allows credit for flights flown on American, British Airways or Iberia, so other Oneworld partner flights aren’t eligible.

If you want to learn more about the Business Extra program — including how points are earned and redeemed — check out our post, “Earning Miles with Airline Business Frequent Flyer Programs,” for all the details.

Will you be requesting credit for missing miles or points with AAdvantage or Business Extra?

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