Claim Your Missing Delta Miles for 2016 Flights
With the end of the year quickly approaching, this week we're looking at how you can claim any uncredited miles from flights flown in 2016. Yesterday we covered the rules at American. Today it's Delta's turn, and as we did with American, we'll review the rules for both the primary SkyMiles program and the business-oriented Delta SkyBonus.
Let's get the bad news out of the way first. Unlike most of its US competitors, with Delta, even if you're already a SkyMiles member, you don't get up to 12 months to request retroactive SkyMiles credit. Instead, Delta's cutoff is 9 months. So if you had flights in January, February or March of this year and didn't get the miles, you're probably out of luck.
But if you've been on a Delta flight since April and haven't seen any SkyMiles hit your account, now's the time to state your claim. Fortunately, Delta makes it relatively easy.
Normally if you include your SkyMiles number on your reservation, your miles will credit within 7 days of the flight. However, if you forgot to include your account number or the miles simply didn't show up, you can submit your request for missing miles at Delta's website using the "Request Mileage Credit" page.
To file your request, you'll need your SkyMiles number and your ticket number from the flight, which appears on your receipt or boarding pass. If you can't find your old boarding pass, email receipts from Delta or your online travel agency should contain ticket numbers, so it may be worth a search through your inbox.
Delta will also accept requests for mileage credit on flights flown by its SkyTeam partners during the same 9-month timeframe, and SkyTeam recently began to implement alliance-wide retro-crediting online. So if you apply for credit for a partner flight, it should show up as quickly as a regular Delta flight.
If you've never joined SkyMiles before but want to try and credit a past Delta flight, you won't be able to go back 9 full months, but you can get mileage for flights in the last 30 days. You'll need to enroll in the SkyMiles program first, then put in your request for the old flight.
Just like its Big 3 brethren American and United, Delta runs a separate loyalty program for business customers, called Delta SkyBonus.
SkyBonus exists alongside the consumer SkyMiles program, so if your business is eligible for an account, you can double-dip on every one of your Delta flights by crediting to both SkyMiles and SkyBonus.
When it comes to flight revenue requirements for a SkyBonus account, Delta falls somewhere between American and United. To be eligible for a SkyBonus account, your company will need to spend a minimum of $5,000 in tickets each year and have at least 5 unique employee travelers. Note that in the past Delta has been relatively aggressive in closing the SkyBonus accounts of businesses who don't meet these requirements.
Once you're a SkyBonus member, to apply for credit on already-flown tickets, just log in and submit your request via the "Add Ticket" page in your SkyBonus account.
Delta is slightly more generous with SkyBonus than it is with SkyMiles when it comes to retroactive credit. Instead of a 9-month window, Delta allows you to request SkyBonus credit up to a full 12 months back for completed flights. But it doesn't allow any retroactive credit for flights your business has purchased or flown before enrollment, so if you're eligible to join SkyBonus, make sure you do it before booking your next Delta trip.
The SkyBonus program itself is somewhat complex, but you'll find much more information about it in our post, "Earning Miles with Airline Business Frequent Flyer Programs."