Claim Your Missing United Miles for 2016 Flights

Dec 22, 2016

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Over the last few days we’ve covered how to claim missing miles for any American or Delta flights you might have taken in 2016. That leaves United, which has differing rules for the MileagePlus consumer program and its PerksPlus business program.

United MileagePlus

As long as you were already a member of the MileagePlus program when you took your trip, United allows claims for missing mileage up to 12 months after the flight, which follows the lead of most of the other major frequent flyer programs.

To request missing miles, you’ll first need to log in to your MileagePlus account. Then you can use United’s Request Flight Credit page to enter your United or Star Alliance partner ticket number, which can be found on either your boarding pass or ticket receipt.


If United can find your ticket in its records — which should be the case with most flights with the carrier — that’s all you’ll need. However, if your flight was on a partner or United can’t find your info, you’ll have to enter the rest of the details of your flight, including airline, flight number, date and cities.

For those who aren’t already members of the MileagePlus program, United has an interesting policy that differs somewhat from the other legacy airlines. Customers can request credit for flights up to 30 days prior to joining MileagePlus without charge, but if you flew United before that, you can also credit flights from up to six months prior to enrolling in MileagePlus by paying a $50 service fee.

Whether this is a good deal depends on what kind of flights you took during that six-month period, but it might be worth considering. Obviously, the better choice is to have already joined the program before flying, in which case adding these old flights would be free.

Additionally, only United or United Express flights can be credited retroactively prior to enrollment in MileagePlus — Star Alliance partner flights can’t be credited retroactively at all, even with a fee. So regardless of whether you had any United flights in 2016, make sure to join MileagePlus now if you aren’t already a member.

United PerksPlus

If you own a business, you may also be eligible to join United’s PerksPlus program, which is separate from the main MileagePlus program.

The revenue requirement to join PerksPlus is the highest of any of the legacy airlines. US-based businesses need to have a tax ID, 5 eligible employee travelers and spend $25,000 on United, Lufthansa or ANA flights in a 12-month period. If your business hasn’t spent that much in the last 12 months but expects to do so going forward, you can join now but just won’t be able to redeem any points until you’ve spent at least $5,000 over three consecutive months.

Flights in PerksPlus are credited either based on the individual employee MileagePlus accounts, or by having the company’s travel agent add a unique company designator (called a Tour Code) to tickets. If you register your employees and their MileagePlus numbers with PerksPlus, your business should receive credit automatically for their United travel.

The PerksPlus terms and conditions do not state whether credit is offered retroactively for flights, but a PerksPlus representative reached by phone stated that retroactive credit was not permitted at all. The terms and conditions do indicate that in the event of disputes regarding qualifying revenue needed to participate in the program, United will consider requests for credit up to six months after travel activity. But this does not appear to include actual points credit.

In any case, even for retroactive qualifying revenue, United does not offer a convenient online method of requesting credit. Instead, requests must be made in writing and United may request proof of travel, including ticket receipts and boarding passes. Credit will not be considered for any flights taken before joining the PerksPlus program.

It’s a little odd that United has such stringent requirements on retroactive credit for the business program, especially since Delta and American offer generous credit policies. But clearly, if your business is a member of PerksPlus, it’s vital to make sure the appropriate MileagePlus number or Tour Code is included ahead of time on every ticket.

For more information on the United PerksPlus program, read “Earning Miles with Airline Business Frequent Flyer Programs.”

Featured image courtesy of BriYYZ via Wikimedia Commons.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.