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How to claim missing American Airlines AAdvantage miles

Feb. 08, 2021
6 min read
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Have you taken a flight recently but noticed that no miles posted to your account? Maybe you forgot to include your frequent flyer number in your reservation.

Fortunately, 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 in the past year, now is a great time to go back through your tickets and confirm that everything has been properly credited.

For folks just starting in the points and miles game, the good news is that many airlines let you retroactively credit 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.

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

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How far back can you claim AA miles?

American allows you to request credit for missing flights up to 12 months after flying. The carrier requests that you wait at least three days after flying before requesting missing miles. However, 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.

Now, if you’re not already a member of the AAdvantage program, you’ve got a much shorter window. You only have six months to sign up and request the miles for an American Airlines flight or 30 days for a partner flight.

Related: Your ultimate guide to American Airlines AAdvantage

How to request missing AA miles online

Requesting missing miles online is very straightforward. All you'll need is your AAdvantage account number, ticket number and flight information.

To request AAdvantage miles for flights you’ve already flown, submit your ticket information using the “Request flight miles” form on American's website. You can usually find your ticket number on either your receipt or boarding pass.

You can use this form for missing miles for American Airlines and most partner airline flights. If you’re missing miles from a partner flight, be sure to review the individual carrier’s page as some, such as Iberia Express and Royal Jordanian, can’t be requested online.

American says that missing miles requests are resolved within 10 days for travel on American Airlines and 30 days for travel on partner airlines.

Related: How to earn miles in the American Airlines AAdvantage program

How to request missing miles from partners

As mentioned above, missing miles for partner airline flights can be requested using the same form as American Airlines flights. However, requesting missing miles for car rental, hotel or other non-airline partners is a bit more complicated.

For non-airline partners, including the AAdvantage dining program, you must contact the partner directly to request your miles. American offers this list of all its partners' contact information so you can get in touch directly and request your miles.

How to request missing Business Extra points

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

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. Plus, 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.

Related: How to use American Airlines Business Extra Points for free flights

Just like with the AAdvantage program, you can retroactively credit flights to your Business Extra account up to 12 months after the flight date. Unlike the main program, flights flown before joining Business Extra are not eligible for retroactive credit. So, if you’re planning on crediting future flights, make sure to enroll soon, so you don’t miss out on any future points.

To submit your request, sign in to your Business Extra account and use the “Flight Credit Request” page to enter the ticket number and passenger details for each flight. Business Extra makes crediting multiple flights even easier than AAdvantage since you can submit up to 15 flights at once online or even more via email. Business Extra only allows credit for flights flown on American, British Airways, Iberia, Finnair, Japan Airlines, or Qantas Airways, so other Oneworld partner flights aren’t eligible.

Related: Here’s how to get your points and miles back after they expire

Boosting your AA balance

Were your missing miles not enough to push you over the edge for an award redemption? You can quickly boost your American Airlines AAdvantage balance by adding one of these cards to your wallet:

The information for the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: Choosing the best credit card for American Airlines flyers

Bottom line

There's no need to worry if you forgot to include your AAdvantage number in your booking. Claiming missing miles retroactively is easy and can be done online with just a few clicks. Although existing AAdvantage members have some lenience when requesting retroactive flight credit, if you're new to the loyalty program and only joined after your flight, you'll want to request your miles as soon as possible.

Julian Kheel contributed to this story.

Screenshots courtesy of American Airlines.

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

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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
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  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases