How I Found Two ‘Lost’ SkyMiles Accounts and Recovered 20,000 SkyMiles
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.
I typically keep a near-zero inbox, and am vigilant about unsubscribing from newsletters I don’t need, including most non-itinerary messages from airlines. So the other day, I was surprised to see an email from Delta that congratulated me on having 10,000 SkyMiles.
As soon as I opened the email, I knew what had happened: The message was addressed to a former version of me, prior to a legal name change several years ago, and had been forwarded from an old email address. The name difference also explained why I hadn’t found my previous Delta SkyMiles account number when my company last tried to book a Delta flight for me, which resulted in a new SkyMiles account.
I rarely fly Delta, so my first thought when weighing the merits of combining my accounts was, “I wonder how long I have before my SkyMiles expire?” Fortunately, a quick search of TPG revealed that Delta SkyMiles never expire — one saving grace for an airline currency that fluctuates wildly in value. (Another good reason to combine accounts would have been to aggregate my record of lifetime miles flown, although my measly 40,000 miles aren’t getting me close to anything.)
I picked up the phone and called Delta’s help desk. I recently status-matched to Delta Platinum Medallion, so my phone call was handled promptly and professionally in record time. The agent asked me for both versions of my legal name, and the SkyMiles account number listed on the email I had received, as well as my current SkyMiles account number. I also gave her my cell phone number, which has remained consistent, as well as my current and past mailing addresses — which have changed, on average, once a year for the last 10 years.
After running a search on her end, the agent informed me that she had found not one, but two additional accounts in my name with corresponding contact information. She proceeded to combine all of the accounts for me after I told her which account number I wanted to keep. A few days later, I received an email summarizing all of the actions she had taken on my behalf:
Just for good measure, the Delta account management system also sent me an automated update notification:
All in all, I found the process of working with Delta’s customer service to be a very pleasant surprise. Getting a hold of a live person who could help was very straightforward, and she was prompt and efficient. Furthermore, both her follow-up as well as the automated notification system kept me informed and updated throughout the process, which I appreciated very much. And, thanks to her efforts, as well as that random email which made it through my stringent inbox filters, I now have 27,275 SkyMiles in an account which previously had 1,500 just last week. Thank you, Delta and Nora!
Moving forward, I’ll definitely be more diligent about keeping track of my airline accounts than I was 10 years ago. I’ve updated my personal spreadsheet of travel-related accounts, and will continue to rely on my AwardWallet account to help me keep all of my expiration dates handy.
If you think you might have had an old SkyMiles account in the past, it’s definitely worth picking up the phone and calling Delta even if you don’t receive a stray email like I did. Customer service representatives can search for your past accounts as long as you provide relevant identifying information such as past addresses, names, and similar identifying data.
Featured image of an Airbus A350 courtesy of Delta.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.