How to Earn Miles If Your Flight Is Cancelled
Frequent flyers know that air travel doesn't always go according to plan.
Delays due to maintenance or weather, flight cancellations, and detours can disrupt plans for hours or even days.
This can result in missed meetings, personal events, and additional downtime that you didn't expect. But there is another layer to interrupt travel that can cause a problem.
If you plan to accumulate miles, especially those that count toward elite status, delays can be challenging.
Only travel-savvy travelers know to pay attention to the correct amounts of mileage to post to their accounts after a trip.
Many people forget to accumulate miles when they reach their destination.
You may be losing a lot of forgotten miles by not following the airlines after the trip.
Especially at the end of the calendar year, it is always advisable to do a quick summary of the flights taken to make sure everything is credited correctly.
You may find that there are some flights where you could have earned more than you think.
If your travel plans change along the way, here's how to make sure you earn the miles you had in six possible scenarios.
We hope you enjoy watching this video about What Do You Do When Your Flight in Cancelled
His flight was delayed and he was rescheduled on the same airline and route
In this case, your expected mileage balance must still post correctly.
As a precaution, keep a record of your boarding pass and ticket receipt until the miles are credited to your account.
Changes to your trip have caused you to be rescheduled on the same airline with a longer route (perhaps a different connecting city).
Since most airlines award miles based on dollars spent, you will earn the same number of redeemable miles.
However, if you were shipped through a different connecting city and had to fly a greater distance, you are generally eligible to earn more elite qualifying miles based on where you flew (if you are trying to achieve elite status).
Save your boarding passes and ticket receipt to ensure new routes are posted correctly. Otherwise, please contact us by email, phone, or social media to request the correct amount.
The travel changes caused him to be rescheduled on the same airline, albeit on a shorter route
This can be disappointing if you have elite qualifying miles to reach the next level of status.
In this case, the miles will likely count against the route you actually flew.
However, if you keep your boarding pass and ticket receipt, you can request “original route credit” by phone, email, or social media.
This language is important because agents won't realize you've been redirected at first until they take a closer look at the reservation.
You are still eligible to earn elite qualifying miles based on the route you originally booked.
Keeping as much of your original and new flight documentation as possible will help you earn the correct number of miles you expected to receive.
Your flight has been diverted
In that case, you would only accumulate miles on the original itinerary, despite the unplanned stop.
If an airline allows you to disembark and book another flight, keep your boarding passes because you will be able to claim miles for the actual flights you have flown.
Travel changes have caused you to rebook on a different airline
This is where things get tricky. Airlines can reschedule passengers from another airline to get you where you need to go.
While convenient, this can be disappointing if you are looking to earn miles with your preferred carrier.
Please keep your original ticket receipt and contact the airline after the trip to obtain your "Original Route Credit".
You will be able to dive twice and earn miles with the new airline, as well as the one you originally booked the trip with.
The only exception to this rule is Delta, which generally has special checks to reject SkyMiles for those who have changed reservations on another airline.
Travel changes disrupted his itinerary and the entire purpose of his trip
If you didn't fly, you wouldn't earn miles, although an airline must issue a refund if the delay or cancellation is within its control (a maintenance issue, for example).
If you have already started traveling (let's say you took the first flight of a two-flight itinerary) and a flight is delayed or canceled to the point where the entire purpose of your trip (an important meeting, wedding, or funeral is lost ), you can request what is known as a “vain trip”.
First, airlines will try to redirect you to another airline or provide ground transportation, but if that is not possible, "travel in vain" is an option.
This means that the airline will take you back to your point of origin at its own expense and will refund your ticket once your trip is no longer necessary.
This only works in very specific situations and not all agents will know or be able to help (telephone reservation agents are usually the best contact in this situation).
Here is an example. Fly from Boston to Savannah via Philadelphia on American.
His Boston to Philadelphia is going according to plan, but his flight to Savannah has been canceled for maintenance and there is no other option to take him out for dinner that day.
You can request assistance for a "trip in vain", which means that the airline has to send you back to your origin and refund the price of the ticket because the problem was theirs.
The language of this policy is often found in an airline's conditions of carriage, but the policy is unclear.
For example, here is the Delta version. American's contract of carriage does not specifically address wasted travel but does mention delay and cancellation policies.
Agents will review these decisions on a case-by-case basis, but it's always worth a try.
If you receive a refund, you will not accumulate miles, although if your frequent flyer number is already registered in your account, it is likely that a few miles will simply show up.
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