This is an introduction to how to retroactively request mileage credit on the major U.S. airlines. There are a variety of reasons one might want to retroactively request mileage credit. For instance:
- The miles from a flight you took do not appear in your frequent flyer account after a certain period of time (varies by airline, as described below).
- You register a frequent flyer account after a flight you take and would like to earn the miles from that flight.
- You did not add your frequent flyer account information to your reservation before your flight and would like to earn the miles from that flight.
In order to minimize the chances of needing to retroactively request mileage credit, register for a frequent flyer account before your flight – preferably before you book the ticket – and add the account information to your reservation. This can be done online or at the check-in desk at the airport. Note that you can choose to credit the miles from your flight to one of the airline’s partners – check out this guide for which airline partner to choose, and note that you will need to register for a frequent flyer account on that airline.
On each airline, there are also ways to earn miles without flying – we will review how to retroactively request mileage credit in these cases as well.
Also, note that you cannot earn miles for award tickets, so there is no need to request mileage credit for them.
- 1. United Frequent Flyer Accounts
- 2. American Frequent Flyer Accounts
- 3. Delta Frequent Flyer Accounts
- 4. Alaska Airlines Frequent Flyer Accounts
- 5. Southwest Airlines Frequent Flyer Accounts
1. United Frequent Flyer Accounts
1.1 Flights on United
Miles from flights on United typically post to United frequent flyer accounts within 48 hours. If they have not posted after five days, you can submit a request for the miles by submitting your 13-digit ticket number at this link. You can find the ticket number on the e-ticket receipt email you received when your ticket was issued (not the email confirming your ticket purchase). Ticket numbers for United flights usually begin with 016.
It’s important to note that if you register a United frequent flyer account after your flight, you must request the miles for that flight within 30 days of the flight in order for the miles to be credited to that account. If it has been between 30 days and 6 months since the flight, you can request mileage credit for a fee of $50. Whether or not this is worth it depends on how you personally value United miles.
1.2 Flights on Partner Airlines
For flights on Star Alliance or other partner airlines, miles will usually post to United frequent flyer accounts within 15 days after the flight. If the miles have not posted after this point, you can request mileage credit by submitting your 13-digit ticket number, same as above. One exception is intra-Japan flights on ANA, as these do not have a ticket number. For these flights, simply enter 2050000000000. If the system cannot locate your partner airline ticket, it will request other information – all of this information can be found on your boarding pass, so we advise holding onto your boarding pass for some time after your flight.
You can earn United miles from rides on Amtrak. These can also be requested once it has been more than 15 days since your trip. To do so, you’ll need to send a message through this Contact MileagePlus link; choose “Mileage Credit” as the subject. You will need to submit your ticket receipt and the ticket itself.
1.4 Hotels, Rental Cars and Other Partners
For hotels and rental cars, mileage credit requests are accepted after eight weeks. This link provides information on how to request credit from each hotel and rental car partner. Requesting mileage credit for a rental car or hotel reservation can even reactivate expired United miles in your account! If the reservation is from before the date your miles expired and the miles for the reservation have not already posted to your United account, requesting mileage credit for the reservation will reactivate the expired miles.
2. American Frequent Flyer Accounts
2.1 Flights on American
Miles from flights on American typically post to American frequent flyer accounts within 2 business days. If they do not, you can request mileage credit by filling out the form on this link. Note that you can only request credit for flights taken within the past 12 months. Conveniently, you can request mileage credit for other passengers on your itinerary on the form as well rather than needing to fill out a separate form for each passenger; the miles will be credited to their American frequent flyer accounts. If you do not have an American frequent flyer account, you can register one to earn mileage credit for flights taken within the prior 30 days.
2.2 Flights on Partner Airlines
You can request mileage credit for flights on OneWorld partners using the same link as above. However, you can only request mileage credit for certain airlines this way. If the airline is not on the list below, you will need to mail or fax (1-817-963-7882) your ticket receipt and boarding pass to request credit.
2.3 Hotels, Rental Cars, and Other Partners
See this link for how to request mileage credit for each of American’s non-airline partners.
3. Delta Frequent Flyer Accounts
3.1 Flights on Delta
Miles from flights on Delta typically post to Delta frequent flyer accounts within 24 hours. If they do not, you can request mileage credit through this link (you will need to log into your account). You will need your ticket number – the field has space for 13-digit ticket numbers, but if your ticket number is 14 digits, simply leave off the last digit. Note that mileage credit can only be requested for flights taken within the past 9 months, different from United and American. If you had not registered a Delta frequent flyer account before your flight, you can register one and request mileage credit for flights taken in the prior 30 days.
3.2 Flights on Partner Airlines
Miles from flights taken on SkyTeam partner airlines usually post to Delta frequent flyer accounts within 7 business days. If they do not, you can request mileage credit using the same link as above.
4. Alaska Airlines Frequent Flyer Accounts
4.1 Flights on Alaska
Miles from flights on Alaska typically credit to Alaska frequent flyer accounts within 7 business days. If they do not, you can request mileage credit by filling out the form on this link. You can request mileage credit using your 13-digit e-ticket number, or, if you do not have it, other information about your flight (date, route, etc.) will suffice. If you happen to have your boarding pass accessible when you request the mileage credit, all of the necessary information can be found on it. Mileage credit requests can only be submitted for flights taken in the past 11 months, and, unlike you must have registered a frequent flyer account prior to your flight.
4.2 Flights on Partner Airlines
Miles from flights on partner airlines typically post within 14 business days. If they do not, you can use the same link as above to request mileage credit. If this does not work, you can send your receipt and boarding pass to Alaska Airlines either by mail or email ([email protected]). The amount of time after the flight in which mileage credit can be requested varies by partner airline, as follows:
- British Airways – 6 months
- Air France and KLM – 9 months
- Other partners (American, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Qantas, etc.) – 12 months.
4.3 Hotels, Rental Cars, and Other Partners
Instructions for how to request mileage credit from other partners can be found on this page. Mileage credit requests for Avis, Alamo, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National and Thrifty can be submitted through the given rental car company’s website. Similarly, mileage credit requests for Hilton, Fairmont, La Quinta, and can be submitted through their websites. To request mileage credit for all other hotel partners, you must email your hotel receipt to [email protected]
5. Southwest Airlines Frequent Flyer Accounts
5.1 Flights on Southwest
Miles from flights on Southwest typically credit to Southwest frequent flyer accounts within 48 hours, and mileage credit requests can only be submitted after this period. Requesting mileage credit on Southwest is simple. After logging into your Southwest account, click “My Account.” Within the “My Account” page, click on “Manage Account” and then “Request past points.” Submit your flight confirmation number on the page to request mileage credit. Alternatively, after you log in, try this link to open the “Request past points” page directly.
Southwest does not have any airline partners.
5.2. Hotels, Rental Cars, and Other Partners
Though Southwest does not have airline partners, they do have hotel, rental car, and other partners – you can earn miles from all of them. Instructions for how to request mileage credit for each hotel, rental car company, and other partner can be found at the corresponding links.
This is a translated article. Please click “中文” at the top right corner of this page (desktop version) for the original Chinese version. The article is written by 晨瑜早雅 and translated and updated by mcsquared.