Any of you looking to ensure you get mileage credit for your last flight should hold on to your boarding pass stubs for at least 4 weeks after flying. Often airlines neglect to post the appropriate miles to your account and require either the physical copy, scan, or digital photo (my preferred method) of your boarding pass to correct the oversight.
Always Track Your Miles; Airlines Can Be Forgetful So You Shouldn’t Be
Using a service like Awardwallet to track your reward accounts you should always verify that miles or other bonus points are accurately posted to your account. Off the top of my head I probably take more than 40 flights a year and in about 20% of those cases find that my miles don’t appear on my frequent flyer accounts. Most airlines state that you should wait up to 14 business days before contacting them about missing miles; and processing those requests can take another 14 business days. (Hence holding on to those boarding pass stubs for at least 1 month after a given flight.)
Avoid Missing Miles By Giving Your Frequent Flyer Account Number At Check-In…
…before the airline employee prints out your boarding pass. Depending on the person behind the counter, the country your in, and the line behind you, once that boarding pass has been printed it can be very difficult to get a re-print with your frequent flyer account credited. Being forgetful can be a valuable travel asset but not when it comes to accruing frequent flyer miles.
To avoid this common problem and the hassle of trying to claim miles after-the-fact, as soon as you walk up to any check-in counter let the clerk know you’ve got a frequent flyer account number you’ll be giving them. Typically they’ll then take the number as they process your luggage, seats, and boarding passes.
Upon receiving your printed boarding pass, confirm that your frequent flyer number is actually on your ticket. If it’s not and you notified the employee prior to getting checked-in, don’t leave the counter without getting another boarding pass. Having a boarding pass with your mileage account number on it means there’s a good chance you’ll be credited your miles and won’t have to jump through hoops later on. (Of course if doing self-check-in don’t forget to add your mileage account; and in either case, always check your frequent flyer mile account number was printed on your ticket.)
At The Very Least Have A Clear Digital Photo Of Your Boarding Passes
Most airlines and airline alliances specify in order to claim miles, you need send them a scan via email but a digital photo of a boarding pass works just the same. (Set your camera to ‘document’ mode if it’s got one.) Usually you’ll need your online ticket confirmation as well so don’t delete those emails ever, just to be safe. Typically, a simple forward of that email along with a picture of your boarding pass is all you need to claim missing miles – but always follow the procedures specified by the airline. Also, don’t neglect to verify mileage claims are posted either – even if you get a confirmation email. (Check your account!)
Finally, aside from claiming miles that might be missing you should ensure you’re accumulating your frequent flyer rewards in one place to get more free stuff and boost your account even further with these 7 steps.