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Reader Q: My Miles Credited to the Wrong Airline!

Joel wants to know what happens when the miles finally show up but in the wrong account. Unfortunately, there’s not a quick fix.

Cutting to the chase:

So I took a United flight of couple weeks ago. For some reason I thought I threw in my Asiana number there but I was a bit disconcerted to see those miles had actually gone to my United account instead. Is there anything I can do about this?


Hi Joel,

So there’s good and bad news here. Which one do you want first?

I’ll start with the bad news. Though you can call the airline—United in this case—and call them to delete the miles from your account but the only thing it does in this case is permanently deletes the miles from your account. You can make your case with Asiana for a missing mileage request but the system will most likely ping back saying that the miles have been credited to another airline. The system won’t actually register the deletion because it’s not that smart… and this is all straight from the mouth from a United agent.

The good news is that if you really want to pursue the miles, you can try things the old-fashioned way of documenting and getting things in writing from the people that you talk to in an effort to get those miles credited. I would also suggest to get a copy of your mileage statement before and after the deletion to make sure everything is kosher.The whole process could end up taking weeks but if you’re really persistent on getting that status or mileage, you may just have to suck it up. To get an idea of what you’re in for, I’d suggest reading this 7-page FlyerTalk thread. It’s not pretty.

The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen again is to triple-check the frequent flyer number registered on the itinerary before you ever get on the plane so it goes to the right carrier. Mistakes do happen from to time especially if your company has a set program they like to use and you’ve got your own personal preferences.

Believe it or not, this actually used to be easier back in the day. The only reason why airlines still care about these types of things is because they’re just mostly concerned about people trying to double-dip miles. It’s airline fraud in travelese.

At any rate, you made the good choice to switch to Asiana.

If you have a travel-related question, don’t be afraid to contact me or send me an e-mail at [email protected]. You can always trek up a mountain to find me too, but you don’t want to do probably that, baa.

Reader Q: My Miles Credited to the Wrong Airline! via @maphappy
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