How to Request Airline Miles Even Long After Your Trip (2024)

So, you’ve planned, booked, and actually gone on a vacation. Good for you. You deserve it. But you arrive home only to realize you forgot to pop in your airline loyalty code, potentially missing out on valuable airline points, which can snag you upgrades, discounts, and even free flights along the way. But hang on. You can, in fact, still nab those points, even long after you’ve returned home.

"In all of the excitement — and sometimes stress — of booking a trip, it can be easy to overlook the details," Scott Keyes, founder of Going, shared with Travel + Leisure. "Luckily, most airlines recognize that if you’re going to stick around as a loyal customer, it’s in their best interest to let you claim those miles retroactively."

As Keyes explained, there are two simple ways to remember to get those hard-earned points: Use a password manager and save your loyalty program login information for each airline’s website, making it easy to log in with your loyalty number attached, or create a spreadsheet of all loyalty account numbers so you have an easy-to-find place to snag them from.

But if you forgot, it’s OK. Most airlines, Keyes said, allow travelers to request miles three to 14 days after booking and within 12 months of travel.

For example, Keyes said, Alaska Airlines, which uses the Mileage Plan, allows fliers to request points seven days after a domestic flight and at least 14 days after an international or partner flight, with up to 12 months to request points.

To request, Keyes said, "You’ll need your Mileage Plan number and 13-digit ticket number, which you can find in your confirmation email or in the description field of your credit card statement if you paid that way. If you don’t have your Mileage Plan number, a customer service representative can help you add your miles using the confirmation code on your purchase receipt."

Meanwhile, American Airlines, which uses AAdvantage, allows travelers to request three days after a flight. Like Alaska, "you’ll need your AAdvantage number and 13-digit ticket number." Keyes added, "If you don’t have an AAdvantage number, you should sign up for the program first and then use your new number to request your miles."

Then, there’s Delta, with its SkyMiles program. While travelers can request points seven days after travel, they only have nine months after their flight to get them. You don’t need to be a member at the time of travel, so if you do sign up post-trip, make sure to request your points. Others, like JetBlue, United, and Southwest, offer similar timelines and ways to request. All you need to do is look for the individual airline’s customer service website.

"Getting airline miles for a flight you already took is about as close to a free lunch as you’ll ever find," Keyes said. "It’s free to sign up for airline loyalty programs, and the miles you earn can be redeemed for upgrades or even free flights."

How to Request Airline Miles Even Long After Your Trip (2024)


How long after your flight can you claim miles? ›

Most airlines, Keyes said, allow travelers to request miles three to 14 days after booking and within 12 months of travel.

How do I get my old flight miles? ›

Instead of leaving them behind, log in to and select “Request Mileage Credit.” It's the easiest way to get credit for past mileage transactions. Miles should post automatically to your account within 15 days of flight activity, so be sure you've allowed enough time before you request credit.

How to get United miles for past flights? ›

Head over to United's website to request missing miles from a United flight. You'll need to log in to your MileagePlus account to submit your request. Your ticket number, which begins with 016 on United tickets, is all you need. Occasionally, United may request a copy of your boarding pass and receipt.

How far back can you claim American Airlines miles? ›

How far back can you claim AA miles? American allows you to request credit for missing flights up to 12 months after flying. The carrier requests that you wait at least three days after flying before requesting missing miles.

How long after flight can I claim points? ›

Velocity points earned on eligible flights can take up to 14 days to show up on your account. If you still don't see points for a flight after this time, you can make a claim within 6 months of the travel date, or 30 days prior to joining the Velocity program.

How long after flight can I claim? ›

Crucially, it's about when you arrive, not when you leave. You'll start being eligible for compensation if your flight arrives three hours (or more) later than scheduled. So if you're on a flight that takes off four hours late but lands two hours 55 minutes late, you won't be eligible.

Can you claim frequent flyer points after a flight? ›

Claiming missing Points - what you need to know. Please wait 14 days after a flight to make a claim. Points and Status credits can be claimed on flights taken within the last 6 months*.

Why did I not get miles for my flight? ›

All but the most highly discounted tickets that you purchase from the airline or an online travel agency will typically be eligible to earn miles. But if you redeem miles for your ticket, or travel for free as a companion or on an employee pass, then you won't earn any miles.

Can I claim air miles from previous flights? ›

Can my miles and Points be credited retroactively? With Miles & More, you can have miles and Points credited retroactively up to 6 months after the date of activity. Many partners offer the option of submitting a credit request via the relevant online form.

How far back can you claim United miles? ›

Miles and Premier qualifying credit should be reflected in your account within 48 hours after travel is completed. ... Requests may be submitted up to 12 months after the date of purchase.

How long after a flight can you claim miles delta? ›

You have nine months from the date of your flight to request mileage credit. Generally, miles for most Delta flights post within 24 hours of your flight.

How far back can you claim SkyMiles? ›

If you forgot to add your Delta SkyMiles number to your reservation and some time has gone by, you may still be able to get mileage credit. You have nine months from the date of your flight to request mileage credit. Generally, miles for most Delta flights post within 24 hours of your flight.

Do you still get miles if you miss your flight? ›

To receive the frequent flyer miles that you're eligible for, you have to check in for your flight, have your boarding pass scanned at the gate and make it to your destination. If you miss your flight, or even if the flight is canceled, then you won't receive any frequent flyer miles.

Can I add a frequent flyer number after the flight? ›

Generally, yes. On almost all airlines you can select/change frequent flier accounts as often as you want until check in. Final selection typically happens during check in and most check in processes have an explicit or optional step explicitly for this. you can "claim" your miles even after the flight.

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