How to Earn Miles and Elite Status on Award Mileage Tickets

So you finally found space on Delta booked your award ticket using 325,000 award miles to fly in Business Class from LAX-GIG (Los Angeles to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).


Now you wish to re-coup some of these lost pesos and you know for a fact that you can’t earn any miles from this. Well, here are several ways on how to earn miles and elite qualifying miles towards elite status on your award mileage ticket.

Invoking the Flat Tire Rule – Let’s say you “woke up” too late and missed your flight. You will head to the airport counter and try to get a nice agent to “re-issue” your ticket. A majority of the time, an agent will re-issue your ticket in a full fare class, thus making it a mileage earning ticket. This is not always the case if you encounter a smart agent that knows all the fare buckets and abides by the rules.

You “miss” your connecting flight – Let’s say you “overslept” at the VIP lounge, or missed the train back to the airport during your 3 hour layover in Narita. The agent will re-issue your ticket in a full fare mileage earning ticket. Same with the above, this is not always the case if you encounter a smart agent that knows all the fare buckets and abides by the rules.

IRROPS (irregular operations) – Sometimes in IRROPs situations, you can use an APP such as Delta when your flight has a 1 minute delay to have your ticket re-booked in a full fare bucket.

Your flight is severely delayed or cancelled – When on an award ticket, and your flight gets severely delayed (quite possibly missing an important international flight) or when your flight gets cancelled, you can have the airline re-book you on another carrier. Usually when the airline books you on another airline, it’s definitely going to be mileage earning.

Glitch – Sometimes when you’ve already flown an award ticket, you check your frequent flier account and see that miles have been award. Glitches do sometimes happen, but are you going to call the airline to have them redacted?

Submit a missing mileage request – Some airlines will want you to fax in or e-mail your boarding pass as proof. Agents will have to manually process the miles for you and can sometimes over glance your award fare bucket.

Switch Frequent Flier numbers – For example, when booking an Avios flight on Alaska Airlines, it is necessary to REMOVE the default BA frequent flier number. I’ve put up a primer on how to put another frequent flier number such as Delta Air Lines. It’s possible to earn miles using this method.

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Photoshop – I’ve heard instances where people Photoshop their award tickets and submit them for mileage request. There is another variation where people have the airline take out their frequent flier number on their boarding pass, thus leaving it blank and then submitting it to 10 different airlines (using the missing mileage credit) on a revenue ticket. This is a one way ticket to getting banned from an airline.

Complaints – Let’s say you had an “unpleasant” flight. Your reading light was “broken” during your 12 hour flight to Hong Kong and you sent a complaint letter to your airline. Hours later, you receive an apologetic e-mail awarding you 20,000 redeemable miles for the inconvenience. It’s important to know that your elite status determines the amount of compensation received.

Disclaimer: Some of these aforementioned methods can cross unethical boundaries. This can jeopardize your frequent flier account resulting in a seizure of miles and/or account closure.


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Points Summary
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1 Comment on "How to Earn Miles and Elite Status on Award Mileage Tickets"

  1. Great post, as usual!

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