Back in May and July, I had number of flights on Qatar’s business class. At the time of taking the flights, I wasn’t sure where I would credit the flights. I made a claim with United for these flights in September, but they only credited one of the tickets because they no longer had access to the other eticket for verifying the business class booking class.
It is easy to do a claim for flights taken with Star Alliance carriers. All you need is the eticket number, flights number and they might ask for your seat number as well. These all can be submitted electronically on United.com and there is no need to attach files or mail boarding passes.
The situation with non-Star Alliance carriers is bit different. The website still suggests that you would need to mail the documents to United and there are number of addresses all over the world for Mileage Plus. You can, however, do these requests online as well. You just need to use the Contact Mileage Plus web form that allows you to attach up to 3 documents.
To get the other ticket credited to Mileage Plus, I used ExpertFlyer to pull up historical fares for the date when the ticket was issued and found the fare and the business class booking class. The base fare matched what was on Expedia’s eticket receipt.
So, on Saturday morning (in Kuala Lumpur) I attached the PDF of boarding passes, the Expedia eticket receipt and the screenshot of historical fares of the ticketing date and submitted it to Mileage Plus.
To my surprise, I received a reply from United 15 hours later that they had processed the claim and the miles should show up on my account within 3 to 5 days.
Sometimes, I don’t credit the flights at a time of taking them to any frequent flier program. This allows me to later decide the program where it makes sense for me to credit them.
When you are flying in on paid business or first class, there are hardly any status related benefits that a frequent flier plan would provide. To get certain benefits i.e. first class check in and lounge access when flying in on business class on oneworld, you can always show your card and request that they don’t record the number.
I still have three business class LAN flights that I took in September that I haven’t decided if I should credit them to American Airlines or Alaska.