Our Whine Wednesday this week is about airlines who have the tendency of not properly report flight activity to their partner frequent flyer programs for flights which the passenger has entered for the respective trip.
While nowadays most airlines manage to properly administer their loyalty credits and it’s easier to claim them with some programs, there are certain carriers around where it’s a constant pain to get miles credited.
Two of such examples would be Turkish Airlines, where, as per reports of some readers, credits are frequently missing, especially when planning to collect miles with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.
Another very annoying carrier in that regard is Royaj Jordanian – their flight activity almost never credits to oneWorld partner programs, especially British Airways Executive Club.
Before complaining that one hasn’t gotten miles for the trip taken it’s always important to check beforehand if the relevant booking class on the operating airline is eligible for miles on the program the traveler wishes to collect them. Especially in Economy Class, but most recently also in Business Class Saver fares, there are many booking classes that are actually excluded from earning any points.
For example one of our readers is Aegean Miles&Bonus Gold and had booked a Lufthansa Business Class return in saver class “P”. Unfortunately for him he wasn’t able to earn even a single mile with Miles&Bonus as they have deemed “P” class to be ineligible.
Should a booking class be eligible, however, and still not credit properly to the loyalty program put into the reservation it can often mean a long and annoying path to get the miles you’re entitled to.
It depends on how the program handles the retroactive claims process. For example with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer you can claim most of the missing transactions with partner airlines online. British Airways Executive Club allows you to claim online for a limited set of airlines, for others you are required to send in your boarding passes and ticket just like 20 years ago.
And guess which is one of those airlines requiring you to send in documentation? Bingo: Royal Jordanian!
Out of my last 10 flights on RJ credited to BAEC only two credited automatically. So a 20% success rate. As per the email of our reader his success with Turkish Airlines and Krisflyer isn’t much better.
There can be several reasons:
- The link between the airline and partner program is broken down, so a technical issue;
- The airline simply takes extremely long to submit the data to other programs
- It’s intentional and the carrier simply doesn’t want to pay the partner program for the miles
Either one of these options is very hard if not impossible to prove/disprove.
Another important thing to consider is trying to NOT switch frequent flyer numbers around or sometimes (depending on the airline) even book it while logged into your account of the actual airline. Some carriers are notorious for having frequent flyer numbers stick to the PNR. For example when booking a flight with Lufthansa or American Airlines never log into your account when booking the flight. Once their own account numbers are attached to the reservation it’s very hard to clean it up and get them out again.
I usually wait 3 weeks before I initiate a retro-claim process with my frequent flyer program. In the case of Royal Jordanian, which I often take between Kuala Lumpur/Hong Kong and Bangkok, I claim them twice a year as I simply don’t want to bother for individual flights.
Especially when, the miles are important for status qualification I suggest to keep a close eye on it so that they are actually credited to the frequent flyer account in due time.