Unexpected Miles Earned From An Award Flight

american airlines miles

On Super Bowl Sunday we were supposed to fly home from our first trip of 2015 which was to Orlando, Florida.

With reports of snowstorms most likely hitting the NYC area and American waiving flight change fees I decided to call up to see what the status of our flight was. I received a call back from AA close to an hour and a half after I called in. I found out that our flight had been cancelled.

Our flight was booked with British Airways for 15,000 Avios and $11.20 tax per person.

Being that we were flying on an award ticket, we wouldn’t be earning any miles for this flight.

Last night I logged into my American Airlines account to check to see if the bonus posted from a Citi AA credit card. I was approved for the card towards the end of last year and the minimum spend required to earn the bonus took longer than expected to reach due to a return!

No big deal and yes, the bonus of 50,000 AAdvantage was now showing in my account! Seeing miles and points added to my account never gets boring!

Then I noticed something else.

american airlines miles

Above the line showing my 50K bonus miles I saw a line with mileage activity from 2/2/15, the day we flew home from Orlando.

It turns out that for some reason or another, American had credited miles for the flight home to my account. I checked Kim’s AA account and she didn’t have any miles posted from that date.


I’m trying to figure out why I earned miles for an award flight and also why Kim didn’t.

The only reason I can think of is maybe when we were rebooked the new flight was coded differently and did not look like an award ticket.  Our original tickets were issued by British, but we were directly rebooked by American.

But if that was the case, wouldn’t Kim have earned points too?

Either way, I have no clue what is going on but I’ll take it! I know 1,180 miles isn’t much but every little bit helps and I try to never turn down free miles!

4 thoughts on “Unexpected Miles Earned From An Award Flight

  1. Mike- I did add my AA account # to the booking which got us main cabin extra. (I have AA lifetime Gold.) I assumed that what you stated was what happened but if my wife was also booked in Y she should’ve earned miles too.

    DavidB- Right.

    LR- For sure a minor benefit of my flight cancellation was these points but they don’t quite make up for a lost day of work!

  2. This happened to me as well. Basically when you get rebooked on something that breaks a normal fare-rule, the default fare code is Y on American. That is one nice thing about getting rebooked. Sometimes, if you book with avios and pay a same-day flight change, you can get that to occur as well, but ymmv

  3. You were rebooked into a revenue fare so you received miles for the flight. Nothing unusual there. Happens with most all airlines since agents don’t have to rebook you in an award class when weather or mechanical requires a change of flight.

  4. Most likely you put in your AAdvantage number into the PNR at some point (perhaps you have status and wanted better seats – Finnair.com perhaps?).

    When the rebooking took place the booking class went from T to Y (as capacity controls are ignored on weather rebookings).

    Y +AAvantage number much of the time means miles.

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