Unlike Avis, American Airlines Finally Got It Right

W hen I traveled as a passenger on airplanes during flights operated by both Etihad Airways and Gulf Air several times on one itinerary last year, I entered my American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flier loyalty program number so that I may earn the appropriate miles from those trips.

Unfortunately, I was not properly credited all of the AAdvantage miles which I earned when I checked my account a couple of weeks after my flights have concluded — I did receive miles for some of the flights — and so I submitted my first request for missing mileage…

Unlike Avis, American Airlines Finally Got It Right

…but at least with Etihad Airways, my request for the missing mileage to be credited to my account can be placed via the official Internet web site of AAdvantage. With Gulf Air, I had to send my request via fax.

In the screen shot on the left, I am instructed to send a fax of my flights on Gulf Air to a certain telephone number. No such requirement is mandatory on requesting credits for flights operated by Etihad Airways, as shown in the screen shot on the right.

In the screen shot on the left, I am instructed to send a fax of my flights operated by Gulf Air to a certain telephone number. No such requirement is mandatory on requesting credits for flights operated by Etihad Airways, as shown in the screen shot on the right.

Fax? Is 1985 calling using one of those touch-tone telephones?!?

Anyway, I had at least a dozen interactions with members of the customer service department of the American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flier loyalty program via both e-mail messages and telephone over the next year. I kept receiving confirmations of each request which I electronically submitted.

We have received your mileage credit request for your travel on the following AAdvantage® airline participants and have forwarded your information to them.

The airline must now verify that this travel qualifies for AAdvantage miles. If eligible, you will be able to see this activity posted to your AAdvantage account in approximately 30 days.

Thanks for choosing AAdvantage airline participants for your recent travel.

At one point, I was told that my request on at least two of the flights operated by Etihad Airways was denied because I was credited the miles to my Etihad Guest frequent flier loyalty program account. I replied that this never happened and submitted proof of my claim.

I was eventually required to send in my documentation of all of the flights in question in the form of boarding passes…

To receive mileage credit for your travel on AAdvantage® airline participants, please submit copies of your ticket receipt(s) and boarding pass for each missing flight.

In order to resolve your request as quickly as possible, forward this message to AAdvantage.Customer.Svc@aa.comand keep the same subject line. Attach a copy of your travel documents using one of the following formats (not to exceed 1mb):

  • .pdf
  • .tif
  • .jpg
  • .bmp

If you prefer, you may FAX copies of your documentation to (817) 963-7882. Be sure to include your name, AAdvantage account number and phone number.

Once we receive the documents, we will forward them to the participating airline for processing. If the travel is eligible for credit, it will appear in your AAdvantage account in approximately 30 days. You are welcome to view all of your account activity online at aa.com/myaccount.

…which I had — and I was fortunately able to first scan them so that they were digitized before sending the document via e-mail message; so I did not have to send them via fax or postal mail. I was also required to submit an electronic receipt as proof of purchase, which I had saved in one of my e-mail messages.

Even after submitting proof, more miles were correctly credited to my account — but still not all of them.

It was not until last month when a representative of the customer service department of the American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flier loyalty program cheerful credited the remainder of the miles which I had earned while I was still on the telephone call with him.

All is well again.

Summary

My experiences suggest that it is not just airlines where credit is missing: I also rented cars from Avis recently in places such as Cairo and Abu Dhabi; but the 1,500 Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program points for each car rental still have not posted to my account despite my using the correct codes and following the rules from this promotion from last year.

Although American Airlines finally did get it right — and each customer service representative to whom I either spoke or corresponded was courteous and professional — the process should have been effortless on my part where the miles were automatically credited to my account. I spent a lot of time over the course of a full year to receive the proper amount of frequent flier loyalty program miles which I rightfully earned in the first place. I should not have had to do that — and neither should you.

Those two experiences — as well as others — have me wondering more and more whether airlines are not the only entities which seem to be purposely attempting to avoid crediting miles or points with partners

Brian Cohen finally was credited the proper amount of American Airlines AAdvantage miles to his account after earning them as a passenger on this airplane on a flight operated by Gulf Air. Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

4 thoughts on “Unlike Avis, American Airlines Finally Got It Right”

  1. Robert Whittaker Jr says:

    I disagree with that about Eithad, I am still waiting two months after I made my flight from the states back to Abu Dhabi, I have not been credited my air mileage for the flight in the states on AA or even Eithad. I have sent them four emails with copy’s of my tickets and they still done nothing to address the missing miles. Go figure….

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I do not believe you are disagreeing with me, Robert Whittaker Jr, as the only positive thing I stated about Etihad Airways in the article is that I could request my missing AAdvantage miles directly through the official Internet web site of American Airlines — unlike Gulf Air, where the missing miles request is supposedly required to be faxed in.

      I stated in the article that it took an entire year to get some of the Etihad Airways miles credited to my American Airlines AAdvantage account; and that required greater than four e-mail messages plus telephone calls.

      If you really want those miles, I advise you to be persistent — but based on my experience, I warn you that it will unfortunately require a significant amount of effort and time on your part…

  2. Motti says:

    The Hertz Gold Rewards deprtment is known to be incompetent and not following through with any types of requests. I’ve had numerous ecnounters with them and so did my friends. Just give up on them, they’re not worth the effort.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      While not the Gold Rewards frequent renter program, Motti, I have had my own issues with Hertz which I plan to impart in a future article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *