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Missing American Airlines Miles

Against my own advice, I decided to chase American Airlines status in 2023. I've never had airline status before, other than promotional status with Southwest Airlines, but 2023 seemed like the right time. We have over a dozen segments booked on American and it is becoming our most frequented airline, for better or worse. Throughout the year, including my epic Qatar Qsuites cash flight, I have credited any revenue fares to American to help with status. Recently, a JetBlue Mint flight went horribly wrong. The American miles are missing and are likely never showing up. You see, my boarding pass is to blame. This is a cautionary tale for anyone flying JetBlue and a reminder to not do as Derrick did, so you don't end up with missing American Airlines miles.

7/21/23 Update: I promised to update this situation and this is NOT the update I expected. Crisis averted! American Airlines credited mileage and loyalty points on day 11 after our Jetblue flight. Long story short: the mileage credited as it should, but always, always, always keep your boarding pass!

REMINDER: There's a great option to earn American Miles while under 5/24. Read about it here.

Booking a Jetblue Mint Cash Fare to Cabo San Lucas

In late spring 2023, we decided to head to the Waldorf Astoria Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for Sarah's milestone birthday. I found revenue fares in Jetblue Mint on the Boston to Los Angeles route for just over $500 each. As this was a splurge-worthy celebration, I snagged that deal and put Sarah in the Mint Studio seat of 1A. For those unfamiliar, there are only 2 Studio seats on each Mint plane, on either side of Row 1. Sarah's upgrade to that seat was an additional $199. Since the goal is American Airlines status, I added each of our AAdvantage numbers to the reservation.

Missing American Airlines Miles
JetBlue confirmation with American Airlines loyalty accounts attached

Prior to departure, I double- and triple-checked our itinerary to confirm our American account numbers remained attached to the reservation. This mileage would push me over the edge to Platinum status with American, which gives you complimentary Main Cabin Extra seats at the time of booking, so I was eagerly awaiting these miles to hit my account.

The JetBlue Mint Experience

While the actual flight in JetBlue Mint has nothing to do with this post, I must say that this product is THE BEST way to fly domestically. While service was spotty, and maybe borderline lackadaisical, the product itself is fabulous. If you have an opportunity to fly JetBlue Mint, you should! Our 6 hour and 5 minute flight to LAX was a dream! Look for a full review of the JetBlue Mint and Mint Studio products soon.

Missing American Airlines Miles
Seat 4F in JetBlue Mint

Missing American Airlines Miles

Since I was waiting for these American Airlines miles to post to my account for Platinum status, I was watching my account like a hawk. Days 1, 2, 3 and 4 passed and nothing posted. I got a bit worried. Days 5 and 6 were the same, so I reached out to American . First, I sent a Twitter message, but the American Airlines Twitter team sent me directly to the American service desk. The service desk asked for my confirmation number and my ticket number. After 5 minutes or so, the agent told me my ticket number was ineligible for miles, as it was an award booking on British Airways in June 2023. To say I was stunned is an understatement! I did not fly on British Airways in June, have never booked a British flight with American miles, and the ticket number was pulled directly from the JetBlue confirmation email in the picture above. The agent suggested that I call JetBlue to confirm the ticket numbers.

Let this be today's reminder that you should almost never trust what customer service representatives tell you. It is not that they are being deceitful or unhelpful; they usually just know less about the program than frequent travelers. A very unhelpful JetBlue agent told me 1) our ticket numbers in the confirmation email were correct, and 2) you cannot earn AAdvantage miles on a JetBlue flight. I quickly hung up the phone and called American again.

Long story short, American has no record of the flight, saying our ticket numbers are invalid. They sent a follow-up email instructing me how to file a missing mileage request. That is where this tale gets ugly.

Missing American Airlines Miles
Email from American Airlines to submit a missing mileage request

Submitting an American Airlines Missing Mileage Request

First, I logged into my American account and confirmed all of my contact info. Second, I confirmed that I was requesting missing mileage from a flight on an airline partner. Okay, so far, so good.

JetBlue American Airlines Miles

Unfortunately, it went downhill from there. The second piece of this request requires BOTH your ticket receipt and a copy of your boarding pass to receive mileage credit for a partner flight.

Missing American Airlines Miles

You guessed it: I no longer have my JetBlue boarding pass. While Sarah was smart enough to save her digital boarding pass in her Apple wallet, I am not that smart. Without thinking, I deleted my digital boarding pass shortly after arriving at LAX. Making things worse, we never received a paper boarding pass since we didn't check any bags and never went to a ticket counter.

So there you have it, because I deleted my boarding pass before receiving credit for my JetBlue flight, it is highly unlikely that I receive the ~4,000 American Airlines miles from my JetBlue revenue flight. I have submitted the request with only the ticket confirmation email, but I have zero proof that I actually took the flight. If the miles are credited, I will update this post.

Missing American Airlines Miles: ToP Thoughts

As the saying goes, “do as I say, and not as I do.” If you are flying a revenue flight on ANY carrier, be sure to save a paper, digital, or both copies of your boarding pass until you receive your miles. It appears I will learn this lesson the hard way. The 4,000 missing American Airlines miles are all I need for American Airlines Platinum status and it now appears unlikely I will ever earn it, all because I jumped the gun and deleted my boarding pass too soon! Don't be me. Do better!


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