UNABLE TO REDEEM AMERICAN AIRLINES MILES

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by Horton702, Sep 3, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Horton702

    Horton702 New Member

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    I've earned 185,000+ American Airlines miles. I keep receiving correspondence that I will lose miles that will expire because of lack of use. Each time I fly, I ATTEMPT to use miles to upgrade from coach to Business Class because I'm disabled, and have had a blood clot and pulmonary embolism. The agent says there are no seats available. I told her the miles are useless because i'm not able to use them, but lose them. Nothing they can do all thevway to upper management. I changed to United and paid for Business Class. I intend to close those Citi Card accounts and earn points from credit cards related to United and Star Alliance partners.
     
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  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Do you think you deserve to use your miles to upgrade more than I do because of a medical condition? Wow.

    It is true that not all flights always have seats available at the time the request is made. But it is also a far cry from there to "useless" or to calling upper management to complain.

    Good luck.
     
  3. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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  4. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    Try using the miles to purchase the business or first seat. You may have to use double miles, but you can often find availability. The miles are certainly not worthless to you. Best of luck.
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I have lots of compassion. It usually manages to not show when someone comes up with a rant which doesn't make much sense, however. If someone thinks they are entitled to redeem miles because of a medical condition that's not a position to which I'm particularly sympathetic. Ditto someone who chooses to complain to upper management because they cannot use their miles.

    There are many allowances made in this world for people with disabilities. Redemption of miles isn't one of them.
     
  6. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

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    If you have an AA credit card that you use, you won't lose your miles. Each time you earn, the expiration date gets pushed back out. Closing/not using the card is the quickest way to ensure you lose the points.
     
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  7. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    His comment does not specifically say that he complained to upper management. It may have been a sympathetic telephone rep who contacted them on his behalf.
     
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  8. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    How far in advance of your trips are you asking about an upgrade? I've had a lot of success redeeming miles for tickets on AA. I've only tried to use miles for an upgrade a few times, back before there were co-pays. You can also use a site like Expert Flyer to search for inventory before you purchase your ticket.
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Sure sounds like they think upper management is involved.
     
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  10. storyteller
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    storyteller Gold Member

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    STOP the miles being lost simply by buying something, anything.... Flowers, a meal, a hotel reservation... And posting miles to your AA account.

    Then draw a deep breath, and plan your next 18 months...

    Maybe use your miles for a leisurely couple of flights in Coach. With time between flights, to go somewhere nice... Or, Better still......

    That number of miles would take 2 people from anywhere in Australia to anywhere in Europe, in First Class Suites, on Qantas A380. And the Dollar cost would be in excess of $ 20,000. If you paid dollars. But you have AAMiles. Lucky you! Will only cost 80,000 miles pp plus a few dollars...
     
  11. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Let's treat these like the two separate issues they are (and welcome to Milepoint, Horton702!):

    If you have any activity in your account the expiration is pushed out 18 months. Buy 1,000 miles, donate 1,000 miles to charity, spend on your AA credit card or dine at a restaurant in the Dining Rewards program to earn miles - all of these will push the expiration. And, is AA notifying you or is it one of the award tracking sites? Perhaps the notification is false? Better to check and make sure than lose your miles, but simply logging into the AA web site and looking at your account will show you the expiration date.


    With a miles+copay you should be able to waitlist the upgrade request and if it comes open it will clear. With 185,000 miles you should be able to simply use them to book a business class roundtrip almost anywhere you'd want to go. When you say "agent" - do you mean on the phone when you book or the gate agent on the day of flight? If you're waiting until the gate, you're too late.
     
  12. Slow_Mustang
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    Slow_Mustang Silver Member

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    Welcome to the forum Horton.

    As you can see, it is a cruel world and don't discuss your medical conditions to evoke sympathy. Some people here just fly off the handle with that kind of talk. I am sorry that you are the recipient of some unkind remarks and much vagueness in terms of suggestions for a new person. As long as you maintain activity on your AA account by using your Citi AAdvantage card at least once a month for a small purchase, your miles will not expire. So, don't rush to cancel that(those) cards; just use them once a month for a small purchase to keep your AA account alive. Regarding non-availability of seats on certain routes, try to plan well ahead of the travel dates and be flexible. AA has 'saver' and 'anytime' categories for mile redemptions. The 'anytime' redemption requires double the no. of miles, but if there is a seat available for sale, you can have it with the 'anytime' redemption.

    To recap, keep your AA account active, plan ahead for travel, and try 'anytime' redemption for award seats. All airlines are being squeezed by trillions of miles chasing the small number of award seats available. It gets to be very frustrating at times, but have patience and try the workarounds instead of throwing in the towel and letting your miles go to waste. Good luck and keep the faith! Things are not as bad as they seem to be.
     
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  13. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    I didn't read that post as he/she saying they "deserved" the upgrade because of the disability, just that the disability was the reason they were seeking an upgrade with the miles they had to use. They just stated a reason that was just as valid as "because I had hemorrhoids" or "because I like to lie with my feet up", I certainly don't think the OP deserved to be chastised for that.


    That was hardly a DYKWIA situation.
     
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  14. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Forget the medical condition which irrelevant to what some believe might be the real topic at hand
    ( and despite the somewhat but not surprising thin-skinned reaction to others' opinion in referencing what IMHO is an ambiguous post...but then I must say that more and more I see this place getting intolerant to any sort of opposing/contrary opinion:rolleyes:)

    Advice as to how to retain the miles have already been provided.:)

    On the other hand does anyone here believe that there is any logic in switching to UAL just because one is unable to upgrade to business with miles on AA.?
     
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  15. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    The answer is simple: STOP trying to use your miles for upgrades (which are hard to get if you don't have high status with AA), and start using them instead to book free tickets in Business Class. You've got enough miles saved to get quite a few domestic round-trip Business Class tickets on domestic flights (or as an alternative, almost enough to fly to Europe and back in Business Class twice). That's hardly 'useless"!
     
  16. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Use an AAnyTime award for a business seat. Not capacity controlled. You would have saved thousands of dollars versus your paid ticket on UA and gotten on exactly the AA flight you wanted.
     
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  17. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Will you be trying to upgrade your tickets with miles at UA, too, once you get some in account? I'd be curious what level of success you have there with upgrades, particularly being that they are known to heavily market paid upgrades either at purchase or check-in. Please come back and let us know how the change of carriers works out.
     
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  18. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    PLEASE DON'T USE ALL CAPS IN YOUR THREAD TITLES.
     
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  19. jamesb2147

    jamesb2147 Silver Member

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    That sucks, hombre. I'd go with using the miles for outright purchases instead of upgrades. And/or use your card sometimes. Or perhaps there's more to your story..?
     
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