How to Get Miles Back After Cancelling an Award Flight

If you want to cancel your award flight, there is a possibility that you may also get your miles refunded. here is a brief description about Top Ways To Get Miles Back After Cancelling an Award Flight. In some cases, just what you need to do in order to get your miles refunded into your account varies by program, and sometimes also varies due to the level that you are on within that program. Regardless, it is likely that you will have to lose some miles in the process.

In this travel guide prepared by Treknova, we will take a look at how to get miles back after cancelling award flights.

Things to Know When Cancelling your Award Flight

When cancelling your award ticket, there are a couple of things that you must take note of, including airline carriers’ travel policies.

Status Matters

If you are a frequent flyer, your status will have more to do with how much it will cost you. Sometimes, higher ranked members may not have to pay at all. The other option is that, if you are able to rebook immediately, you might see a benefit in that as well.

Dates Matter

One of the good things with most programs is that you can change the date of your departure if it is more than 21 days into the future as long as the new date is also 21 or more days into the future.

Another thing to consider is that larger airlines are typically less forgiving when it comes to refunding your miles.

Airlines’ Policies Matter

Another very important thing to consider here is that different airline carriers will have somewhat less alike refund policies. So, be sure to read their policies carefully.

How these U.S. Airlines Refund your Miles after Award Ticket Cancellation

Here we are going to see the different airline carriers in the United States with regard to refunding miles when their customers cancel award flights.

Also, keep in mind that the refund policies may vary from one airline to the other.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska’s Mileage Plan flyers who need to cancel/change their trip 24 hours after the initial booking will be charged a $125 fee. If you want to cancel your reservation, your points will be refunded into your account and taxes reimbursed as well. If you want to make changes to your reservation, then you may also be required to pay for any price difference between your original flight and the new reservation. Other cancellation fees, including the call centre booking fee or the partner award fee, are non-refundable.

Alaska Airlines has updated their policy as follows: “Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, award tickets purchased on or before February 26, 2020 for travel between March 9, 2020 and May 31, 2020 may be changed or cancelled at no cost. If you cancel your trip, your miles will be returned to your Mileage Plan account. Award tickets purchased between February 27, 2020 and April 30, 2020 for travel through February 28, 2021 may be changed or cancelled at no cost. If you cancel your trip, your miles will be returned to your Mileage Plan account.”

American Airlines

If you fly a lot on American Airlines, you may not have to worry about paying additional fees, since most fees, such as for AAdvantage Executive Platinum members are waived. If you booked your reservation with American AAdvantage miles and want to cancel/change it, the airline will refund you your miles. But, unless you are a top-tier elite flyer, you will be forced to pay.

If you booked a MileSAAver award, and you need to make a change, there is a $150 fee charged, even if you keep the same award type. If you are travelling on a partner airline and want to change your origin, destination, or flying airline, you will also have to pay the fee, even if you keep the same award. If you are flying on an AAnytime award, the origin and destination change fees are waived if you keep the same award type.

If you want to cancel your entire trip and if your ticket has not yet expired, you can just contact the customer service and request to have all your AAdvantage miles reinstated to your account.

American Airlines has updated their policy as follows: “Due to the coronavirus outbreak, award tickets purchased before March 1, 2020 may be changed or cancelled at no cost. Flights scheduled for travel between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020 may also be changed or cancelled at no cost. You will need to call customer service in order to get these miles reinstated to your member’s account.”

Delta Air Lines

If you fly often with Delta Airlines and use SkyMiles to book your trip, youwill be required to pay a change or reinstatement fee. However,such feescan be waived, particularly for Delta’s frequent flyers. If you have an award ticket, you must either change your itinerary or cancel entire ticket 72 hours from your flight’s departure. Also, note that there will be change and reinstatement fees charged, in addition to any taxes or fees which you will need to pay.

If you are a SkyMiles Platinum Medallion or Diamond Medallion flyer, your fees can be waived if you make changes more than 72 hours away from your departure time. If you need to make a last-minute change within three days from your trip, you may lose your SkyMiles. Flights that are changed or cancelled less than 72 hours from departure are non-refundable.

Delta Air Lines has updated their policy as follows: “Due to the coronavirus outbreak, tickets purchased between March 1 2020 and May 31, 2020 may be changed at no cost. Domestic and international flights scheduled for March, April, and May 2020 may also be changed at no cost. In both situations, you may choose to cancel your flight and use the value of the ticket towards a future flight (to be used within the next two years). Delta Air Lines will reinstate your miles to your account for free when you cancel an award ticket.”

Frontier Airlines

Frontier EarlyReturns miles may be redeemed almost free of cost, however, it certainly will not be cheap to cancel your reservation. Also, the cancellation policy applies to all passengers, regardless of their elite status.

For example, if you booked a Last Seat Availability award, know that there is no fee to cancel your flight and get your miles back. You may, on the other hand, expect to pay a $75 redeposit fee to return your EarlyReturns miles to your account. And if you do not show up for your flight, those miles will be forfeited and you will end up losing them.

Frontier Airlines has updated their policy as follows: “Due to the coronavirus outbreak, tickets purchased before March 10, 2020 for travel through April 30, 2020 may be changed or cancelled at no cost. Tickets purchased between March 10, 2020 and April 15, 2020 may also be changed or cancelled at no cost. If you cancel your flight, note that you must use the value of the ticket towards the purchase of a future flight within 90 days of cancellation.”

JetBlue Airways

When you book with JetBlue TrueBlue points, you are effectively booking a cash fare with the equivalent of a point. Unfortunately, that makes it difficult to determine how much you need to pay for changes or cancellations. If you need to change or cancel a Blue Fare or Blue Plus Fare booked in TrueBlue points, expect to pay based on the cash value of the flight. The more expensive the flight, the more you will have to pay. And if you have to cancel, you will get the miles back in your TrueBlue account.

On the other hand, if you booked a non-refundable Mint fare with TrueBlue points, the change/cancellation fee is $200. The worst thing to do is to not show up for your flight. If you do not show up and do not cancel your ticket, your miles gets forfeited.

JetBlue Airways has updated their policy as follows: “Due to the coronavirus outbreak, flights scheduled through May 31, 2020 may be changed or cancelled at no cost. Award tickets purchased between March 27, 2020 and April 30, 2020 for travel through January 4, 2021 may be changed or cancelled at no cost. Any tickets purchased between February 27, 2020 and March 5, 2020 for travel through June 1, 2020 may also be changed or cancelled at no cost. Likewise, tickets purchased between March 6 and March 26, 2020 for travel through September 8, 2020 may be changed or cancelled at no cost. If you cancel your flight, note that you must use the value of the ticket towards the purchase of a future flight within 90 days of cancellation.”

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines charges fees to their flyers for almost everything, except using the in-flight lavatory. This is also true with Spirit’s FREE SPIRIT frequent flyer program. If you want to change an award flight, you will have to pay a certain fee. Thus, any changes or cancellations made 24 hours after booking are subject to a varying modification fee (if change space is available) or a redeposit fee.

Spirit Airlines has updated their policy as follows: “Due to the coronavirus outbreak, travellers may change or cancel their flights at no cost. If you cancel your flight, you can claim a Reservation Credit, to be used within 12 months.”

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines have a straightforward policy toward reservation change and cancellation. If you want to change/modify your flight, you can do so for free on their website. However, if your change ends up with a higher fare, you will have to pay the difference amount.

Also, if you accidentally missed your flight, then your miles do not get forfeited.Instead, those milesare refundedinto your Rapid Rewards account. However, note that it can take up to four days for those miles to show up in your Rapid Rewards account.

Southwest Airlines has updated their policy as follows: “Due to the coronavirus outbreak, customers scheduled to travel up until April 30 are able to modify their reservation to a date 60 days away from the originally scheduled travel date with no change fee. If you cancel your flight, the fund will be returned to you for future travel. The value of tickets cancelled between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020 must be used by June 30, 2021. If you have travel funds that have expired or will expire between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020, they now expire June 30, 2021.”

United Airlines

United Airlines’ MileagePlus program can be regarded as one of the best award miles in the industry. This also includes the partners the Star Alliance carrier has. However, if you are not a frequent flyer and want to change or cancel an award ticket, keep in mind that it may cost you several dollars. The money that you pay to make a change to your award ticket or get your miles back after cancellation depends on your status.

United MileagePlus Premier Platinum and Premier 1K status flyers who need to change or cancel their award ticket at least 61 days in advance do not require to pay fees. On the other hand,MileagePlus Premier Gold and Premier Silver status flyers are required to pay a lower fee, while everyone else pays a higher change or cancellation fees and redeposit fees.

Also, be sure to show up for your flight or even better, cancel in advance. If you are a no-show for your flight, you will have to pay a $125 redeposit fee in order to get your miles back. Thus, it is essential that you read the programs’ policies carefully and see if having elite status can lower or possibly eliminate redeposit fees. In addition, there are certain travel insurance policies which could reimburse any cancellation or redeposit fees if your trip cancellation is for a covered reason. If you need to get a reward trip refunded, you will be prepared to take the appropriate action.

United Airlines has updated their policy as follows: “Due to the coronavirus outbreak, award tickets purchased for travel between March 10, 2020 and May 31, 2020 may be changed at no cost. Any tickets purchased between March 3, 2020 and April 30, 2020 may also be changed at no cost. If you cancel your trip, the value of the ticket must be applied towards future travel within 24 months. Check the United Airlines website for additional information on travel waivers for specific destinations.”

Tips on Getting your Miles Back

One of the trickier things you can do to avoid paying redeposit fees or losing your miles altogether is to simply wait it out. If your flight departure time changes, you might be able to put up a disputebecause it will hamper your travel plans.

You may also want to call the airliner’s customer service representative to get things sorted out quickly. Try calling several times becausesometimes, one representative will have something better than the other. This is usually the case if you are able to get someone with higher authorisation.

Conclusion – Get Miles Back After Cancelling an Award Flight

It is very important to know the policies of your program if you have to change your flights on a regular basis. Look for programs that will have lower and no redeposit fees. Another thing you may want to consider is travel insurance, which may reimburse any cancellation or redeposit fees. Changing or cancelling your flight can be costly to your miles, however, you are likely to be able to get at least some miles back.