Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

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I fly about a 100, 000 miles a year. I have flown a ton for decades. Travel is my life and with it comes airlines, good, bad and ugly. How many of you have ever saved a boarding pass after a flight? What possible reason would you need it for? Here is where the lesson occurs.

In July of this year I started planning my trip to Thailand. As per usual, I checked http://www.SkyScanner.com and http://www.Expedia.com to see what flights were available to me and what kind of deals I could find. I found roundtrip tickets from LAX to Phuket for $650! What a deal. Better yet, they were on Singapore Airlines which aside from being rated as one of the best airlines in the world, happens to be a Star Alliance partner which meant I would earn United Plus miles. Better yet again, those miles would put me at silver status for the rest of this year and all of next year. You should all be part of every airlines rewards program. It never hurts and even if you don’t fly a lot, something is better than nothing. Even at minimum status, you get a points multiplier, free bag, upgrades and you get to board early.

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I happily took my trip and had a great time. When I returned home, I noticed the miles didn’t post for a few weeks. I figured since it was a partner airline and international, it may take longer. After a month, I sent United a request for missing miles. Two weeks later I was told it was declined. After a frustrating phone call I was told to send supporting documents to prove I flew. This seems crazy in this day and age where I feel like TSA and NSA know when the last time I opened my fridge was, they wouldn’t be able to automatically be able to tell I had flown on one of their planes. I called again and was told to try again with supporting documents. The number one document that would make it easy…my boarding passes. Who the Hell keeps boarding passes for three months? I am not a hoarder! I sent in my receipts from Expedia. I told them exact flight dates, times, ticket number, conformation and even the seats I was in. Declined again. Today I realized I had snapped a pic of one segment’s boarding pass to show to someone my flight number so they could track it. I resent that and yet another receipt and pitched a fit on Twitter to get their attention. As of this writing, I still have no result.

So the lesson I have now learned and you should do starting with your next flight is ALWAYS take a pic of your boarding pass and hang on to it until your miles post. It sucks that I now have one more thing I have to do when I travel to get what is rightfully mine but live and learn.

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Have you had similar experiences? Do you have any tips to share for avoiding flight headaches? Share them in the comment section.

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