Bet You Didn’t Know: Original routing credit (and a little extra)

By Julian, author of Devil’s Advocate

 

Last week Greg wrote about wrapping up his #30kToNowhere experience and I’ll be doing the same next week over at Travel Codex. Like Greg, I’m also now considering going for the full 100,000 flown miles in 2015 to keep Executive Platinum status all the way through to February 2017. I had a lot of fun and with the miles I’ve already accumulated plus my scheduled travel, I’d probably only have to do an extra 40,000 miles or so. So it might be feasible if I can find some decent cheap flights and some fun folks to fly with again.

But during the #30kToNowhere runs, I did briefly get bumped back to reality when, right before the first flight, I asked Greg in my usual smart aleck Devil’s Advocate way: “Whose bright idea was it to do these mileage runs in and out of Philadelphia in the middle of the winter???” Only after Greg reminded me it was my idea did I decide to focus instead on eating my first class upgrade velvet cake dessert.

original routing credit

For demonstration purposes only. Unfortunately US Airways velvet cake does not look anything like this.

The winter of my discontent

In any case, my weather-related luck only held out until my last week of flights, when I ended up getting re-routed on not one but two different legs. One of them was a reroute that took me from NYC to Las Vegas through Chicago instead of Philadelphia. That meant I was 434 miles short for that trip because I wouldn’t get the 500-mile minimum for the flight from New York to Philly.

On the other reroute, I was ticketed for L.A. to New York, again via Philadelphia, but the PHL to LGA leg was cancelled. To US Airways’ credit, when I called them to rebook, the agent couldn’t make changes to my ticket because it turned out another agent was already proactively rebooking me on a nonstop from LAX to JFK.

Of course if I were traveling like a normal human being, that would be terrific news. But as I tweeted at the time…

original routing credit

Luckily, an answer for my dilemma was quickly provided by Ben Turnbull

original routing credit

I don’t know if I had forgotten this trick or just never knew in the first place, but Ben is correct and that leads to today’s tip. If you’re involuntarily rerouted and the miles you receive for the reroute are less than the miles you would have gotten under the original ticket, you can request credit for the planned itinerary instead of the substituted one.

In this case, since I was crediting all my flights to US Airways, I waited until the miles posted with the rerouted flights, then called and asked to be credited for the original flights instead. The agent asked me for my reservation numbers and was then able to immediately see the original routing. The phone call took a total of maybe 5 minutes and the credit showed up instantly on my US Airways account.

An added bonus. Or is it bonuses?

However, it also led to a nice little extra surprise…

original routing credit

The LAX to PHL and the PHL to LGA flights are the original routing credits. But notice that the LAX to JFK rerouted flight did not get retracted. Not sure if it was an oversight by the agent or a computer glitch, but I ended up getting credit for both the original flights and the rerouted ones.

And here’s the icing on the cake…

original routing credit

My other rerouted flight from LaGuardia to Chicago was on American, so the computer also gave me credit on American as well. Just a reminder that when you get rerouted on airlines that are not the original ticketed ones, you might have a chance to double dip. This is definitely a “your mileage may vary” situation, but don’t assume it’s out of the question.

If you’d like more info on getting original routing credit with airlines other than US Airways, MileCards.com has a great rundown on the procedures with all the other legacy carriers. So make sure you get every last mile you paid for, and maybe don’t fly in and out of Philly in the middle of February just for fun.

Not to say Philly isn’t lovely. It’s very nice. In fact, if you’re going to visit a city for only 90 minutes, I think Philly would be very near the top of my list.

Did you know you could request original routing credit?

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Other Recent Posts From The “Bet You Didn’t Know” Series:

Updates on US Airways MC, 1 point transfers and more

Prevent miles from expiring with 1 point transfers

Access the US Airways upgrade list by app and web

Find all the “Bet You Didn’t Know” posts here.

About Devils Advocate

The Devil's Advocate learned the ins and outs of travel loyalty programs while flying more than 200,000 miles a year as a TV producer and director for World Wrestling Entertainment (and yes, of course it’s all real). He now splits his time between New York and Los Angeles and loathes New York winters only slightly less than Los Angeles traffic.

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  1. Careful: You could get the original routing credit for the USAirways original itinerary because American and USAirways are still not fully merged. Within the existing USAirways system, if you are rebooked on other USAirways flights, you get the rebooked mileage, not the original routing credit. This mainly matters for us in PHL, DCA, or CLT, but if you were booked LGA-PHL-CLT and were rerouted to LGA-CLT nonstop, you would not get the 1,000 PQMs for the two original short (500 mile minimum) segments.

    • Yep, this is correct. US Airways doesn’t giver you ORC if they re-book you on another US flight(s). You were lucky to be on an AA flight, otherwise they would say “sorry, nothing we can do”.

  2. When original routing credit is applied, the actual route flown credit is rarely retracted. I will often claim the actual route to another carrier to avoid this confusion. Only in one out of ten times will I have an agent who wonders if I claimed miles for the rebooked ticket and only offer to give me the difference. And yes, sometimes when I forget, I do get double PQMs since I get both the original and flown credits.

  3. It seems this post refers to getting rerouted on the same airline (or at least the same partner airline). Does the same hold true if the airlines are not the same or partners? I just got moved from an AA flight to a DL flight last week, and a couple months prior I was swapped from an AA flight to a UA flight. Should I be hounding AA to give me original routing credit? Once in the past, when I was bumped off a BA flight (on an AA ticket) to Austrian, I could not get UA to credit me the miles from the Austrian flight, but I eventually got AA to give me some miles. Is calling required, or can an email suffice?

  4. Is AA stricter than US about this? I has an US ticket to be flown on US metal this month. I already flew 30k for the trial, got 10k EQM from Executive card, so the miles I was supposed to get would bump me just over 50k EQM to reach Platinum status for next year. Because of an air traffic control delay, I missed my connection and rerouted on AA metal with shorter distance. I ended up getting less mile than what I planned and my EQMs are just 100 miles short of 50k.

    When I contacted AAdvantage Customer Service, they added only the difference of miles as RDM, but said there isn’t any way of adding EQMs as I didn’t originally took those flight. Now I’ll need to take another flight to reach Platinum. Also, this will be a matter of real concern, if you have planned some late December travel just to requalify for a certain status level.

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