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Rookie Wednesday: What happens to your points when…

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


RenesPoints Rookie

Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.

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What happens when. This past week I ran into weather along the way. Delta was good enough to rebook me on United. Did they have to do this? No, but as a Medallion Delta does tend to do all it can. The weather has been so bad I think Delta and the other airlines this winter are doing all they can period to get people where they want to go.

But what about points (since we after all, are all about points). There are many things that can arise and I will try to cover them one by one. Do keep in mind through all of this we are talking frequent flyer miles that are programs run by the airlines and they do make the rules. Also, if you are a MQS i.e. segment flyer the same basic rules apply in the below examples.

First in my case. I should have flown from Hawaii to Los Angeles then on to Salt Lake ending up in Houston. I did not choose to have Delta cancel my last flight so in turn Delta will tend to in these cases give me credit for the flights I had booked. I have requested just such credit with Delta and as you can see below Delta has already told me the points are on the way!

email confirming miles for missed flights delta points blog

Now I did not fly Delta from Los Angeles to Houston when I enjoyed a ride on a 787. Can I collect United, or choose their partner airlines, for points as well? I should be able to if I can get my frequent flyer number in and am a member of the program and or programs. This is one reason to belong to them all. What program you choose to enter can depend on what you want and need to collect. Are you guaranteed points, no, but very likely you will get them. Worst case send an email for missing miles to them as well.

Next one. Say you book with Delta New York to Los Angeles via Atlanta as that will give you 2706 base points. However, Delta at the last minute reroutes you direct that only yields 2475. Again, since you did not choose this you should be able to get the difference. Even if some time goes by between the booking and the flight you can request credit and you may get the points.

How about this. Say you this time choose to change for whatever reason in the above case to the more direct route. In this case you are much less likely to get the point difference. Delta will say you accepted the new route and get the points accordingly. They may do this in either case but just know you may have to work to get the points.

Yet another one and staying with this theme as the math is simple. Say you are booked direct but do a SDC or same day change to the longer route via Atlanta. The good news is Delta computers just spit out points based on what you fly so in this case you should be able to get full credit for the changed route. This is more challenging now than it once was with the April2013 rule changes for SDC.

Last one. What about a bump. Say you were on a free ticket but you gave up your seat and flew the next day. In the past, you not only got points as you were now on a Y class ticket, but you got class of service bonus. This is much less likely to happen as the Delta computers go back to the paid, or in this case non-paid award ticket, as the basis for awarding you points. The only few ways around this is to have the ticket reissued but even then often times it defaults back to the original ticket class “paid”. You can certainly fire off an e-mail to Delta about this and you may get points if you feel strongly about this. You may get some “courtesy” points or not.

No one likes to have to put up with travel issues. Most of us care where we are going and what time we get there (unless on a mileage run). But keeping all these bits in mind can at least mean a bit of a reward for you for putting up with a difficult situation!- René
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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

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