My frequent flier miles were cancelled... AA want $1000 to restore them.

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Nov 17, 2019
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#1
I am a retired senior citizen and spent years accumulating American Airlines frequent flier miles prior to my retirement. I recently discovered that AA had cancelled all of my frequent flier miles (over 100,000) and wanted $1000 in order to get these miles back. I never received any email or notification that my miles would expire. I called AA but they said too bad, there is nothing that they can do.

Now that I am at a point where I can travel to visit my grandchildren, I was hoping to use some of these miles for upcoming trips. I believe that AA should have notified or warned me that all of these miles were going to expire, and not insist that I pay $1000 to get the miles back (I cannot afford to pay as I am on a fixed income).
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
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#2
This is a Frequent Flyer program. When did you last fly with AA? Non Activity cause miles to expire. My monthly statement and acct prominently show when my miles expire.
I’m sorry you find yourself without your miles but you need to check your acct and sign up to receive a monthly stmt. 70FBFF62-D486-47E1-8E4F-B146FBC673F7.jpeg
 
Sep 20, 2015
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#3
You can try to ask them to reinstate the miles without a fee, but AA is not always the most accommodating. Write to the first company contact on the list (https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/american-airlines/ ), ask politely, keep emotion out of it, and they *may* help you out as a one time courtesy. Just be aware, that AA seems to be the least customer focused of the major US airlines so they may say no.

In the future, if you have miles, you don't have to fly to keep them effective. Any transaction, either adding or subtracting miles once a year is enough to keep your miles active. For example, many programs offer magazine subscriptions for a couple of hundred miles that would keep you active.
 
Nov 17, 2019
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#4
It appears that I last flew with AA in November 2015, before my retirement. I did not receive any notice from them that my miles were about to expire, nor was I aware that I needed to monitor this account or that my miles would expire.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#7
Miles expire after 18 months of no activity— either flight, car rental or even online shopping. I get emails from AA which lists the expiration date. As I have not flown an AA operated flight in decades my miles were kept alive by rare BA flights and more often shopping.

You can write but do not expect a full waiver. You can ask if there is any reengagement challenge but that has often requires a certain amount of paid flights in a short period of time.

Attached is part of my October email which lists my expiration date. I get these regularly.
 

Attachments

Nov 17, 2019
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#9
I have checked my email history (including spam folders), and there are no emails about account status or mile expiration. In fact, I have had only a handful of emails from AA since my last flight in 11/2015.
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
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#10
There is a notification as to expiration date on every email from AA mileage — I seem to get them monthly. The airline is not going to chase you down with warning letters. Are you getting emails from AA?
You need to “opt in” to emails when you originally set up your FF acct ( and stmts ) and your email address needs to be up to date.
 
Nov 17, 2019
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#11
Wish I knew then what I know now. I have been an AA frequent flier for decades, so I don't remember the details of when I signed up.
 
Dec 26, 2014
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#12
One thing to remember, being a member of a frequent flyer program does not make you a frequent flyer. Only flying will do that. If not flying multiple times per year, be aware that you have to take other actions to preserve your miles. Maintaining frequent flyer status with the associated benefits is changing lately too with minimum $ amount spends now in addition to actual flying being required by some airlines.
 
May 30, 2019
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#19
That is terrific news!
Thanks to everyone for their help and input.
I received a call from AA and they offered to restore my 116,000 miles for a $100.00 fee, which I accepted.
For the benefit of the OP & anyone else reading this thread, here are some posts that mentioned ways to keep an AAdvantage account active & avoid losing miles.
https://onemileatatime.com/prevent-american-miles-from-expiring/
https://millionmilesecrets.com/guides/keep-american-airlines-miles-from-expiring/
https://thepointsguy.com/guide/keep-points-and-miles-from-expiring/
https://www.rewardexpert.com/blog/how-to-keep-your-aadvantage-miles-from-expiring/

My preferred method is to use the American Airlines shopping portal every few months or so for things I would purchase anyway:
https://www.aadvantageeshopping.com/
 
Sep 20, 2015
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#20
I'm really glad they came through for a reasonable fee. AA isn't always that nice. Just make sure you do some sort of transaction every 18 months (using miles for a flight counts, or as I said earlier, get some cheap magazine and pay with miles) to keep your account alive.