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Redepositing miles for cancelled trip two years after earning them

Redepositing miles for cancelled trip two years after earning them

Old May 14, 20, 2:06 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2012
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Redepositing miles for cancelled trip two years after earning them

In May 2018, I redeemed a large number of Membership Rewards points for Flying Blue miles. In October 2019, I used those miles to book a flight to Dublin in August 2020. As a result of the pandemic, it looks like I'm going to have to cancel that trip. From what I understand, since those miles will be more than 2 years old, and since I haven't had any qualifying activity, those miles are simply going to be forfeited and not redeposited. (Please, tell me I'm wrong!) Does anybody have any idea what I could do? If I get a Bank of America Air France credit card and accumulate miles, does that activate the account so that the miles for the canceled trip can be redeposited and not expire for another 2 years? How about if I purchase a cheap flight on Delta for a trip I may or may not take and provide my Flying Blue number to keep my account active?

Last edited by MrMoonlight; May 14, 20 at 2:13 am
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Old May 14, 20, 3:01 am
  #2  
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None of us will be able to give you conclusive, definitive advice of what will happen.

I would strongly advise you to ring Flying Blue and discuss the matter with an FB agent. In view of FB's published statement that miles will not expire in 2020 for all members - although this does not specifically relate to your specific case (in which, indeed, the refunded miles should automatically expire given their age), I think you stand a very good chance of having FB prevent them from expiring, AS AN EXCEPTION given the circumstances, but you will have to work with FB to make sure that this happens as there is every chance that otherwise they will be lost for good.

You could perhaps work with the FB agent on the phone to instantly change your tickets - which may actually be the best thing to do. Just having your miles returned to your account is one thing, but it will be unclear when they would then expire - so I would advise you to "use" them again instantly.

Of course, now that we have variable pricing it may arise that you won't have enough miles to book the same trip again, but you can probably come up with some other use of them, working with the phone agent to check dates. It would help if you have a look beforehand on the Flying Blue booking tool and already have zeroed in on particular flights/dates.

I can't guarantee that any of this will work out - but to get the best outcome for yourself, I can't see any other option but to call Flying Blue.

I would not rely on adding "new" earned miles to your account, or acquiring a credit card - the system should have been robustly designed to notice that there is a separate pot of "dead" miles which are not eligible for this sort of prolongation. (The "dead" miles may have already been taken, or may never even be returned to your balance, meaning that buying a flight/credit card is almost certainly pointless as it may not have the effect you desire)

And please do come back and let us know your experiences.

Good luck!

Originally Posted by MrMoonlight View Post
How about if I purchase a cheap flight on Delta for a trip I may or may not take and provide my Flying Blue number to keep my account active?
Your FB account is currently active. You do not make an account active by buying a flight.
Note that merely buying a flight does nothing to your mileage balance lifetime. it is only when you take that flight, and new FB miles are added to your existing balance, that that entire balance has its expiry dated updated.

Buying a Delta flight now for travel on any date in the future won't save your miles. When these refunded FB miles hit your account, they are "dead" miles, and instantly expire. By the time any new FB miles from a new Delta flight hit your account, the account already has a zero balance. New miles cannot extend the lifetime of "old" refunded miles. That's why I advise you to talk to FB to see if they will stretch the rules for you. You will need manual intervention in this case, I believe. You cannot just rely on the automated system (whether by buying/taking a new earning flight, or acquiring a credit card)

Last edited by irishguy28; May 14, 20 at 3:13 am
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Old May 14, 20, 11:25 am
  #3  
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Thank you so much! That was so very helpful and I appreciate your time responding to my question. The rules for FB mile expiration are so difficult to wrap my brain around that I still don't think I'm anywhere near understanding them.

Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
In view of FB's published statement that miles will not expire in 2020 for all members - although this does not specifically relate to your specific case (in which, indeed, the refunded miles should automatically expire given their age)
Since I earned these miles in May 2018, they would expire this month, correct? So wouldn't that fall under FB's published statement that those miles will not expire this year? And if that's the case, when I do cancel my flight, won't I have until the end of this year to use the redeposited miles to book a flight sometime next summer? Or in the alternative, get a Bank of America Flying Blue credit card, earn miles, and extend the life of the redeposited miles for another two years?
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