Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > American Airlines | AAdvantage
Reload this Page >

AA restricts expired miles reactivation within 18 months of expiration (2019)

AA restricts expired miles reactivation within 18 months of expiration (2019)

    Hide Wikipost
Old Apr 30, 19, 5:39 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: JDiver
Wiki Link
American Airlines AAdvantage Award Miles are valid for as long as the AAdvantage member’s account has had any kind of activity (earning or spending, gifting, donating etc.) within 18 (eighteen) months.

Q. How can I keep my miles from expiring?

Just earn or redeem miles on American or with an AAdvantage partner at least once every 18 months. We’ll automatically extend your mileage expiration date 18 months from the date of your most recent activity.

Your wallet shows the number of miles you have and the earliest date they could expire.
American used to offer reinstatement fees or “challenges” as paths to reactivate expired miles for several years after expiry. This policy has apparently changed to allow reinstatement of expired miles only up to 18 months after the date of expiration.

Get your expired miles back link to this policy

You can reactivate your expired miles for a fee in 1 of 2 ways*:

Online
Call AAdvantage® customer service

Reactivate miles in your account (link)
AAdvantage® customer service (link)

For mileage reactivations, you can:
  • Reactivate miles within 18 months of their expiration
  • Only make 1 transaction to reactivate your miles. Any expired miles from this same expiration time frame that aren’t reactivated will be forfeited
  • Reactivate a maximum of 500,000 miles
*Rates are charged based on the total number of miles reactivated from 1 account at 1 time, regardless of when the miles expired
NOTE: no mention of reengagement challenges, just fees.

Print Wikipost

Reply

Old Apr 30, 19, 7:54 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: EWR
Programs: Alaska, Marriott
Posts: 156
Exclamation AA restricts expired miles reactivation within 18 months of expiration (2019)

In case anyone has expired miles within the past 18 months and is contemplating reactivation.

I just found out today that AA now only allows reactivation for miles expired within the past 18 months.
It used to be much longer - you could activate as long as miles expired after 2002.
Unfortunately my miles expired earlier than that. I called customer service and apparently it's a recent policy change but they can't do anything about it.
I searched my email but didn't see any relevant communications. Not the surprise I was looking for when there's finally necessity to reactivate my expired AA miles.
usuario is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 30, 19, 7:55 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 22,691
18 months seems more than generous enough to me, though...
SJOGuy and KBMIFlyer like this.
ijgordon is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 30, 19, 8:00 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum
Posts: 1,518
Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
18 months seems more than generous enough to me, though...
I agree. There is a reason these are called "frequent-flyer programs."
SJOGuy is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 30, 19, 8:49 am
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: EWR
Programs: Alaska, Marriott
Posts: 156
Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
I agree. There is a reason these are called "frequent-flyer programs."
I have less problem with the new rule per se than the way they changed the previous rule (much more generous and been there for years) without notice. Not unlike how people feel about unannounced devaluations.

To be clear I have been flying with AA every year in the recent few years. And because of that, I never had to reactivate the expired miles for redemptions. So it seemed better to wait until I actually had to use them instead of reactivating and hoarding. Oh well..
usuario is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 30, 19, 9:04 am
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: DFW/DAL
Programs: AA Lifetime PLT, AS MVPG, HH Diamond, NCL Platinum Plus
Posts: 18,886
Originally Posted by usuario View Post


I have less problem with the new rule per se than the way they changed the previous rule (much more generous and been there for years) without notice. Not unlike how people feel about unannounced devaluations.

To be clear I have been flying with AA every year in the recent few years. And because of that, I never had to reactivate the expired miles for redemptions. So it seemed better to wait until I actually had to use them instead of reactivating and hoarding. Oh well..
I don't understand that last sentence. You have been flying AA every year, so I don't understand why you would have 3 years (18 months until expirate, and 18 months after expiration) to reactivate.
The goal should be to have some activity within the first 18 months so they don't expire, as you would have to pay to unexpire them at that point. It is a lot cheaper to simply have activity within the 18 months.
Was the "unlimited" reactivation period even a published part of the program? If not, then it was always subject to being pulled at any point without notice. Of course, instead of changing it to 18 months, they could have simply increased the price to more than you would want to pay.
mvoight is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 30, 19, 9:22 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: EWR
Programs: Alaska, Marriott
Posts: 156
Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
I don't understand that last sentence. You have been flying AA every year, so I don't understand why you would have 3 years (18 months until expirate, and 18 months after expiration) to reactivate.
The goal should be to have some activity within the first 18 months so they don't expire, as you would have to pay to unexpire them at that point. It is a lot cheaper to simply have activity within the 18 months.
Was the "unlimited" reactivation period even a published part of the program? If not, then it was always subject to being pulled at any point without notice. Of course, instead of changing it to 18 months, they could have simply increased the price to more than you would want to pay.
Mileage expiration happened before I started flying with AA more regularly.
Yeah the “after 2002/12/31” clause was published clearly on aa.com. The new reactivation rule is also in program information.
usuario is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 30, 19, 9:42 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: LAX
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 4,152
I am a database administrator. Speaking purely from a DBA point of view, not from marketing or customer service, I would ask how long the company's database has to be bloated with records pertaining to people who do not fly the airline?

Dead people.
Retired people who never want to see the inside of any airplane ever again after 40 years of Road Warrior Life.
People who decide home and family are more important than cushy lounges, warm nuts and PDBs.
People with new jobs in new cities that don't ever fly this airline again.
People who say "Good Bye Cruel Airline" after some perceived insult and never fly this airline again.

There's gotta be some kind of cutoff, again speaking as a DBA. You don't have any activity at all for X amount of time, your records are dumped.
AA100k and JDiver like this.
QueenOfCoach is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 30, 19, 9:55 am
  #8  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 41,024
The reason is much more than the markets look at miles as a liability. By zeroing them out after a lengthy period of non-use, AA moves a liability (to provide future services) off its books.

If you are not showing activity in what amounts to 3 years, you are: 1. not a frequent flyer, 2. not a significantly valuable customer, and 3. not likely to be tempted by the FFP in any event.
JDiver, olddallas and arollins like this.
Often1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 30, 19, 10:24 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: New York City
Programs: American Airlines Executive Platinum, Marriott Rewards Platinum Premier Elite
Posts: 1,091
Just putting this out there...it's not inconceivable that a female (or male, not judging) executive at a company could take a few years off after having kids from work, before re-entering the workforce and getting back to the weekly grind of flying all over the place.
donotblink is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 30, 19, 10:32 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: DCA/IAD
Programs: AA/US - PlatinumPro; 1W Sapphire; HHonors - Silver; UA dirt
Posts: 5,327
Originally Posted by donotblink View Post
Just putting this out there...it's not inconceivable that a female (or male, not judging) executive at a company could take a few years off after having kids from work, before re-entering the workforce and getting back to the weekly grind of flying all over the place.
And you are not required to -fly- to maintain an active account. Buy a magazine; buy some weed killer from Walmart; go out with the S/O and dump the kids for three hours and dine at an AAdvantage Dining restaurant.
ijgordon likes this.
IADCAflyer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 30, 19, 10:33 am
  #11  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 60,914
Originally Posted by donotblink View Post
Just putting this out there...it's not inconceivable that a female (or male, not judging) executive at a company could take a few years off after having kids from work, before re-entering the workforce and getting back to the weekly grind of flying all over the place.
Many of those people can make an AAdvantage Dining, AA shopping portal or other spend activity or even take a survey every year (or up to 18 months apart) and keep those miles active if they have a substantial number of miles in their AAdvantage account.
JDiver is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 30, 19, 10:48 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Programs: AA LT Plat
Posts: 3,608
Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach View Post
I am a database administrator. Speaking purely from a DBA point of view, not from marketing or customer service, I would ask how long the company's database has to be bloated with records pertaining to people who do not fly the airline?
Database bloat was a thing in the old days, when storage actually cost money. Nowadays, I doubt that a few bytes per account of mileage balance data are an issue given that the accounts themselves ("records pertaining to people who do not fly the airline") remain open.

I recall when our IT people would hound me to delete old e-mails to free up space on the POP server. Perhaps the database administrator culture is left over from those days.

PS I'm not saying that the 18-month cutoff is a big deal.
SeeBuyFly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 30, 19, 11:19 am
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: DFW/DAL
Programs: AA Lifetime PLT, AS MVPG, HH Diamond, NCL Platinum Plus
Posts: 18,886
Originally Posted by SeeBuyFly View Post
Database bloat was a thing in the old days, when storage actually cost money. Nowadays, I doubt that a few bytes per account of mileage balance data are an issue given that the accounts themselves ("records pertaining to people who do not fly the airline") remain open.

I recall when our IT people would hound me to delete old e-mails to free up space on the POP server. Perhaps the database administrator culture is left over from those days.

PS I'm not saying that the 18-month cutoff is a big deal.
The cause of the Y2K panic was because of the use of 2 digit years in order to save storage space
I can hardly wait to the Unix Epoch rollover of 2038, which will be preceded in 2036 by an NTP counting issue
enpremiere likes this.
mvoight is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 30, 19, 11:42 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: South Park, Metropolis
Programs: AA LT PLT 3MM, Hilton/Marriott/SPG/Club Carlson GLD, IHG PLT
Posts: 4,060
Most rewards programs, being miles, points, credits, etc. all clearly indicate the terms and conditions of such plan when you sign in. Normally, no one reads them at all. Even some rewards program have the term "frequent" attached to them. Just on name along you should get the idea that frequent is a continuous term, as opposed to in-frequent. As a member of the plan, you should be aware of the shelf life on the rewards you've acquired, and should have plenty of time to keep them going or redeeming them. It is up to you to exercise prudence on what you've earned. It is not the sponsor problem to "baby-sit" your plan. I myself have left points expire on other programs where I had some "orphan" points and no real way to capitalize on them. No one to blame but myself, I always check to see if they can make an exception, but wont make a fuss if the answer is no.
arollins is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 30, 19, 12:31 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Everywhere
Programs: AAdvantage; Wyndham Rewards
Posts: 35
Originally Posted by usuario View Post
In case anyone has expired miles within the past 18 months and is contemplating reactivation.

I just found out today that AA now only allows reactivation for miles expired within the past 18 months.
It used to be much longer - you could activate as long as miles expired after 2002.
Unfortunately my miles expired earlier than that. I called customer service and apparently it's a recent policy change but they can't do anything about it.
I searched my email but didn't see any relevant communications. Not the surprise I was looking for when there's finally necessity to reactivate my expired AA miles.
I had some miles expire in 2016 when I was living in another country. Was hoping calling them would help but according to you it really is too late.
nano404 is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread