Crediting my business-class flights to the wrong loyalty programme: TPG reader mistake story

Feb 16, 2020

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We are continuing to share our TPG U.K. readers’ travel triumphs and (occasional!) failures to help everyone maximise their travel.

This week, Edmund wrote in to share his headache while trying to figure out where to credit his business-class flights:

“Last summer, I was going to be doing a lot of flying with Star Alliance airlines that I hadn’t flown with much before. On the few occasions I had, I’d credited all my miles to Lufthansa’s Miles&More programme, but they seemed to keep expiring before I could ever use them. I therefore decided I needed a new Star Alliance programme with the primary criteria being that miles in the programme don’t expire. There aren’t many that have this feature, but I eventually settled on Aegean’s Miles+Bonus programme as it allows good progression to Gold and Silver status, miles don’t expire and once I obtain Silver status in the programme, it allows family miles pooling.

So, pleased with myself for not wasting my miles this time, off we went on a family holiday to South America. It was a big holiday, so we decided to take advantage of some reasonable business-class fares from Avianca and ended up taking nine flights in total, including two from London (LHR) to Bogota (BOG) (all in business class). Confident this would propel me to Silver status, and hence allow mile pooling with the family, I logged into my Aegean Miles+Bonus account a few weeks later and was surprised to find the miles had only credited at 100% with no cabin bonus for travelling in business class. After some digging I realised what had happened — our flights with Avianca had ticketed in K booking class.

When checking the Aegean mileage charts, it has Avianca’s K class down as economy (and not even full-fare economy, which also credits at 150%). Of course I have contacted both companies to try and resolve this, but both blames the other.

Whether or not they will correct the error in the mileage chart remains to be seen, but if anyone is thinking of doing something similar be seriously careful before you travel so you don’t get cheated out of your miles like me!”

Related: Which Star Alliance loyalty programmes are the best for British travellers?

Mileage earning charts for partner flights can be complicated and you might not end up earning the miles you think you would. Where possible, try to determine what you will earn before you add a loyalty number to a booking. Remember, once you have credited the flight to a programme, you cannot change it to another programme, even if you are unhappy with the earning amount!

Featured image by Gettys Images

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