Frequent Flyer implications of flight delays and cancellations

Sometimes things don’t always go according to plan. While many a flight leaves or arrives on time, others have delays or cancellations that can be inconvenient or even possibly cost you your frequent flyer status?

Cancellations are often the easiest to deal with. The responsible carrier will normally look after you until you get to the destination. That might involve an extra days travel, accommodation at the airlines expense and even different carriers to get you there. That may even work to your advantage. If the new flights allow frequent flyer crediting, sometimes extra miles can be had, as it’s based on the new class of travel, not the one booked.

If changes result in a miles/status credit shortfall, many programs allow you to claim Original Routing Credit or ORC for short. Putting in a ORC request is usually a case of emailing the program with details of what happened, along with copies of actual boarding passes and the original booking details. Within a matter of days, you will often find the points and status credits that should have originally been earned appear in your account. Both Velocity and Qantas Frequent Flyer support this policy.

But what happens if something happens to your flight, and it just happens to be the last day of your membership year. One of our members asks the question with just that scenario:

My dad was delayed leaving LAX last weekend due to the damage done to the two QF planes. He was booked to depart on QF 12 on 28 February. (His new year starts on 1 march…. He managed to get moved onto QF16? …The plane eventually took off from LAX on the 1st of March can’t remember the exact time. His status credits (SC) for the flight posted the next day and included the weird sign thing to say that these SC are not included in the current year. He had already re-qualified for plat with plenty of room. But the SC would be handy for him this year. Is there any grounds to try and have them moved to his current year if he emails QFF?

Sadly for our member, Qantas applies actual flights in the same spirit of ORC. Despite a flight leaving the next day, it will credit as leaving on the day it was scheduled. While it doesn’t help our member looking to utilise status credits for a new year, it does help those counting on those same credit to keep or attain a new status level on the last day of their membership year. It seems to be a fair policy.

But what about other airlines? Have you had delays or cancellations that saw you miss out on status or points. How did the airline handle it? Is it reality or schedule that rules their program credits? Join the conversation HERE.

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