You Can’t Change Frequent Flyer Numbers After Your Flight

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This is something I probably should have known. I did suspect it, but I was so tired last night on my last set of flights that I neglected to switch from my United to my US Airways number before the first flight took off. Then I meant to call when I landed and was waiting for my connection, but forgot. It wasn’t until I woke up this morning that I remembered and called customer service to see if it was possible.

The first agent wouldn’t even try to look at the flight, but kept referencing my previous set of flights that did have the number. When I explained the situation, she said no. So I called back and talked to a different agent, who was much nicer, but still told me that once the data had been submitted to United, they couldn’t change it. She also told me that once the trip had begun, even on the outbound of a roundtrip, I wouldn’t be able to change it.

This is different than United who has multiple times changed my frequent flyer number mid trip for me, although I don’t think I’ve ever tried to change it after the fact.

Ugh. So now I’ll picking up one last 500 mile segment somewhere in the next week to get the remaining 228 miles I need to get platinum on my preferred status trial. If I’d had my wits about me, I would have just made the effort and gotten the number changed at the gate, no matter how busy or cranky the agents were.

Has anyone else had better success with other airlines or found themselves in the same predicament?


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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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