The Department of Transportation will no longer require airlines to honor mistake fares.
When that news came out a couple of weeks ago, I said that the era of mistake fares isn’t actually over.
American Airlines apparently agrees, because they let me know they’re updating their terms and conditions to say that they will not award miles on mistake fares going forward (I take this to suggest that they envision the possibility of having to honor a mistake fare again at some point, granted though that it’s cheap and easy to change their terms though not necessarily the IT to implement those terms).
Certain airline tickets are not eligible for earning mileage credit. These include, without limitation, the following: all tickets issued as AAdvantage awards or other free ticket promotions including free or reduced rate tickets; companion tickets; charter flight tickets; travel agency/industry reduced rate tickets; infant tickets; items occupying a purchased seat; unpublished fare tickets, including consolidator fares, tickets issued as a result of a fare published inadvertently or by mistake and tickets issued subject to special provisions.
- I love that American is proactively reaching out about changing in their terms and conditions, rather than just making changes (which I’ll notice anyway because of a ‘change detection’ I have set).
- We’ll see if this actually happens in practice. The bonus qualifying points promotion that American is running contains a similar restriction, and yet folks flying on the China mistake business class fares have been earning bonus qualifying points.
- The restriction seems reasonable, I really can’t argue with it.
- Still I would just credit miles from a mistake fare flown on American to a partner frequent flyer program. Even if American considers the fare non-mileage earning, it will be in a qualifying fare class for another airline. It’s possible miles won’t post (that American will be so clever as to avoid reporting to the partner airline, though I doubt it) and it’s possible miles sent in for credit retroactively to another airline won’t post. But under the terms and conditions of most foreign partner programs you’d have a good case to earn the miles.
I remember when American offered miles to customers who booked a mistake fare not to fly on it. And I remember American offering miles as compensation for not honoring a fare at one point years ago as well. Now they say they won’t give miles if you do fly. We’ll see if that actually happens.