It’s easy to cancel an American AAdvantage award and never get your miles back. You need to pay attention, and sometimes you need to follow up.
- If you cancel an American AAdvantage award itinerary online, that doesn’t automatically redeposit your points. Call to cancel and get your miles redeposited.
- Miles redeposits are not usually instant. They can be quick, or can take a day.
- And sometimes they don’t go back on their own.
About two weeks ago I cancelled a first class award for two passengers between the US and Indian Subcontinent. It was an Etihad A380 First Apartment roundtrip booking (don’t worry, I have a couple of those trips I still plan to take — including one that involves A380 first class on all 3 of the big Gulf carriers: Etihad, Emirates, and Qatar).
I was expecting a refund of 360,000 miles. When that didn’t happen after three days, I emailed AAdvantage Customer Service. I didn’t want to call and wait on hold half an hour while an agent worked through this, and American no longer allows direct phone calls to AAdvantage Customer Service either. So I sent the note via the AA.com website.
They auto-respond with a goal of replying to inquiries within 5 business days.
Thank you for your email to AAdvantage Customer Service. It’s our goal to respond to your account-related question within five business days.
That was last Friday. It’s now been 6 business days, and no reply. And no 360,000 AAdvantage mile redeposit, either.
One relatively recent improvement to the American website is that when you cancel an award ticket your statement shows the date of the award’s original issue alongside the miles you get back.
However it doesn’t show ticket number, making it hard to track which miles were returned from which ticket if you’re cancelling and redepositing awards that were issued on the same date.
I’m sure I can sort this out by phone but it’s an issue and an area where American can and should do better — getting award redeposits right in the first place, and responding to customer service issues promptly.