American Airlines Miles

A Step-by-Step Guide to Claiming Miles on American Airlines

American Airlines’ loyalty program, AAdvantage, allows members to earn miles that can be redeemed for free flights and other rewards. The program has over 100 million members and awards miles not just for flying but also for travel partners like hotels, rental cars, credit cards, and more. With thoughtful mileage tracking and redemption, you can maximize the value of your rewards. This comprehensive guide will explain everything you need to know to start claiming AAdvantage American Airlines miles and using them for free travel.

Getting Started with an AAdvantage Account

The first step is enrolling in the AAdvantage program, which is free. You can sign up on the American Airlines website or mobile app in just minutes. Be sure to provide your full name, email, mailing address, phone number, and TSA information. Once your account is created, you’ll receive an AAdvantage member ID to reference when booking travel. Consider signing up for a mileage promotion for bonus miles upon enrollment.

Setting Up Your Account Profile

Within your online AAdvantage account, thoroughly complete all account details, including your name, contact info, TSA/Known Traveler info, preferences, and more. This helps ensure American Airlines has accurate information and makes booking simpler. You can also add other airline frequent flyer numbers to pool miles, link family members, and get personalized travel offers.

Earning Miles by Flying American Airlines

  • Booking and taking flights on American Airlines and its partner airlines earn miles based on the ticket price and your elite status level. Most economy tickets earn 5-10 miles per dollar spent, while premium cabins earn more. When booking, always include your AAdvantage number so flights are credited correctly. Tickets must be purchased directly from American Airlines to earn full miles.
  • After flying, sign into your account to confirm miles were properly credited. Miles post shortly after travel but may take up to 6-8 weeks. Be sure your name on the ticket exactly matches your AAdvantage account. If miles are missing, reach out to AAdvantage customer service for assistance.

Earning Miles with Travel Partners

The AAdvantage program has over 30 airline, hotel, car rental, rail, cruise, and vacation package partners that allow you to earn extra miles for purchases with them. Examples include British Airways, Avis, Hilton, Amtrak and more. Activate these partners in your account and give your AAdvantage number when booking or checking in. Miles from credit cards like the Citi AAdvantage cards can also stack up quickly from everyday purchases. Consider getting a mileage-earning card that matches your spending patterns to boost your balance faster.

Special Promotions and Bonuses

Keep an eye out for special AAdvantage promotions that offer bonus miles and incentives. Examples include extra miles for hotel stays, activating new partners, hitting member anniversary milestones, taking surveys or even on your birthday. Limited-time offers may award bonus miles for flying certain routes or booking fare classes. These bonuses all add up over time.

Redeeming AAdvantage American Airlines Miles

Once you’ve built up a healthy mileage balance, it’s time to get traveling! American Airlines offers many options for redeeming miles:
  • Book award flights on American Airlines and partners to any destination. No blackout dates.
  • Upgrade your cabin class using miles. Splurge on First Class or stretch out in Premium Economy.
  • Book vacation packages like air + hotel and cruise awards. Add miles to get premium amenities.
  • Use miles for seat selection fees, baggage fees, and airport lounge access.
  • Donate miles to participating charities or share with family and friends.
  • Redeem miles for gift cards, merchandise, magazine subscriptions, and more.
Be strategic about mileage redemption to maximize value. Use miles for expensive long-haul flights in premium cabins to get the highest cents per mile. Avoid using miles for cheap economy fares that cost less in cash. Understand award charts and partner rules to get the flights you want. Miles do expire after 18 months of no activity, so redeem regularly.


My recent American Airlines flight did not post to my account. What should I do?

First, double-check your reservation record to confirm the entry of your AAdvantage number during ticketing. If accurate, wait 7–10 days before submitting a request through the Missing Flight Credit portal.

Why does it take so long for miles to appear in my account?

Processing times vary depending on source and volume. Typically, allow 7–30 days for credit posting. Some instances, such as promotional bonuses or error corrections, might exceed standard timelines.

Can I claim miles for past activities older than six months?

Generally, retroactive claims extend only three to six months preceding the request date. However, exceptions exist, particularly for infrequent flyer accounts or unusual circumstances. Always try submitting a request even if approaching the deadline.

Do missed miles expire?

Yes, unused miles expire after 24 consecutive calendar months. Extensions may be granted under specific scenarios outlined in the Expiration Policy. Proactively maintain account activity through eligible transactions to prevent the automatic purging of hard-earned miles.

How can I avoid missing miles in the future?

Diligent tracking remains crucial, but proactive measures include opting into email reminders detailing upcoming expiration dates, registering for promotions, linking accounts with participating partners, and utilizing co-branded credit cards.


With smart earning and redemption techniques, American Airlines‘ AAdvantage program provides an excellent opportunity to earn free travel worldwide. Sign up for an account, take advantage of promotions, track miles closely, and use them wisely. In no time, your efforts will pay off with the flights and experiences of your dreams!


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