At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.
When flying United, Star Alliance and United partner flights, be sure that your MileagePlus number is attached to the reservation and appears on your boarding pass. If you want those valuable miles to redeem for a free trip, it can pay off to make sure the miles post to your account in the first place. If not, here’s exactly what you need to do.
Keep your boarding pass and ticket receipt until the miles post to your account. This is wise advice for any flight you take where you want to accrue miles. Unlike other airlines, United’s social channels are not always willing to assist with missing miles. Instead, they send you to the airline’s website; luckily, United has been a leader in the online request process, having incorporated its Star Alliance partners to the request form.
Request missing MileagePlus miles
Use this form to request missing miles from a United flight (you will need to log into your MileagePlus account first). Your ticket number, which begins with 016 on United tickets, is all you need, although occasionally more details like a copy of your boarding pass and receipt may be requested.
For Star Alliance or partner airlines, more details like city pair and fare class reserved are required. Ticket numbers for partner airlines may have a different prefix than 016. United also advises that travelers wait at least seven days for miles to post before submitting a missing mileage request.
To find this form, go to the MileagePlus tab on the top of the home page and select “MileagePlus Service Center.” Select “Request missing award miles.” Keep in mind that not all partner flights are eligible for mileage earning; you can check your airline and fare class paid using this link.
To request missing miles from eligible train travel, wait at least 15 days. If they do not post to your account, you can upload proof of travel and a receipt by contacting United through its online form.
Travelers can retroactively request United miles from the past year. Those who have not joined MileagePlus yet can still join and retroactively request miles from the past six months’ flights.
» Learn more: Your guide to booking award flights on United
The bottom line
You can save time and effort by assuring your MileagePlus number is both in your reservation and printed on your boarding pass. Still, things can fall through the cracks, and by following these steps (and reviewing that your past flights have properly posted), you can help your balance fill up for your next free flight.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Find the best travel credit card for you
United Airlines MileagePlus Program: The Complete Guide
Benefits of United Airlines Credit Cards