Will you get your airline frequent flyer miles if you miss your non-refundable flight?

Amrutha Pagad
Amrutha PagadMay 04, 2023 | 09:00

Will you get your airline frequent flyer miles if you miss your non-refundable flight?

Missed your flight? Here's what happens to your mile points. Photo: DailyO

There are times when you may miss a flight or realise too late that you won't be able to take it due to a change in plans, except, the ticket is non-refundable. If you are enrolled in the miles program, then does this mean you earn the miles since you purchased the ticket even if you don't take the flight? 

This is a quandary we recently faced too. But the terms and conditions of most miles programs don't give their customers this privilege even if they've spent their money. 

  • DailyO spoke to a customer care executive of Vistara who said that the miles are credited only after the passenger had completed the journey.
  • Meaning, if you were to miss your flight or for any reason did not board the flight, you can say goodbye to the mile points. And no, it doesn't matter that you weren't going to get a penny back from them in terms of refund... because you booked a non-refundable flight. 
  • Vistara operates Club Vistara for passengers who can collect the mile points, which can later be used while booking another flight on Vistara or to get an upgrade. 

DailyO also went through the terms and conditions of Air India Flying Returns, which said this: 

FR Points are credited only after a member has actually completed travel and not immediately after reservation/ticketing/check-in. Members are not entitled to FR Points for tickets purchased but not used. 
  • So, even if you were to check in but miss boarding your flight or taking the journey, then your mile points won't be credited. 
  • Usually, passengers have to have their boarding tickets scanned during boarding to confirm their presence. 
  • On the other hand, some airlines like Air India allow passengers to purchase miles too if they are falling short for any purpose. 

What you can do before booking your flight ticket

If you are unsure of your journey or you just want to remain on the safe side if the ticket is non-refundable, but want to book ahead to avoid the price hike, then a lot of travel booking portals like Make My Trip allow you to "lock the price" of a flight by paying a small advance. 

You will be able to book the same flight after a few days, usually a week, for the price you locked it at or less if the prices have dropped, whichever is less. 

Bottomline: No, you will not get the airline miles or points if you don't actually complete the flight. It doesn't matter that the money you paid is gone; and that you weren't even getting any points out of it. (it's unfair, we get it, but it is what it is)

Last updated: May 04, 2023 | 09:00
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