A couple of days ago, I posted about my efforts to gather miles through my Brussels Airlines American Express card. In addition to the AMEX card, plenty of other ways exist to get miles. On top of my 8297 missing American Express miles, since August last year I have earned 17871 miles. Until now only 6100 of those have made it into my account. Below you will find a list of all methods I have used so far, and my experience with each of them. In summary, most methods also require a certain degree of follow-up, even the online subscription for the Miles and More (M&M) newsletter. And once miles for a flight are not credited automatically, it can get very frustrating.
Flights (3491 OK, 10771 missing)
While this should be the easiest of all ways to gather miles, it has cost me the most efforts and it has been the most frustrating by far. The cause: an Egyptair return flight Brussels – Johannesburg with stopover in Cairo in September/October. I did not have my M&M ID yet at the time of booking, so I presented it at the check-in, both in BRU and JNB. After more than a month, one segment had appeared in my account: BRU-CAI, getting me 2991 miles in Y. In itself, that was a positive surprise: since we had booked the flight at a very reasonable rate, I expected it to be in a lower booking class getting 0,5x distance miles instead of 1,5x. But the return flight boarding passes (the only ones I still had) did indeed show Y as the booking class, so it was probably correct. Great, I thought, this will get me a lot of miles.
A couple of weeks later, however, the other segments had not yet appeared in my account. So I used the online form to claim the missing miles. After a while, this resulted in the segments appearing in my account, with some cryptic messages explaining why I was not getting any miles. For the CAI-JNB segment, it read ‘Name not on passenger list’. And for the two return segments, it read ‘Booking class not entitled to miles’. Hmm… I emailed them, asking what was wrong. I twice got the answer my flights were still being processed. That surprised me, since the status shown on my account seemed pretty final to me.
A few months and several mails later we are at a point where the M&M service center asked me to send my boarding passes (by snail mail!) to Germany. I am trying to explain to them that for the CAI-JNB segment I don’t have it anymore, but that I did get miles for the BRU-CAI segment and the (separately booked) JNB-MPM flight just after arrival in JNB, so I could not possibly have walked from CAI to JNB. I am also trying to get clarification on why they want me to send boarding passes when their system seems to acknowledge that the booking class is Y, and indicates it is not entitled to miles. And I am trying to understand why on earth I would have to send them to Germany by snail mail. I have sent them the scans, and urged them to take action. I am hoping for a miracle…
In all fairness, I have to say that the JNB-MPM flight I mentioned before (operated by SAA), as well as a BRU-VIE return flight in December (operated by Brussels Airlines), were correctly processed. Unfortunately, the number of miles for those is a lot lower.
Hotel stays (0 OK, 1000 missing)
For both my stays in a Best Western hotel in Vienna, and one in the Savoy in Berlin (part of the Worldhotels chain) I am expecting 500 miles. Both were booked directly with the hotel. As indicated on the M&M site, I showed my M&M card while checking in (and out). Both noted my ID without any further comments. So far, no miles. I emailed both of them a couple of days ago. The Best Western quickly responded that they could only credit my miles if I joined their rewards program. I have done that and passed my ID to them, and they have assured me they will credit my miles immediately. Why this procedure is not mentioned on the M&M site, or explained at check-in, I don’t know. The Savoy has not responded yet.
Miles and More Newsletter (500 OK)
Since August, I subscribed to the newsletter several times, trying to get the 500 miles they promised. No newsletter, no miles until a couple of days ago. I then emailed the M&M service center asking them to subscribe me, and they took care of it. Why it did not work on line, I don’t know.
Holidaycheck.nl (1780 OK)
Holidaycheck hotel reviews get you 120 miles (previously 100) per review. Every time I have submitted reviews, miles were credited within a couple of weeks.
Maasmechelen Village (329 OK)
Every euro spent at Maasmechelen Village outlet shopping center gets you one mile. A simple visit to the info center to show your bills will do. Miles are credited immediately.