Once in a while you will miss a connecting flight. It's not great and certainly rather stressful in the heat of the situation, but my general rule of air miles — never leave anything on the table.
What is Original Routing Credit
The general rule is you will only be credited with Avios and Tier Points for sectors you physically fly. Tier point running isn't really a commonly-known activity so airlines will believe they have fulfilled their air miles debt to you after you reach your destination and give you the associated air miles and any status credits.
But there is one exception which is the “Original Routing Credit”.
If you have a connecting flight and are delayed to the extent you miss your connection then you have the ability to request the air miles you would have gotten had the original route been travelled, instead of the ones you did get. I hesitate to use the words ‘right to request' because as with most things in loyalty programmes, you are generally at the mercy of the airline with regards to air miles.
As a side note, if you are sufficiently delayed on arrival you may be covered under EU261 compensation but that will remain a separate topic.
Who to contact and what to request
In general you should contact the programme to which you collect your air miles, not the airline who you were meant to fly (and since nearly all readers of this blog are BA Avios collectors then contact British Airways Executive Club). I highly suggest contacting them by phone first, and if necessary follow up by using the online “Supporting Documents” claim form. I recommend this order because some people get a standardised rejection because they didn't fly the sector which defeats the purpose of our claim.
You explanation will be simple, something along the lines of:
Hello, my travel itinerary was altered by the airline due to a delay, and I want to request “Original Routing Credit” based on the sectors I originally purchased instead.
You may be asked a few more questions so make sure you have all these details to hand:
- Your reservation identifier
- Your e-ticket number
- All the corresponding flight numbers
- Your travel dates
- Your marketing airline (the one which sold you the ticket)
- Any operating airlines (whose planes you actually flew)
I called up BAEC only this week to request an original routing credit and the agent seemed to know what to do right from the start. Your experience may vary though!
You booked Madrid – London – New York – Los Angeles, operated by Iberia from Madrid to London, then American Airlines the rest of the way. You normally credit all of these flights to British Airways Executive Club.
Due to a late flight between Madrid to London you miss the London – New York sector and so you are placed onto a London – Los Angeles flight instead and credited based on this new itinerary.
According to the Avios and Tier Point Calculator, Depending on the class of travel you could be due around 100-1200 Avios and 20-210 Tier Points. This is a big deal for those who are chasing high levels of BAEC status as 210 Tier Points represents over a third of the way to Silver and 14% of the way to Gold.
As I hesitantly mentioned, you should get the original routing credit although there is no defined right to it. You may need to speak to multiple agents should you feel you are not being properly serviced first time round (the so-called “Hang Up And Call Again” move) but you should receive the necessary Avios and Tier Points in line with any standard ‘missing Avios‘ claim.