How I Earned Delta SkyMiles On A United Award Ticket

Our flights, which were booked with United award miles, were cancelled, and we were rebooked on a Delta flight.  When we returned home, I applied for and received Delta SkyMiles for these tickets.

The Trip

We decided to take a somewhat adventurous trip into Mexico’s Copper Canyon region.  There has been a State Department Advisory against travel in this region for some years due to fighting between drug cartel, which have resulted in numerous gruesome murders.  The train ride through the Copper Canyon has been on many travelers’ bucket lists and we not only wanted to ride the train, but we wanted to see what life was like in the Canyons as well.  We figured we would exercise reasonable caution and go on this trip that we have wanted to do for many years.  We made plans to fly into Chihuahua, MX in Central Sonora, and to fly out of Los Mochis, MX on the west coast of Sinaloa.

I did a trip report in several parts.  Here are the links if you are interested:

I See Nothing….I Hear Nothing….Living with the Mexican Drug Cartels

Copper Canyon Our Way–Part 1–Chihuahua

Copper Canyon Our Way–Part 2–Creel and Divisadero

Copper Canyon Our Way–Part 3–In The Canyons

Copper Canyon  Our Way–Part 4– Riding El Chepe Through The Canyons

Copper Canyon Our Way–Final Part– El Fuerte and Topolobampo

The Tickets

I booked the flights as two one-ways.  The flight to Chihuahua was booked from Atlanta to Chihuahua with a stop in Houston.  We paid 30K United Miles each for these tickets.  This was the flight that we had problems with.

The return was booked with Delta but this time we didn’t use miles.  I paid for the flights with a Delta ecert that I had gotten earlier in the year when I volunteered to be bumped off an ATL-SLC flight.  By the way, I did have to call to get this credit applied to two individual tickets, and I was charged a $25 fee.

How We Got the Delta SkyMiles

When we arrived at the Atlanta airport for our first flight to Houston, we discovered that it had been cancelled due to tornadoes in Texas.  There were other flights cancelled too, and the United check in area was in total chaos.  We got in a huge line in front of a service counter with only one person, and in the meantime I got on the phone with United.  After an hour the line hadn’t moved, but I got in touch with an agent who rebooked us on a Delta flight.  The only problem was that it didn’t leave for 9 hours, and we would have to spend the night in the Mexico City airport before a 6:00 am flight to Chihuahua.  Oh well…. Once I got into the United Lounge, I started my rant on FlyerTalk in the United Airlines forum.   Someone there made the comment, “Don’t forget to get SkyMiles for your flight.” I didn’t know you could get miles on an award ticket!

When we returned, I logged into my SkyMiles account on, went to My Trips, and then Request Mileage Credit.

How to Request Original Routing Credit for Delta SkyMiles

I was already logged into my SkyMiles account, so I just added my ticket number.  I repeated the process for Bruce’s account, and several days later we received Delta SkyMiles for our trip.

Our new tickets were horribly inconvenient, but at least we got to our destination, and received a bonus of several thousand SkyMiles for doing so!

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