Update: My American Airlines account is back post-hack (kinda)

AA account post-hack is an update to this post.

My AAdvantage account was brutally hacked back in July. Someone got my login info and used nearly all the miles for an award flight.

They also used my email to sign me up for literally thousands of emails lists—I’m still unsubscribing from them to this day. It was a clever move, because the emails from American Airlines could’ve easily fallen through the cracks. I guess that’s what they were hoping for.

a screenshot of an account

Keeping the “Since 2006” was a nice touch

Stuff is mostly back. All my activity ported over, along with Loyalty Points, elite status… even the date I joined AAdvantage. ✈️

I basically didn’t have an account for ~2 months. And I’m still discovering all the things that don’t quite work the way they should.

I’ve spent hours and hours on hold and talking to various American staff. It looks like more calls are needed.

Starting over isn’t easy following a hack.

What works in my AA account post-hack

I must give kudos to the team at American. Hacks happens constantly, and they suck.

Because of that, I’d assume they have an easier way to transition things.

With the Loyalty Points model they’re using now, it’s incredible how much stuff was linked to my AA account. Here’s what transferred over beautifully:

  • Elite status
  • Loyalty points earned program year-to-date
  • Citi AA credit cardholdership
  • Barclays AA credit cardholdership
  • Credit card status for free checked bag, priority boarding, etc.
  • All my account activity
  • Known Traveler Number
  • Address and other contact info
  • Flights booked under the old account

This is all great! American did a fantastic job transferring all this. It’s beyond the bare minimum and definitely usable. I could fly tomorrow and have all the benefits of AA elite status with little hassle.

What doesn’t work in my AA account post-hack

But it’s not all free upgrades and pre-departure beverages.

A lot of my account info didn’t make it over, including:

  • Reservation preferences
  • Emergency contacts and travel companions
  • Saved payment methods
  • Saved passport

Minor things to update.

But a lot of the third-party stuff that makes the Loyalty Points program fun and rewarding are not connected AND it’s unclear how I can restore functionality to the new account, such as:

  • SimplyMiles
  • AA dining
  • AA shopping portal
  • Business Extra (!)

In the case of SimplyMiles, I couldn’t log in with my old AA number, so I made a new account. But I can’t add any of my cards because they’re still linked to the old account… which I can’t access.

a screenshot of a computer error

The site seems to really not like that

I don’t know how to unlink my cards from the old and link to the new SimplyMiles account. So, that sucks. SimplyMiles is a great way to occasionally rack up a ton of Loyalty Points.

And considering the offers there sometimes align with Citi Merchant Offers, it’s disappointing to lose that method of earning extra points.

AA account post-hack

None of these cards work with SimplyMiles any more… including my AA credit cards :/ 

Same for the AA shopping portal. The old account is gone. I can just start over with that one, though.

I also can’t get into my Business Extra account and will need to call them. It’s minor, but I’ve already made so many phone calls. Sigh.

I’m also unclear about what will happen to my Hyatt dual accrual. When I try to re-link, the site just tells me my accounts are already linked. I’m guessing to the old one.

a screenshot of a website


There might also be other things I haven’t thought of yet. Like I said, I used my AAdvantage account for soooo many things over the years.

Do this now

Please, if you haven’t lately, change your passwords. I was using an old old password that was probably exposed a hundred data breaches ago. So, think of a new one. Make it a motivational phrase. Add a number. The longer, the better. Don’t be like me. Keep your account in good standing.

AA account post-hack bottom line

This is a cautionary tale, as well as letting you know what will likely happen if your own AAdvantage account is hacked. You’ll probably lose your miles, but get them back after hours on the phone (including with your local police department to file a police report). You’ll have to wait to get that, then send various emails and wait some more. Your inbox may be deluged with thousands of email subscriptions that you’ll get for months, even after unsubscribing, reporting as spam, blocking, etc.

It might take a day or it may take a couple of months for your new account to work. And even then, it won’t be like before. Some things will transfer, some won’t, and others will be in a liminal limbo.

If you enjoy the Loyalty Points program, say what’s a functional goodbye to SimplyMiles. Open a new shopping portal account. Wonder if other things will ever make it over.

I’m not whining. AA did a great job overall. But it isn’t perfect. It affects how I can interact with their loyalty program, and it seems to be a common occurrence. The solution isn’t thorough or elegant.

With all the calls, all the emails, and all the calls I’m realizing I now have to make, this whole thing has been a PITA. I’d be extra annoyed if I had to do this while traveling on AA and not getting the earned program benefits.

Have any of your loyalty accounts been hacked? Was it an easy fix—or similarly thorny?

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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  1. Harlan — Did you find a way to deal with SimplyMiles? I had the same issue as you after my account was hacked and still haven’t been able to resolve it.

    • Emailed you but replying for posterity – I think the only way around it is to report the cards lost and get new account numbers. Very disappointing but it’s the only thing I can come up with. :/

  2. This just happened to us. AA is saying there is nothing they can do and 77,000 miles are lost. How did you fight it? They said, too bad, so sad!

    • This doesn’t sound right. They have an entire fraud department that can restore your account. Keep trying. Whoever you spoke with maybe didn’t know.

  3. Harlan
    I can’t connect with the AA Fraud dept. I’ve been given the run around for 2 days now (ie, not able to actually speak to someone). Any advice?
    Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

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