Wow: United Airlines Will Introduce Family Mileage Pooling This Week

by Anthony Losanno
United 737 MAX 9

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Mileage pooling (the ability to combine miles from family members and friends into one account for faster award earnings) is nothing new for airlines globally. JetBlue and Frontier Airlines have been doing this for some time and there are dozens of international carriers that also allow families to combine miles. United Airlines is about to become the first of the big four in the US (American, Delta, and Southwest being the other three that make up this group) to allow families (and friends) this option.

Aviation watchdog, @JonNYC, broke the news around an hour ago. Friends and family can add miles to a collective account. Individuals decide how many miles to add and the pool leader controls who can join and how miles are redeemed. Members can only join one pool at a time.

Luc Bondar, Chief Operating Officer of MileagePlus, said:

We’re always looking for new ways to provide the most value to all of our loyalty members and are proud to be the first major U.S. airline to allow our members to pool their miles with their loved ones and friends. MileagePlus miles pooling further reinforces United’s position as the leader in family and group travel and gives our members more flexibility to use their miles while making it easier to connect to the destinations and moments that matter most, with the people that matter most.”

The only drawback of this pooling option is that miles cannot be used for redemptions on Star Alliance or other United partners. Flights must be flown by United or United Express.

Anthony’s Take: With the near-constant increases to the cost of award redemptions, this will give groups the ability to earn tickets faster. It will be interesting to see how United will qualify friends and family. I expect this to be pretty controlled or it could lead to fraud quickly with pool leaders selling miles.

(Featured Image Credit: United Airlines.)

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Mike March 21, 2024 - 4:21 am

This might influence which airline we fly with for an upcoming trip. Points for my children are pointless if they never earn enough to redeem them.

Lara S March 21, 2024 - 8:35 am

This is great! I am the UA FF in our family and always lament the 1-2 times a year my husband and kid fly with me bc they get miles that never amount to enough, because they don’t have status. This would be amazing if it doesn’t cost a fortune and isn’t implemented in a ridiculous, aka laborious, fashion!


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