Frequent Flyer Programmes United Airlines

United Airline Introduced Miles Pooling Feature For MileagePlus Program

Travel, particularly air travel, has changed significantly following the covid crisis. Although business travel has suffered a hit, request for premium travel remains sustained. Also people are travelling more and spending more for each flight on average. Therefore in this landscape it has become of growing importance to intercept families and group travel. One way to incentivise these travellers to choose one airline over another is by offering frequent flyer benefits. One of the most common benefits is allowing to build miles and pool them together as a family or group. We’ve seen many airlines do this, from Korean Air to Air France with the latest to introduce it being United Airlines. So let’s take a closer look at what United has cooked up for groups and families in its MileagePlus programme.

United Airlines Now Allows Pooling MileagePlus Miles

The latest update in the United Airlines MileagePlus programme allows travellers to pool their miles together and spend them on rewards. As mentioned, this is something many airlines around the world have done. However United is, surprisingly, the first US based airline to introduce this feature in its frequent flyer program.

In simple terms United passengers, groups of friends or families, will be able to have a common account. They can then share in the common pool part or all of their miles so that all participants can benefit from spending them. A move made just before the summer season opens, trying to intercept families and group planning their trips.

United Airlines Boeing 787-9 which you can fly booking reward flight with pooled MileagePlus frequent flyer points

How Does This Differ From Other Miles Pooling Systems?

The main difference from other similar systems resides in the fact that it is though also for groups of friends and not only families. I personally have miles pooled with my wife in Korean Air’s SkyPass and we had to prove our relationship.

Also the other main difference is that pooling buddies won’t have to share 100% of their miles automatically. It is possible to even transfer just a part of your miles. This differs from family frequent flyer miles sharing systems such as Air France’s Flying Blue, Korean Air’s Skypass or ITA Airways’ Volare. All of these programs automatically will pool all of each participant’s miles.

The main reason for this, in my opinion, is that the other airlines’ programs clearly are targeting families. Families should be ok with sharing 100% of their miles. Friends on the other hand might just want to give up part of their miles stash and not the whole lot.

How Does The United’s MileagePlus Pooling System Work?

United Airlines has chosen a very streamlined and simple structure for this new feature. Very few rules and limitations. Generally that’s a good recipe for travellers. In essence:

  • You need a pool leader who must be 18 years or older.
  • There are no age restrictions to joining a pool. Which means kids can also join in.
  • At most 4 travellers can be part of each pool.
  • There is no limit on the number of miles that can be pooled.

That’s about it. As you can see it is quite simple and clearly tailored to families, as they can pool in miles accrued on trips with their children.

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What United’s MileagePlus COO Commented on This

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.

Luc Bondar, Chief Operating Officer of MileagePlus

About the author

Alex Achille

Ex Cabin Crew with Emirates, I've always loved travelling and other cultures. In this website I'll be sharing my experiences along with my reviews of the latest Korean Dramas and TV Series I've watched.

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