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You'll Soon Be Able to Pool United Miles for Your Next Group Trip

Airports + Flying
by Alex Bresler Mar 21, 2024

If you’re a MileagePlus member with airline miles to spare, United Airlines is making it easier to share your miles with family and friends.

Self-proclaimed “serial airline leaker” and “aviation watchdog” JonNYC posted on X yesterday that United will be introducing a mileage-pooling feature. MilagePlus Chief Operating Officer Luc Bondar confirmed the news via Travel and Leisure, noting that United is the first major US airline to incorporate the feature.

The concept of mileage pooling is simple. It gives travelers belonging to the same airline loyalty program the ability to create a collective account and redeem miles from that account as they see fit. United’s mileage-pooling feature will allow up to five MileagePlus members to join a shared account. All it takes is one traveler aged 18 or up to start a pool, invite up to four travel companions of any age to join, and leave it to the group to divvy up miles. Joining a pool will only impact your group’s ability to share and redeem miles, not individual members’ airline statuses.

Currently, United has a program that allows MileagePlus members to transfer miles to other travelers, but it comes at a cost: $7.50 for every 500 miles transferred, plus a $30 processing fee. That means that if you wanted to transfer 100,000 miles, the maximum amount you’re allowed to transfer in one go or in a calendar year, you’d have to pay a total of $1,530. The new mileage-pooling feature introduces a new way to share miles among a dedicated group of travelers at no cost.

Other US airlines, including Southwest and American, have similar mileage-transfer programs in place while JetBlue, Frontier, and Hawaiian already allow mileage pooling. United will become the first of the four biggest US airlines (a group that also includes Delta, American, and Southwest) to introduce mileage pooling, adding yet another reason why MileagePlus tops the list of the best frequent flyer programs and United earned Matador’s Best Airline Award last year.

But United’s not the first major global airline to implement a pooling program.

International airlines that allow mileage pooling

  • Aegean Airlines
  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada
  • Air France
  • KLM
  • Air India
  • ANA
  • Asiana Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Etihad Airways
  • Emirates
  • EgyptAir
  • Japan Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • Lufthansa
  • Norwegian
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia

Note that every airline’s mileage-pooling program has different requirements, including airline status eligibility, member age, and size limits. Be sure to check the individual airline’s policy before booking your next group trip.

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