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Old Nov 3, 10, 5:36 am   #1
 
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combining milage for award tix husband/wife

so lets say i have 100,000 miles and wife has 80,000 miles on same airline/FFP and we want to book award ticket vacation together.

say the combined award for 2 tix costs 180,000 (90k each ticket)....will agents take the 180 from both accounts, or will they give only one award and tell me i have to purchase the other ticket for the second passenger because she doesnt have enough miles?

hypothetical....trying to plan ahead for next year....most likely would happen on UA, CO or AA or DL
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Old Nov 3, 10, 5:44 am   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cotter77 View Post
so lets say i have 100,000 miles and wife has 80,000 miles on same airline/FFP and we want to book award ticket vacation together.

say the combined award for 2 tix costs 180,000 (90k each ticket)....will agents take the 180 from both accounts, or will they give only one award and tell me i have to purchase the other ticket for the second passenger because she doesnt have enough miles?

hypothetical....trying to plan ahead for next year....most likely would happen on UA, CO or AA or DL
In most cases, I believe that you cannot simply ask them to combine the 2, but you'd be able to share (for a fee) from one account to another.
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Old Nov 3, 10, 5:47 am   #3
 
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You will probably have to either transfer 10K miles from your account to your wife's account (for a fee) or purchase 10K additional miles for her account in order for each of you to book a 90K award. I do not believe that any FFP would allow you to share miles in the manner that you have proposed.

Someone please correct me if I am wrong here.
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Old Nov 3, 10, 6:48 am   #4
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If the balances are exactly as in the example, AFAIK the previous posters are correct. If they're a bit more skewed, several airlines (AA is one example) sell their award tickets on a one-way basis. You can get three of the one-ways from one account, for 3/4 of the total miles, and the fourth for 1/4 of the miles from the other.

With AA, at least, there's no penalty for doing this. They don't even offer round-trip awards. I think there are airlines that offer both, with a one-way award requiring more than half the miles of a round trip. In that case this isn't a desirable strategy, but it may still be worth it if buying or transferring the miles would cost a lot.
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Old Nov 3, 10, 7:21 am   #5
 
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I believe BA allows you to combine miles into a family plan, if I remember correctly.
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Old Nov 3, 10, 7:37 am   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efrem View Post
With AA, at least, there's no penalty for doing this. They don't even offer round-trip awards. I think there are airlines that offer both, with a one-way award requiring more than half the miles of a round trip.
The "penalty" for one-way awards is that they don't allow stopovers. For example, UA offers one-way awards (at 50%), or round-trip awards that allow a stopover.

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Originally Posted by FlyingBoat View Post
I believe BA allows you to combine miles into a family plan, if I remember correctly.
They do, and I believe there are a couple of others as well.
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Old Nov 3, 10, 8:33 am   #7
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The One-Way ticket approach should work in airlines that offer that.

AA does not offer stop-over for domestic awards.

One stopover at NA gateway city on international award that involves North America. Note: NA is defined as geographic location not as in the award chart, for this purpose. Gateway is the First NA airport you enter NA or the Last NA airport you leave NA.

UA's one-way award only is offered on United's own metal.

BA has household account you can combine members' balances.

Most US airlines dont have this feature and as others mentioned above, you can "share" miles with a fee. Check respective airline's program on how much it would cost you.
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Old Nov 3, 10, 9:26 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cotter77 View Post
hypothetical....trying to plan ahead for next year....most likely would happen on UA, CO or AA or DL
Unfortunately, none of your listed program has household (or family) accounts. You simply cannot combine UA/CO/AA/DL miles from different people into one account. Check out this thread for discussion on household accounts:

Who has "family" accounts?

When short of miles for award redemption, your best bet is to get enough miles into the target account. You may get the needed miles by flying, buying miles from airlines, or transferring between accounts (& pay fees). You can also charge your airline-affiliated creditcards to speed up the process. If you have points/miles scattered in different programs. try Webflyer Mileage Converter and see if you can consolidate your points/miles to your target FFP.

Also, conduct your own research and keep an eye on the bonuses or ways to earn (free) miles if you are only short of a couple of thousand miles.

Good luck!
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Old Nov 3, 10, 9:32 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingBoat View Post
I believe BA allows you to combine miles into a family plan, if I remember correctly.
this is true....; the agent combined ours together since we were registered at the same house address and zip
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Old Nov 3, 10, 9:48 am   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Happy View Post
UA's one-way award only is offered on United's own metal.
As of last Friday, one-way awards are available on all *A partners through United, but you will have to call in.
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Old Nov 3, 10, 10:11 am   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy View Post
... BA has household account you can combine members' balances.

Most US airlines dont have this feature and as others mentioned above, you can "share" miles with a fee. Check respective airline's program on how much it would cost you.
Within *A, BMI has family accounts. Unfortunately, it's a bit late in the day to start crediting miles to their program.

"Sharing" miles is a funny term for what airlines do here. (I know it's the airline's term, not the quoted poster's.) All they do is charge you a fee to move miles from one person to another. It's not like it costs them anything to do the transfer. They're charging for increased likelihood that the miles will be used.
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Old Nov 3, 10, 10:13 am   #12
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Originally Posted by Antipode View Post
As of last Friday, one-way awards are available on all *A partners through United, but you will have to call in.
I miss the news. This indeed is a good development even though one has to talk to the ICC.
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Old Nov 3, 10, 10:56 pm   #13
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One creative and very workable way to do all this is to plan as such:

Find a friend, family member or co worker whom you trust or can develop a trusting transactional relationship with and see if that person has enough miles for the 90k ticket. Have them book for one person, and do your other booking with the acct that has the 100k miles in it.

Now you have both tickets. your helper person has given you an award worth the 90k on the airline you are using.

You owe them the same.

Doing promos and other sign ups in here (such as credit cards, coins, checking accounts, etc) you can bring that 80k acct up to 90k in no time.

once you have that much in there, your friend can have you give them an award (or awards) that total to what you owe them.

The idea is that you may need to book NOW, and that friend has the miles NOW, but you do not. So if you get them to book for you now, you get what you need without losing the flights you want, and you still have time to work on giving back what you owe to them later.

Anyone can book an award for anyone else. This is perfectly legal. Airlines do not mind it--and they all know that in return, you might be booking one for that friend again later one--but what they do not like is the selling of awards or other solicitation--especially online. There is no reason, therefore, that they should even inquire as to why John Smith booked your wife's award ticket, and vs. Why, you could even do it in such a way where you have someone book you something on say, United, but they want you to 'pay' them back with Delta.

This, in my opinion, remains the easiest and cheapest way to get the ticket you want when you need it. It's all about networking too.

While mile transfers between accounts may cost a lot of money, the ability to book awards for friends only has one cost: Your proper planning and administration of this process, and of course trust on both ends. Screw all that up and it all goes up in smoke real fast!


No matter what you do, or how you get your two tickets, it is imperative that you later contact the airline and give them the record locator numbers of both ticketed awards. Have them 'join' these, or give you an entirely new one that becomes the new number for both ticketed itineraries (This is especially important when using awards from various sources for the booking of childrens' tickets, by the way, because when you finally check in to fly, children must be accompanied by an adult. If you fail to simply call in and take care of this rather easy step with customer service before your flight, you will have problems checking in online, which can be a pain if you are traveling say, with small children overseas)

I hope some of this was useful.

MM
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