Old Mar 21, 2024, 1:10 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: WineCountryUA

United Makes it Easier to Share Award Miles with Family and Friends

United becomes first major U.S. airline to allow members of its loyalty program, MileagePlus, to pool their miles with family and friends into a joint account

This new feature makes it easier for family members of all ages -- and groups to share and use miles for award travel

MileagePlus miles pooling is now available on United.com

CHICAGO, March 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Just in time for summer travel planning, United today launched MileagePlus miles pooling a new way for MileagePlus members to contribute and combine their miles into a joint account. Available on United.com, groups of up to five members can now share and redeem miles in one linked account. United allows any MileagePlus member whether relatives or close friends to be in a pool with other members. United is the first and only major U.S. airline to offer this feature.

"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," said Luc Bondar, Chief Operating Officer of MileagePlus. "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."

As 81% of parents report intent to travel with their children in the next year and nearly 60% report concern about travel affordability, according to a 2023 U.S. Family Travel Survey conducted by the Family Travel Association, the introduction of MileagePlus miles pooling aims to make travel even easier for families or groups looking to get away; even the youngest family members can contribute as there's no minimum age to become a MileagePlus member.

MileagePlus miles pooling is now available to all MileagePlus members by logging in to their account on United.com. For those not already MileagePlus members, the program is free to join here.

How MileagePlus miles pooling works

Any MileagePlus member over 18 years old can become the pool leader and create a pool for free when logged in to their account on United.com.
  • Pool leaders can invite up to four of their family, friends, or close travel companions of any age to join the pool if they have an active MileagePlus account. There is no minimum age to join MileagePlus.
  • When logged in to their MileagePlus account on United.com, members will be instructed on how to contribute miles to the group pool as well as how to redeem pooled miles for award flights on United and United Express*.
  • There are no limits to the number of miles that may be contributed to an active miles pool.
  • Pooled miles can be used when booking a ticket on United.com or in the United mobile app.
For example, if a group of friends is planning an upcoming summer getaway and each friend has their own individual MileagePlus accounts with their respective number of miles, they can combine all, or a select amount of their personal miles into one central 'pool' that can be used to purchase flights and offset the cost of ticket prices.

Contributing miles to a MileagePlus miles pool will not affect an individual member's Premier status. Only members who travel on a ticket using pooled miles will earn any eligible Premier qualifying points (PQP), not the member who contributed them. Members cannot pool PQP, Premier qualifying flights (PQF), PlusPoints, or TravelBank cash.

The MileagePlus program provides the most ways to earn and use miles of any other U.S. airline. Members earn miles that never expire with every flight purchased, through spending on the United Family of Cards from Chase, by making purchases on MileagePlus ShoppingSM and more. Members can opt to fully cover a trip with their MileagePlus miles or use a combination of money and miles to save on the out-of-pocket cost of their next flight**.

*For full terms, restrictions, and conditions, see here.
**MileagePlus miles pooling is excluded from money and miles at this time.

MileagePlus miles pooling

Merge miles with friends and family, without any transfer fees, to help get to your next destination faster.

Your pool
What is miles pooling?
How it works

What is miles pooling?

Miles pooling lets MileagePlus members merge miles to create one shared reservoir of miles. Its more than just pooling miles - its pooling dreams, destinations, and experiences.

Highlights of miles pooling

Uniting miles, uniting people

Pool your miles together to collectively propel towards your travel goals faster.
Unlock affordable travel
Utilize pooled miles to reach reward thresholds quicker, effectively reducing travel costs.
Share the joy of travel
Turn individual travel dreams into shared experiences and unforgettable shared adventures.

How it works

To create and manage a miles pool:
  • Initiating a miles pool is free and easy. Any MileagePlus member 18 years or older can start a miles pool and take on the role of the pool leader.
  • The pool leader can invite MileagePlus members to join their pool. These members can be family (including kids), friends or a mix, as long as theyre a MileagePlus member. A maximum of 5 can be in a miles pool.
  • Every pool member can contribute their MileagePlus miles to the shared pool.
  • The pool leader manages the miles pool and can authorize pool members to redeem miles.
  • Members can only participate in one miles pool. When a member departs from a pool, they lose access to their pool miles.

Miles Pooling Terms and Conditions

Important: The following are the rules and other provisions (collectively, Rules) of [MilesPooling], ("Miles Pooling"). By participating in Miles Pooling and agreeing to contribute the Member's Miles to a pool of miles (the "Pool"), participating Members indicate their respective acceptance of these Rules and agree to abide by them. Participation in Miles Pooling will be governed by these Rules, and it is each Member's responsibility to read and understand all of them. These Rules cannot be superseded or changed, except in writing from United Airlines or any of its affiliates (collectively, "United"). The most current Rules may be found on united.com and this is the final authority on the Rules. The Rules on united.com shall be deemed to supersede any prior or conflicting versions thereof.

General conditions

  1. Miles Pooling is offered at the discretion of United and United has the right to terminate Miles Pooling, in whole or in part, or to change the Rules, benefits, conditions of participation, in whole or in part, at any time, with or without notice. Terms used but not defined herein shall have the meaning assigned in the rules of Uniteds MileagePlus Program (Program Rules). All Program Rules apply to a Member's participation in Miles Pooling.
  2. The Rules control your membership and participation in Miles Pooling and no covenants at law or in equity shall be implied or incorporated, all of which are expressly disclaimed. United has the sole right to interpret and apply the Rules. IN NO EVENT SHALL UNITED BE LIABLE TO A MEMBER, OR ANYONE ACTING ON THE MEMBER'S BEHALF, FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING LOST REVENUE OR PROFITS, ARISING OUT OF THE ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF UNITED IN CONNECTION WITH MILES POOLING, OR COSTS OR ATTORNEYS FEES. Any abuse of Miles Pooling or failure to follow the Rules, the Program Rules, Uniteds Contract of Carriage, Uniteds fare rules, any violation of law, rule, or regulation, any conduct detrimental to the interests of United, any fraudulent activity or attempted fraudulent activity, or any misrepresentation of any information furnished to United or its affiliates by any Member, anyone else acting on the Member's behalf, or any third party (collectively, Prohibited Conduct), may result in United exercising any one or more of the following remedies (Uniteds Remedies), with or without notice to the Member: (a) termination or suspension from Miles Pooling, (b) exercising any of Uniteds Remedies under the Program Rules or Uniteds Contract Of Carriage, (c) the removal or cancellation by United of any or all accrued mileage, (d) the confiscation of any award tickets, denial of boarding with respect to any award ticket holders or, at United's discretion, completion of the travel only upon payment of an applicable revenue fare (and applicable taxes and fees), or (e) the loss of other Miles Pooling benefits.
  3. Only Members may participate in the Pool. Miles in the Pool do not constitute property of any individual Member of the Pool, including the leader. Miles in the Pool are not transferable in the event of a divorce of a Member of the Pool and are transferable only as set forth herein or otherwise permitted by United.
  4. All calculations made in connection with Miles Pooling will be made by United in its discretion and such calculations will be considered final.
  5. Neither Uniteds waiver or consent to a deviation from the Rules nor any course of dealing shall be construed as a waiver by United of any subsequent violation of the Rules and United may invoke Uniteds Remedies for a violation of the Rules despite any such prior waiver or consent.
  6. Each contributing Member to the Pool agrees and acknowledges that all mileage contributions may not be restricted to any particular purpose and all contributions are final and non-refundable.
  7. All mileage contributions to the Pool are at your own risk. United does not warrant that mileage will be used for any particular purpose and is not responsible for any misuse thereof.
  8. A Pool may not be created to issue mileage awards to volunteers or employees for recognition or incentive purposes, in lieu of wages or other compensation due for services.


  1. Each Pool must appoint an administrator (the "Leader"). A Leader is a Member of the Pool and must be an individual over the age of eighteen (18). The Leader shall be the individual designated by the Pool as its primary contact. Requests for changes to the Pool, such as a change of the Leader, will not be honored without complying with Uniteds requirements for account validation. Leaders represent and warrant that they: (a) are the authorized representative of the Pool with the authority: (i) to solicit mileage contributions for the Pool; and (ii) to bind the Pool to these Rules; and (b) are using the mileage contributions only as permitted by United.
  2. The Leader shall provide the information required by United which may include, Account number, email and date of birth of the Member being invited to the Pool. The Pool is not formed until at least one Member is invited by the Leader.
  3. The Leader will make decisions on the Pool including whether a Member has the ability to redeem miles from the Pool or if the Member is a contributor only.
  4. Only the Leader is permitted to determine the use of the miles in the Pool. To the extent that mileage is contributed by a Member for a particular purpose, or to the extent that the contributing Member purports to direct the use of such mileage, any such directions shall only constitute non-binding recommendations to the Leader. Any act of Leader with respect to the Pool shall be deemed to be an act of the Pool.
  5. The Leader shall handle all matters with respect to the administration of the Pool, including without limitation the use and redemption of miles and the request for and issuance of award tickets.

Pool Members

  1. A Member may only participate in one Pool at a time except with United's permission and United may determine the size of the Pools in its' discretion.
  2. An invitation to a Pool may be retracted by the Leader prior to the Member's acceptance. Upon acceptance United may require a waiting period before a Member can access the Pool.

Dissolution or Removal from Pool

  1. In the event of the death or lack of legal capacity of the Leader, the Pool will be dissolved. Upon dissolution, the miles in the Pool will be split evenly and returned among the members. The miles returned to the deceased Members MileagePlus account, will be handled in accordance with the Program Rules.
  2. In the event of the death of a Member of the Pool, the Miles will remain in the Pool and the Pool will continue without such Member.

Privacy Policy

  1. By participating in Miles Pooling, Members authorize United to collect, maintain, use, process and share their information, including, without limitation, names, email addresses, physical addresses, account and other information in accordance with Uniteds Privacy Policy. You can learn more about how United collects, maintains, uses, processes and shares your information in Uniteds Privacy Policy which may be viewed here. United's Privacy Policy is merely a statement of administrative protocol; it is not a contract, nor does it create any contractual or legal rights. Uniteds Privacy Policy is not made, or intended to be made, a part of these Rules.

Pool Contributions

  1. Miles contributions into the Pool can be made by the Leader and Members. United may impose limitations on use of the Miles for 24 hours or any other period of time after contributions are made. Miles contributions may be cancelled and returned to the Member's account during the period of time the contribution is pending.
  2. Once Miles are no longer in a pending status they may not be returned to the Member's account.
  3. United may determine in its discretion the minimum and maximum number of Miles that may be contributed to a Pool.


  1. United shall establish the amount, structure, availability, process and other criteria for mileage redemption (including the amount of mileage necessary to redeem each award), all of which are subject to modification, cancellation or limitation at Uniteds discretion, with or without notice, and all Program Rules related to redemption shall apply to Miles Pooling. Awards may, at the request of the Leader, be issued by MileagePlus in the name and for the use of any Member of the Pool only for non-commercial purposes. Such awards will be issued only after the Leader validates the Pool account via use of a password or other security measures that United has in place at the time of the award request.
  2. Pool Miles can only be used to purchase Award Air Tickets on United or United Express operated flights.
  3. Members with redemption rights in the Pool may redeem for themselves or any other traveler. The Program Rules apply for redemption of Pool Miles. The Member redeeming the Miles does not transfer their status or benefits to the traveler.

Non-U.S. Laws

  1. Participation in Miles Pooling may be prohibited or restricted by the laws pursuant to some U.S. state and local laws and non-U.S. countries. Nothing in these Rules should be read to override or circumvent any such laws. United may exercise any one or more of Uniteds Remedies, with or without notice to the Members, in the event Miles Pooling, or participation in any way in the MileagePlus Program, violates laws.

Print Wikipost

UA announces F/F Mileage Pooling

Old Mar 22, 2024, 7:06 am
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: SF
Programs: UA MM, AA 2MM, Bonvoy LTP, HH Dia
Posts: 1,132
Originally Posted by Acastus
Same here. It's gone from my account.
Gone from mine, too. Website/app weren't working last night either.
SamirD and Aussienarelle like this.
ps9a is offline  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 7:08 am
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: New York City
Programs: UA: 1K, Hyatt: Explorist and Marriott: LF Titanium Elite
Posts: 1,269
DId they already shut down the feature or is there testing all gone wrong
SamirD likes this.
LDNConsultant is offline  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 7:38 am
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: us
Programs: Marriott Life Titanium, UA 3 Million, Life 1K
Posts: 4
Miles Pooling

No indication on UA website this program is active???
SamirD likes this.
tombett is offline  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 9:22 am
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: NOVA
Programs: IHG Rewards Platinum, Marriott Gold, Hilton Diamond, UA/DL/AA Back of the plane...
Posts: 4,633
Boo... would like to use this but the UA operated flights only makes the ability to book some pretty simple trips from the US impossible. Even with the time lag (which is also a very bad "feature") with a little planning it could work.

thanks for a pretty lackluster enhancement UA.
SamirD likes this.
fwfdan is online now  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 9:31 am
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 2,299
Originally Posted by tombett
No indication on UA website this program is active???
Originally Posted by LDNConsultant
DId they already shut down the feature or is there testing all gone wrong
Originally Posted by ps9a
Gone from mine, too. Website/app weren't working last night either.
Sounds like they undid all the website updates they made yesterday due to whatever broke (they had a banner up last night indicating technical issues).

Originally Posted by fwfdan
Boo... would like to use this but the UA operated flights only makes the ability to book some pretty simple trips from the US impossible. Even with the time lag (which is also a very bad "feature") with a little planning it could work.

thanks for a pretty lackluster enhancement UA.
Thinking about it more, wondering if this UA/UAX only is just an initial limitation while they monitor how the system runs and work out any unforeseen issues. Similar to when money + miles came out, it was initially UA/UAX only but has since expanded to allow OA.
ZenFlyer and SamirD like this.
Lux Flyer is offline  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 9:46 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 10,996
I wonder what bad news they will announce next week....
nwflyboy and SamirD like this.
username is online now  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 11:03 am
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: BUR / LAX
Programs: UA MM/Gold; WN A-list; HH something depending; Marriott Gold
Posts: 1,576
Originally Posted by TXJeepGuy
This makes a ton of sense. I have a lot of miles, my wife significantly less. Since we tend to book vacations on my account it would be great for us to be able to push her miles to my account for booking purposes.
Agreed -- my wife concentrated on Southwest, me on UA, so she has some random miles in UA and I do the bookings. My mom also has some UA miles but will never have enough to get a ticket, so I could benefit from using her miles.

I actually see this as a benefit for elites with a ton of miles. Like me, they probably have family (spouse, kids, parents) with low balances that are stranded, now the elite could vacuum them up. I guess maybe the whole family could benefit then as it means more award tickets for the family unit as a whole. In the past, I've just had family donate the stray miles to charity.
SPN Lifer, uanj, SamirD and 1 others like this.
abaheti is online now  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 11:53 am
Original Member
Join Date: May 1998
Location: CT/NY
Programs: UA 1K/1MM, AA EXP, Marriott LT Titanium, Hyatt Globalist, IHG Plat Amb
Posts: 6,060
Originally Posted by frappant
So no fees, I can gift miles to my sisters?
You can always book award under your sisters' name.
SPN Lifer and SamirD like this.
PTahCha is offline  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 12:37 pm
Join Date: Jan 2024
Posts: 24
Originally Posted by tth6133
UA can largely prevent this by limiting the number of people in a family account, by limiting the reasons for and the frequency at which members in the family can be added/removed. It could even make redemptions using transferred points only available to the lead member of the family account and the members who have contributed points to the family account. Last but not least, flyers with "tons of miles" obviously have more at stake if their accounts are shut down as a result of them engaging in selling their miles.
I believe that they limit the pool to 5 friends and family. The legalese must be substantial. One can foresee some friends and family having conflict over who gets to use the points. It is a nice way to energize more travel for those trying to hit an ever increasing amount needed for long haul business class. It can also help to reduce the many unused points that are out there. There is revenue component out there, just not sure which UA C suite group benefits from more travelers clearing out their points balances.
SamirD likes this.
searchforfulfillment is offline  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 1:07 pm
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: 2024: CTS, DCA, EWR, IAD, ITM, LAX, NRT, SEA, SFO
Programs: UA Silver
Posts: 41
Why do I get a feeling it's more of a renege than a technical issue. Hope I'm wrong
SamirD likes this.
wt_fresca is offline  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 1:37 pm
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: DEN
Programs: UA 1P-1MM, Marriott LT Titanium
Posts: 3,942
Originally Posted by nwflyboy
Then you are doing it wrong (or you have just not been willing to throw obscene amounts of miles at awards that include legs on partner metal).

United has, apparently, now set up their systems to differentiate between two classes of miles, fully blocking all partner availability for "pooled" miles. It's only a matter of time until the remaining partner awards become programmatically blocked for unpooled miles, too - it's the next logical step in the stunning devaluations that have taken place over the past 12 months (the biggest United MileagePlus devaluation ever took place last April). Partner awards booked with United miles are already stunningly expensive (like SkyPesos expensive). They'll just be completely prohibited now that the two-class mile system has been set up.
I still don't see the logic that this two class system is the end of partner awards. If they want to stop offering partner awards, they can simply do that. Why have a complex system to do it? As for your comment about partner awards being stunningly expensive, I have seen the opposite. J awards including TK are often half of the UA only option. This does seem to vary by partners (LH flights do seem to work like UA metal), and of course, by route. This also is dependent on the award availability that partners provide to UA. I posit that the decision to only allow UA redemptions with pooled miles has nothing to do with UA wanting to allow partner awards in general.
jsloan, SPN Lifer, uanj and 7 others like this.
tods27 is offline  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 3:27 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Pacific Northwest
Programs: UA Gold 1MM, AS 75k, AA ExPlat, Bonvoyed Gold, Honors Dia, Hyatt Explorer, IHG Plat, ...
Posts: 17,052
The notion that this is the stepping stone towards the complete elimination of partner award redemptions makes little sense. Is UA also going to withdraw from Star Alliance and other partnerships?

I don’t quite know why they would need it, but I like the speculation that it is a temporary limitation during the initial rollout. As we see, the whole rollout hasn’t exactly gone swimmingly, so maybe this was a wise decision.
uanj and SamirD like this.
notquiteaff is online now  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 5:48 pm
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Menlo Park, CA, USA
Programs: UA 1MM 0P, AA, DL, *wood, Lifetime FPC Plat., IHG, HHD
Posts: 6,918
I doubt they pulled it entirely, probably a software / technical glitch, or some other policy issue.. frankly, this is a benefit, but for both parties. UA would LOVE you to use more of your miles for flights, upgrades, etc.. They have done quite a bit to increase the costs/miles for pretty much anything, but they would still like flyers to USE them so they can reduce balance sheet liabilities. I find some great flights, HI RT for 21K per person RT in May, I use them for that, some upgrades, some F domestic and some CZ international.
SamirD likes this.
nmenaker is offline  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 6:31 pm
Join Date: Jan 2024
Posts: 2
I'm curious as to how redemptions using pool miles overlap with the better award availability for people with Premier status. The terms and conditions don't really lay it out. I could see one of the following 4 possibilities:
  • Uses the status of the current user doing the redemption
  • Uses the status of the leader
  • Uses the highest status of the members in the pool
  • No status applies and redemptions are only for universally available rewards
Anyone find any statements about this or have been able to test it out? It would be nice if I could book saver awards for my family using their own miles.
SPN Lifer and SamirD like this.
dgourd is offline  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 6:51 pm
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 622
Originally Posted by dgourd
I'm curious as to how redemptions using pool miles overlap with the better award availability for people with Premier status. The terms and conditions don't really lay it out. I could see one of the following 4 possibilities:
  • Uses the status of the current user doing the redemption
  • Uses the status of the leader
  • Uses the highest status of the members in the pool
  • No status applies and redemptions are only for universally available rewards
Anyone find any statements about this or have been able to test it out? It would be nice if I could book saver awards for my family using their own miles.
Unless UA decides to make some changes, this is supposed to be one of the key benefits of pooling that a member of the pool with status (or UA credit card) will see better saver award availability on UA metal and s/he can book those saver awards for anyone using pooled miles.
SamirD likes this.
tth6133 is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.