Old Mar 21, 2024, 1:10 pm
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https://www.united.com/en/us/mileageplus/miles-pooling

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.

Leader

  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.

Redemption

  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.

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UA announces F/F Mileage Pooling

Old Mar 22, 2024, 8:12 pm
  #76  
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Originally Posted by dgourd
Uses the status of the current user doing the redemption ...
My guess, most consistent with today's process
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WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Mar 22, 2024, 8:23 pm
  #77  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Originally Posted by PsiFighter37
Regardless of the restrictions, I think this is a great idea and very glad that UA created this. Given how limited partner redemptions are these days, the limitation to fly only UA metal is not that detrimental.
If this goes forward I think it is very family friendly.

Originally Posted by tth6133
I'm not sure it's due to good intention. To me, it's just laziness to track the balances of each individual member in the pool. This laziness (or intention) actually creates a huge loophole in this pooling feature, which UA will have to fix sooner or later.
I don't think this is intended for short term pooling where you do a trip and then look to unwind the pool. It is, however, perfect for families or close friends where some don't fly enough to get awards on their own. Unsuited to business colleagues and rightly so.
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Old Mar 22, 2024, 9:30 pm
  #78  
 
Join Date: May 2017
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Originally Posted by nmenaker
I doubt they pulled it entirely, probably a software / technical glitch, or some other policy issue.
Originally Posted by wt_fresca
Why do I get a feeling it's more of a renege than a technical issue. Hope I'm wrong
They've since put the page back online explaining technical issues which fits with the messaging they displayed on Thursday evening about technical issues going on too. Which is the only thing that makes sense. Would be zero chance they'd do all this development, publicize it and then renege a day later for a policy reason - any policy decisions were made a long time ago.


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Old Mar 23, 2024, 4:59 am
  #79  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Originally Posted by uanj
don't think this is intended for short term pooling where you do a trip and then look to unwind the pool. It is, however, perfect for families or close friends where some don't fly enough to get awards on their own.
I agree that it's not intended for short-term pooling by UA. UA would be delighted if all their members transfer their miles into family pools so their redemptions would be on UA metal only. However, because of the severeness of this restriction, some/many flyers are going to explore the existing loophole in the UA pooling feature, which will result in very short-term pooling, and worse, contrary to UA's intension.
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 7:37 am
  #80  
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Being able to use the highest status of the pool would be a huge benefit. I cant see that lasting long. Access to IN would be almost problematic if it got a huge expansion.
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 9:06 am
  #81  
 
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If short term pooling is their concern, they could just do something akin to MM companion -- restrict how often and/or times you are allowed to change pool membership. That would drive it towards families and close groups of people. The rules mention something about possible waiting periods, which could also be enforced or set in a way to discourage short term pooling.
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 9:50 am
  #82  
 
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Originally Posted by abaheti
If short term pooling is their concern, they could just do something akin to MM companion -- restrict how often and/or times you are allowed to change pool membership. That would drive it towards families and close groups of people. The rules mention something about possible waiting periods, which could also be enforced or set in a way to discourage short term pooling.
There's a 90-day waiting period under the rules published a couple of days ago. That may not be sufficient to prevent people from "transferring" their miles to someone else free and clear of any restrictions. Setting up two different kinds of miles (regular and pooled miles) is what is going to cause short-term "pooling". IMO, UA shouldn't have done that (no other program with family pooling feature has done that). UA is being too clever for its own good.
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Last edited by tth6133; Mar 23, 2024 at 9:56 am
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 11:43 am
  #83  
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
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Originally Posted by tth6133
If UA structures this feature properly, people who truly benefit aren't the ones with tons of miles in their accounts. They're likely to be family members who have some miles but not enough for any useful redemptions, especially at currently inflated award prices. These people may lose interest in the UA loyalty program. IMO, the purpose of adding this family pooling feature is to reengage them.
In my case it would be both. I have a ton of miles but my wife and mom have very few, so moving theirs onto my account and letting me book them is a good way to not let those points go unused or expire.
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 12:22 pm
  #84  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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When they say that pool miles can only be used on UA metal and not Star Alliance partner redemptions, I am assuming that applies to codeshares marketed as UA?
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 12:33 pm
  #85  
 
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Originally Posted by Waldofriend
When they say that pool miles can only be used on UA metal and not Star Alliance partner redemptions, I am assuming that applies to codeshares marketed as UA?
Award seats only release/book on operating carrier flight, never on the codeshare.
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 12:34 pm
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Waldofriend
When they say that pool miles can only be used on UA metal and not Star Alliance partner redemptions, I am assuming that applies to codeshares marketed as UA?
There is no such thing as codeshares on award tickets
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 12:43 pm
  #87  
 
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Originally Posted by nmenaker
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.
I assume that UA would much rather miles spoil--such as locked up in individual accounts in amounts too small to use--than be redeemed?
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 1:01 pm
  #88  
 
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Originally Posted by nwflyboy
They'll just be completely prohibited now that the two-class mile system has been set up.
I fail to follow your logic. United giving award booking on partner flights is not a charity or technological limitation - it is a business decision (increases attractiveness of UA miles). It is quite understandable why another business decision limits usage of the pooled miles to UA flights; but it doesn't change in the slightest the business decision to allow unpooled miles to be used for partner awards.
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 1:18 pm
  #89  
 
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Originally Posted by physioprof
I assume that UA would much rather miles spoil--such as locked up in individual accounts in amounts too small to use--than be redeemed?
spoilage of a lot of small accounts, would be great for sure - but it actually maintains the balance sheet liability till the account holder dies I guess, and or 24 months of no activity occurs and they can legitimately zero out the account (not for UAMP accounts but for other airlines) - and the liability. Otherwise all the liability still is maintained.

USAGE of a lot of miles at overpriced valuations / cost would be preferable from a liability and balance sheet standpoint for sure. Many accountants and auditors have weighed in on this over the decades. Pre-Covid for UAMP that liability was ~ 8Billion with a B.. I imagine it’s only higher now what with all the credit card bonuses after covid, lack of travel for an extended period, lack of forced spoilage.

Overall as an industry, the carried liability for frequent flyer miles for the major airlines went UP 11.3% between 2019 and end of 2020. Normally, it was decreasing annually.

MP has been trying to float portions of itself and bring in actual cash money to UAL.. having the liability side reduced is certainly a plus (no pun intended) when trying to put a value on the property and get buyers to pony up for a portion.

If one is interested in all the mechanics of this, here is an outdated IR report on how MP works overall.

https://ir.united.com/static-files/1...1-cf975348bab9
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Last edited by nmenaker; Mar 23, 2024 at 1:32 pm
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 1:20 pm
  #90  
 
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Originally Posted by physioprof
I assume that UA would much rather miles spoil--such as locked up in individual accounts in amounts too small to use--than be redeemed?
This is always a double-edged sword. For balance sheets, miles pop as obligations, so generally speaking, a thing you want less rather than more. But those obligations are discounted based on the historic rate of usage - so the less the usage, the higher the discount. So companies do this awkward dance of wanting and not wanting people to use the miles at the same time
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