(Maybe not) United Airlines will soon allow friends and family to pool miles


Update 3/22/24: In one of the more bizarre about-faces that I’ve seen in a bit, United launched points pooling today with some terms that made it somewhat less appealing (points could only be used for United flights and weren’t available for any other Mileage Plus redemptions, you had to wait 90 days after leaving one pool to join another). However, within a couple of hours of the launch (and the press release announcing the launch), United has pulled the program and the landing page now goes to an error message. We’ll update if/when this get resurrected once again.

Yesterday, aviation insider @JonNYC broke the news that United Airlines will be announcing that it’s making “family pooling” available to Mileage Plus members sometime this week.

By using this feature, Mileage Plus members will be able to join a group of friends or family in order to add miles to a shared, collective account. They will then be able to designate one person as a “pool leader,” and once a member adds miles to the pool, those miles can then be used towards any award that the pool leader chooses.

United Airlines Airplane

What’s Happening

This week, United Airlines plans to announce the ability for Mileage Plus members to pool miles with friends and/or family.

    • You will only be able to be in one “pool” at a time
    • Each group will designate a “pool leader” that decides who can join the group and who can withdraw miles

Quick Thoughts

While it’s more of the exception than the rule, there are multiple airlines that already have family pooling (for instance, JetBlue). Aeroplan was the most recent program to allow sharing, but it then suspended the creation of new family accounts and reporteadly shut down some existing members for fraud related to the points sharing program that it had just created.

Along those lines, I’ll be interested to see how United pulls this off. The primary reason many programs don’t offer it is because they see it as an easy means for brokers to amass miles in order to sell them on the secondary market…which is exactly what Aeroplan discovered.

United is obviously well aware of that risk and my assumption is that it’s accounted for it. If points sharing can work long-term for Mileage Plus, it will be a distinctly positive move for a program that doesn’t often make news by being consumer-friendly.

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Justin M

How Sooooooooooon is the question.

Mark W

It went live today and it’s already gone… I transferred miles into a pool that doesn’t exist anymore. Presumably United will make me and others in the same boat whole soon. Maybe this whole thing was a play to make it onto the next “What Crazy Thing…” segment 😉


50% bonus for all miles transferred in — for your inconvenience and emotional trauma.


as someone with kids who travel cross country a few times a year it will be nice to be able to pool their miles.


Just a small correction, you mentioned Mileage Plan twice, which is what Alaska’s program is called.


… you’d have two nickels!