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TravelUnited MileagePlus now lets you pool your miles with family and friends

United MileagePlus now lets you pool your miles with family and friends

Attention United Airlines travelers: The carrier’s loyalty program is now making it easier for friends and family members to book award travel using MileagePlus miles. Making for a more streamlined and user-friendly loyalty experience, United announced the addition of miles pooling, which will allow members of all ages to share and redeem miles in one account.

“We’re always looking for new ways to provide the most value to all of our loyalty members […],” Luc Bondar, chief operating officer of MileagePlus, said via a press release. “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.”

In 2013, JetBlue’s TrueBlue program introduced points pooling, so it’s nice to see another major U.S. airline following suit.

Keep reading to find out the details about MileagePlus miles pooling.

United MileagePlus miles pooling: Key takeaways

It’s easy to be excited about MileagePlus now offering customers the ability to pool their miles, especially when it relates to family travel. There is no age restriction on members being able to sign up for a MileagePlus account and earn miles, so those extra and unused miles that your kids earned can finally be used.


For example, let’s say you want to book a one-way flight for you and your son from New York to Orlando at 25,000 miles per person. If your 5-year-old son only has 4,000 United miles in his account, but you have 48,000 miles, you can now pool your miles in a joint account and contribute your miles to cover both your ticket and your son’s ticket. Additionally, if you only have 22,000 miles in your account, the 4,000 miles from your son’s account could cover your one-way ticket, meaning you wouldn’t have to miss out on the award redemption or resort to buying additional United miles.

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Related: How to earn miles with the United MileagePlus program

However, there are some important takeaways and rules when it comes to United’s MileagePlus pooling:

  • Must be 18 years or older to create a pool: While it is free to create a pool, you must be at least 18 years old to become the “pool leader” and create a pool. You can only operate in one pool at a time. Therefore, you cannot be part of several pools.
  • Up to five members in a pool: You are only allowed up to five members in a pool (which includes the pool leader).
  • Pooling only works for United-operated award flights: Unfortunately, pooling miles for award flights only works on United metal; therefore, you cannot pool your miles for a Star Alliance partner redemption. Additionally, unlike when you transfer United miles from accounts, which can be used to book travel and experiences, shop online and more, pooled miles can only be used for award travel redemptions.
  • No limit on the number of miles you can contribute: If you join a friend or family pool, there is no limit on the number of miles you can contribute. So, if you’re planning a trip with your friends, you can opt to contribute only a certain number of your United miles to that specific pool and keep the rest in your personal account. However, once you contribute your miles to the pool, you cannot take them out.
  • You can reverse a transaction within 24 hours: As previously mentioned, once you contribute miles to a pool, you cannot take them out if you decide to leave. However, there is a 24-hour period after you contribute miles in which those miles are not available, and you can choose to reverse the transaction, Bondar confirmed to TPG.
  • You cannot “pool hop” (per se): While you are able to join and exit a pool at your own discretion, United is limiting the ability to hop to different pools. United confirmed to TPG that a 90-day “cooling” period will go into effect when you exit a pool. Therefore, be wise when deciding which pools you would like to enter when planning your next vacation, as you may be forced to wait before you’re able to join another pool.
  • Pooling miles will not affect a member’s status: Contributing miles to a pool account will not affect an individual’s Premier status. Only members who are traveling on a ticket using the pooled miles will earn Premier qualifying points, not the MileagePlus member who contributed them, per United’s press release.

Overall, we wouldn’t be surprised if this additional function increases the number of MileagePlus accounts, as infrequent United flyers and/or families with young kids can now join a pool, and those miles can be utilized to help cover the cost of some (if not all) of an award trip.

Bottom line

United’s MileagePlus pooling opens up a new avenue for award travelers to plan group trips. However, be mindful of the important stipulations, such as the 90-day “cooling” period and that once your miles are in a pool, you cannot reverse the transaction after 24 hours. We’re excited about this new venture as it gives customers options and user-friendly purchasing power when it comes to how they redeem their miles.


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