United to Allow Friends and Family to Share and Pool Miles to Book Flights

The airline will allow groups of up to five MileagePlus members to share and redeem their miles through one linked account.

<p>Courtesy of United Airlines</p>

Courtesy of United Airlines

United Airlines is now allowing travelers to pool their airline miles to purchase flights.

The new feature, United told Travel + Leisure, will allow groups of up to five MileagePlus members to share and redeem their miles through one linked account. Contributing miles to a shared account won’t impact an individual member’s status with the airline.

“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,” Luc Bondar, the chief operating officer of MileagePlus, said in a statement shared with T+L. “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.”

To share miles, the initiating traveler or "pool leader" can create a pool for free and invite up to four other friends and family to join. Travelers can then add as many of their personal miles to the pool as they want, which can then be redeemed for award flights.

The pool leader must be at least 18 years old, but members of the pool can be any age.

United’s MileagePlus program allows travelers to earn Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) by flying, using co-branded credit cards, or online shopping. Miles can be used to purchase flights, request upgrades, book hotels, pay for inflight Wi-Fi, and more.

United also allows travelers to swap unwanted gift cards for airline miles.

Although the airline touted itself as the "first" major airline to pool miles, it's worth noting that JetBlue has been doing so since 2013.

Southwest offers a similar feature, allowing passengers to transfer eligible unused flight credits to friends or family. The airline has been doing so since 2022 with the introduction of its Wanna Get Away Plus fares.

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