June 16, 2024

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What Is United Miles Pooling and How to Make the Most of It for Your Future Travels

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How to use United’s new Miles Pooling program.

It used to be costly to transfer miles, but not anymore. United launched a new miles pooling program. Now, you can merge miles with five loved ones to create one shared reservoir of miles minus transfer fees.

Here’s how to make the most of this fabulous new frequent flier offering so you can realize all your shared travel dreams with your loved ones.

Why You Should Pool Your Miles and Plan a Big Family or Friend Trip

For those who value creating connections with friends and family, group travel offers the chance to make new traditions and cherished memories. Group travel means sharing joy and excitement while discovering a new destination. Whether sipping margaritas on a beach in Cancun or watching the sunset over the Acropolis in Athens, travel moments become even more special when shared.

Traveling together can be more budget-friendly, too, as groups often get discounts on activities and can share accommodations. Miles pooling offers another opportunity to save up together for your next big escape with family or friends. 

What Exactly Is Miles Pooling?

United Airlines’ “miles pooling” is a free-of-charge feature that allows United MileagePlus members to merge their miles with friends and family into one shared pool without any transfer fees. It’s ideal for families, friends, or travel companions because you can pool miles to book award flights together, whether it’s a family vacation or a group trip.

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If you’re short on miles for an award flight, pooling also allows you to cut the cost of your trip. Combining them with others can make redemption possible even if you don’t have enough miles individually.

“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.”

Besides United Airlines, several other airlines offer “miles pooling” programs. JetBlue allows families to merge their TrueBlue points from different accounts into a single pool. Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines both offer family and friends miles pooling options. While Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t have a traditional miles pooling program, it does allow mile transfers between two users, so if you’re traveling with a family member or friend, you can transfer miles directly to their account.

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Step 1: Choose Your Pool Leader

The first step in pooling miles is to decide who will be the “pool leader.” The pool leader will manage the pooled miles and can redeem them for award flights for any member within the pool. The pool leader can be any United MileagePlus member who is at least 18 years old.

Step 2: Create a Miles Pool

To create a miles pool, you’ll first need to sign in to your MileagePlus account on the United Airlines website. Next, click on “MileagePlus” and then “My account.” Look for the drop-down arrow next to “MileagePlus” and select “Miles pooling.” Click “Create a pool” and agree to the terms and conditions.

The pool leader can now invite up to four other MileagePlus members to join the pool. These members don’t need to be related to the pool leader; even kids can be part of the pool as long as they’re MileagePlus members. Yes, you can even add your kids to your mileage pool if you are the pool leader.

How to Contribute Miles

Once you’re part of a pool, you can allocate the number of miles you want to contribute.

Remember that you can’t undo the transfer once miles are transferred to a pool.

Pool members can only belong to one MileagePlus pool at a time and can’t contribute or redeem miles within the first 72 hours of joining the pool.

Pooled miles can be used to book award tickets on United Airlines or United Express flights but not for award travel on partner airlines or other MileagePlus redemptions. Finally, there are no restrictions on the amount of miles that can be contributed to a pool, so you can contribute as many miles as you’d like.

How to Book a Flight Using MileagePlus Pool Miles

The pool leader, along with any pool member given redemption privileges by the pool leader, can redeem miles from the miles pool. First, sign in to your MileagePlus account on united.com or via the United app. Search for, then select an award ticket as you normally would. Then, when you arrive on the payment page, select your miles pool account.

If you’re worried about your status, the good news is that joining a miles pool will not have any impact on your Mileage Plus Premier status. When you book an award flight using the pooled miles, any qualifying points earned will be awarded to the traveler only. Any miles you contribute to the miles pool will stay with the pool.

Beyond Air Travel, How Else Can Your Miles Pool Group Members Acquire Miles?

Here are five easy ways that you can encourage your mileage pool members to start earning miles minus booking a flight:

– Sign up for a United Airlines credit card. You’ll receive a miles bonus right off the bat. Most bonuses start at 50,000 miles and can reach as high as 80,000 miles.

– Shop online through MileagePlus Shopping. Clicking through the MileagePlus Shopping portal is a simple way to earn miles as you shop the 1,000+ partnered online retailers. Once you sign up, you can also link to your preferred credit card and earn points at select retailers when shopping in-store.

– United often offers special miles bonuses when purchasing miles. Purchase miles for your individual MileagePlus account and then simply transfer them to the pool.

– Dine with MileagePlus Dining. Sign up for an account and add a debit or credit card to your profile to earn miles for every dollar spent at participating bars and restaurants.

– United partners with e-Rewards, so you can sign up to earn miles by completing online surveys.

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