United MileagePlus launches Mileage Pooling

United MileagePlus overnight announced a new feature that allows members to pool their miles. This new feature is the first time a US carrier’s loyalty programme has provided pooling, and it is restrictive but valuable at the same time.

How does United MileagePlus Pooling work?

United Airlines has launched a new ability for MileagePlus members to pool their miles with friends and family. With this new feature, any MP member over 18 can become the leader of the pool and create a pool for free when logged into their MileagePlus account.

Here are some details of how the pool works.

  • Pool leaders can invite up to four family, friends, or close travel companions of any age to join the pool if they have an active MileagePlus account.
  • 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 the United mobile app.

United has done an excellent job thinking about the potential abuse of their new feature and built-in safeguards around potential abuse while launching the feature.

Firstly, Pooled miles can only be used for award travel on United, not on partner airlines or other MileagePlus redemptions. This should address a major concern: People could be trading their miles and using said miles to buy tickets on carriers other than United. By doing this, Mileage Plus has removed the leak of revenue outside its own ecosystem and, hence, cash payments due to these issues to other carriers.

Further, so that the same people don’t keep switching their pools, there are rules around membership pools being joined and left. Members can leave a miles pool at any time; however, any miles contributed by the person who leaves the pool will be forfeited by that member and will stay in the pool to be shared among the remaining members. Further, if a member leaves a miles pool, they cannot join another pool for the next 90 days, and that pool also can’t have a new member join for 90 days.

Contributing miles to a MileagePlus pool won’t affect an individual’s elite status since only the member who travels on a ticket using pooled miles will earn any eligible Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs), not members who contributed them.

If needed, the best way to use this feature is to use a pool of miles right around when you are ready to book a ticket. Then, you can decide how many miles each person will contribute toward that ticket since not everyone has to contribute the same.

In addition to United Miles not expiring, United awarding loyalty PQP for redemption flights; this is an excellent move by United MileagePlus and makes the programme even more customer-friendly.


United MileagePlus has launched a mileage pooling feature whereby up to five people can combine their miles for a single award ticket. However, you can only redeem pooled miles for travel on United, and you can’t jump between pools every often. This makes it less prone to scamming.

What do you think of United’s new mileage pooling feature?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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