I hope this is the proper forum -- none of the others seemed appropriate.
I found out 3 days ago that I need to head to London this week. I'll be flying Virgin Atlantic (VS) on 744s each way, from IAD-LHR-IAD.
The problem is frequent flyer miles. I have accounts and mileage with most major US carriers, notably UA, US, DL, TW, CO. Any time I've flown other airlines, they have been partners of one of those airlines, so I can earn in one of my existing accounts. For instance, South African is a DL partner, so I just give them my DL FF number and I earn DL miles for an SA flight.
Unfortunately, Virgin doesn't have any of the airlines I listed above as partners, but it does have those airlines' partners as partners. For instance, on VS I can earn miles in an HP (America West) FF account. When I fly HP, I earn miles in my TW account because they're a partner.
So, could I earn TW miles on a VS flight, because the partnership is VS->HP->TW? Similarly, VS is partners with some of the Star Alliance airlines, like SQ, Austrian, and SAS, but not UA (where I have my account).
Hmm, would I be best off starting an SQ FF account, earning my VS miles on that, then considering it part of my UA miles, since I can combine miles from Star Alliance partners when using awards?