Topic Author
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:45 pm

How To Acquire Miles In Same Alliance?

Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:37 am

Hi all,

Over the past few years living and working in China, flying home to America, etc. I've encountered nothing but problems trying to get credit for flight miles in the same airline alliance. Do I sign up for each airlines' FF program and then combine later? I've used Air China several times, but they won't take a United FF number, and on United 's website,some cities in China aren't available for booking. Combine all of this with language barriers with travel/ticket agents, and I've "lost" tens of thousands of miles. I have had the same issues with Delta and SkyTeam.

Best strategy for building miles in an alliance using different airlines? Thanks in advance for your help.
Posts: 341
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2007 11:00 pm

RE: How To Acquire Miles In Same Alliance?

Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:52 am

All airlines in the Skyteam alliance allow you to put in the FF number for any member airline. When I book on KE (55 times), CZ (131 times), AF (40 times), KLM (22 times), VN (72 times), CSA (12 times), or others website I always enter my DL number. In addition, when checking in I always hand them my DL card to make sure my account is entered properly. As a precaution you should always keep your e-ticket and boarding pass until after the miles appear on your account in case you need them to prove that you flew.

I've never lost a single mile.
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Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 5:29 am

RE: How To Acquire Miles In Same Alliance?

Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:49 am

You need only one account (on one airline FFP within an alliance). If you have an account on any individual FFP, you'll never be able to consolidate them later. I believe no airline is allowing this. As said by Tennis69, just enter your partner airline FFP number, or if this is not possible, present your card at check-in. And in case you forget, or if miles are not posting, just make a claim for retrocredit to your airline FFP.
Usually, within an alliance, all flights are eligible for mileage accrual, but not always all fares. Each program/alliance has its own rules. Check yours.
Topic Author
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:45 pm

RE: How To Acquire Miles In Same Alliance?

Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:08 am

Thanks for the information. Yes, there are times when I try to enter UA 's or DL's FF number on an alliance partner's site and it won't let me. Additionally, in many airports in Asia, especially China, airport staff work all ticket and gate counters, not airline reps. I can't tell you the number of times I've tried to show my FF number to no avail. With my limited Mandarin and body language, explaining frequent flier programs with Chinese, even those who spoke English themselves, was by far the most challenging conversation I ever had.

Based on your responses, there must be a simple "button", if you will, I'm missing during this process that I'm going to kick myself for later.

Thanks and Merry Christmas
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:46 am

RE: How To Acquire Miles In Same Alliance?

Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:05 am

I had problems in Taipei back in January where the agent checking me in for an EVA flight didn't want to enter my OnePass number (I didn't have a OnePass account when the flight was booked; I signed up specifically for that trip so that the miles would eventually combine with my Mileage Plus account). The agent in LAX on my outbound flight didn't have any issues entering it, and sure enough the outbound flight appeared normally but I had to send a copy of the boarding pass to Continental to have the miles credited for the return.

I just booked a flight with China Airlines last night, and they didn't have a space to enter a partner frequent flyer number (only Dynasty Flyer numbers). I called the CI reservations center today and the agent added my SkyMiles number to the reservation.

I don't have any specific experiences with Air China, but as a Star Alliance member you should be able to receive Mileage Plus credit, unless you were booked in the booking classes that don't earn miles (probably these are mostly free/award classes and possibly consolidator classes, but I'm not sure). If you don't receive credit or the CA agents refuse to enter your MP number, you will want to send documentation to United after the fact to earn credit. Instructions are on their web site. You might have better luck with US-based Air China employees, as they're probably more used to dealing with Mileage Plus issues than their China-based counterparts.

As a general strategy, you want to keep your miles consolidated in as few programs as possible since it's quicker to get enough miles for an award that way -- and with alliances, partner flights can qualify towards elite status. So it's pretty rare that you'd need more than one program per alliance. My Dividend Miles account sits nearly unused with very few miles in it; by the time I flew US with any regularity they were a Star Alliance member so I had all those miles credited to my more active Mileage Plus account.
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Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:45 pm

RE: How To Acquire Miles In Same Alliance?

Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:37 pm

Just did a dummy booking on Air China's website....no wonder you're so confused, they don't have an option for any other FF#s. You may want to explore UAs website and see if there are codeshares and if they are the same price for the routes you fly. If not, you may have to mail the BPs in.

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