Family pooling in a frequent flyer program is a feature that allows multiple individuals, typically family members, to combine their earned miles or points into a single shared account. This way, the entire group or family can accumulate rewards faster and more efficiently, making redeeming them for flights or other benefits easier.
The specific rules and benefits of family pooling can vary between airlines, for example:
- Number of members in the pool: some programs restrict this to immediate family, while others allow friends or unrelated members.
- How miles are the miles pooled: some programs allow you to control distribution or how members can use miles.
- The effect of pooling on elite status qualification: sometimes, pooled miles can’t be used for elite status.
Some of the key benefits of pooling miles and points are:
- Earn rewards faster: When you pool your points with family members, you can earn rewards faster. This is because you can combine the points from everyone in your family.
- Reach elite status sooner: If you aim for elite status in your frequent flyer program, family pooling can help you reach it sooner. This is because you can earn status credits faster when you pool your points with family members.
- More flexibility: Family pooling gives you more flexibility when it comes to redeeming your points. You can redeem the points for rewards that benefit the entire family, or you can redeem them for rewards that benefit individuals.
Tips for frequent flyers that are family pooling
If you’re using a family pooling feature in a frequent flyer program, there are several strategies you can use to accumulate rewards faster:
- Pick the right member to be the “leader” of the pool. If one of the family members is prone to travel more often, let that member be the leader or organizer. Members that fly more often can get elite status, access to multipliers, and increased earnings.
- Mix and match flights: Depending on the family pooling rules, sometimes it’s beneficial to book flights for family members separately, especially if different family members have different status levels or there are special bonus offers for individual travel. For example: let organizers fly on paid tickets if you are no redeeming flights for everyone.
- Maximize earnings on flights. Look for special promotions or flights that offer extra miles. Ensure all family members know about these opportunities and try to take advantage whenever possible.
- Choose the right credit card: Some airlines offer branded credit cards that reward you with miles for everyday purchases. If all family members use such a card for their expenses, your family pool can accumulate miles much faster.
- Use partner services: Many airlines have partners in the hotel, car rental, and retail industries. Using these partners’ services can earn additional miles that get added to your family pool.
- Book with wiles when possible: Some airlines still award miles for flights booked with miles, so if possible, try to book this way to earn back some of the spent miles.
- Choose one Frequent Flyer Program and stick to it: Spreading your flights across multiple airlines divides your potential rewards and can slow your accumulation. Try to stick to the airline with your family pool as much as possible.
- Consider business travel: If any family member travels for business, see if they can choose your preferred airline and add those miles to your family pool.
- Shop through Airline Shopping Portals: Many airlines have online shopping portals offering extra miles for purchases made. These can be a good way to earn extra miles for purchases you make anyway.
- Stay informed: Keep an eye on the airline’s promotional emails and websites. Many airlines periodically offer bonuses for certain activities or for flying specific routes. Take advantage of these promotions whenever possible.
- Study the rules! This is perhaps the most important tip. The more you understand how your frequent flyer program works, the better equipped you’ll be to maximize your benefits. So take the time to study the rules, and don’t hesitate to ask questions if there’s something you don’t understand.
Frequent Flyer Programs with Family Pooling: The Full List (2023)
|Frequent Flyer Program||Country||Family Pooling Requirements|
|Aegean Miles + Bonus Together||Greece||Up to 5 members, must be Silver or Gold status|
|Air Canada Aeroplan Family Sharing||Canada||Up to 8 members, must be related and live at the same address|
|Air France/KLM Flying Blue Family||France, Netherlands||Up to 8 members, maximum of 2 adults and 6 children|
|Air India Mera Parivar||India||Up to 9 members, must be related and live at the same address|
|All Nippon Airways Mileage Club Family||Japan||Up to 5 members, must be related and live at the same address|
|Asiana Club Family Mileage Plan||South Korea||Up to 5 members, must be related and live at the same address|
|British Airways Executive Club Household Account||United Kingdom||Up to 9 members, must be related and live at the same address|
|Etihad Guest Family Membership||United Arab Emirates||Up to 9 members, must be related and live at the same address|
|Emirates Skywards My Family||United Arab Emirates||Up to 8 members, must be related and live at the same address|
|Frontier Miles Family Pooling||United States||Up to 9 members, no relation required|
|HawaiianMiles Share for a fee||United States||Paused until further notice|
|JetBlue TrueBlue Points Pooling||United States||Up to 7 members, no relation required|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer for Families||Singapore||Up to 9 members, must be related and live at the same address|
|Miles & More Mileage Pooling||Germany||Up to 2 adults and five children, must be related and live at the same address|
|Norwegian Reward Family Account||Norway||Up to 7 members, no relation required|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer Family Transfers||Australia||No pooling, but free transfers|
|SAS EuroBonus Point Sharing||Sweden||Up to 8 members, must be related and live at the same address|
|United MileagePlus Family Pooling||United States||United MileagePlus doesn’t offer family sharing. Just accounts under same name can be merged.|
|Velocity Frequent Flyer Family Pooling||Australia||Up to 9 members, must be related and live at the same address|
|Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Family||Turkey||Up to 9 members, must be related and live at the same address|
|WestJet Rewards Family Sharing||Canada||Westjet doesn’t offer family sharing.|
|GOL Smiles||Brazil/Argentina||Up to 6 members, must be related and live at the same address|
I’m using three different pools in my favorite frequent flyer programs. My favorite is undoubtedly SAS EuroBonus Point Sharing. It has been around for many years and works like a charm, although it would be cool to be able to combine status earning. Then, I’m also using FlyingBlue and GOL Smiles family pools to rack up points faster with my family.
What’s your experience with family pooling? Let me know in the comments below, or reach out to me on Instagram any time!