You Can Use Your Airline Miles To Book Flights For Anyone!

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Readers often ask if they can use their airlines miles to book flights for someone else.

Using your miles to book flights for other people is easy and it won’t cost you any extra money!

You Can Use Your Airline Miles To Book Flights For Anyone

Emily, Connie, Judi & Daraius En Route to London!

Airlines Charge to Transfer Miles

Airlines will usually charge you to transfer miles to someone else’s mileage accounts.

You would pay ~ $200 to transfer 12,500 American Airlines miles to your friend’s account for a 1-way award from Chicago to Detroit on American Airlines.

This is almost never worth it, because of the high transfer fee.  You can usually buy a 1-way ticket (unless it is last minute) from Chicago to Detroit for ~$200.  So you may as well pay cash and save your miles!

Don’t Have to Transfer Miles

But you don’t have to transfer airline miles to book tickets for someone else!

You can book flights for your family, partner, friend, or anyone else using miles from your account – WITHOUT transferring miles and WITHOUT paying a fee!

I used miles from my account and Emily’s account to get tickets for Emily’s mom and her friend Judi so the four of us could visit India!

You Can Use Your Airline Miles To Book Flights For Anyone

We Used Our Miles to Get Tickets For Emily’s Mom & Judi

Let’s say that you want to use your American Airlines miles to book a trip from Michigan to Hawaii for your grandparents.

American Airlines has a great website to search for domestic US awards, so just go to the American Airlines website and search for awards.  Read this series on using American Airlines miles if you’re searching for international awards.

You Can Use Your Airline Miles To Book Flights For Anyone

Just Search For Award Flights on the Airline Website

Booking an award seat for someone else is just like booking an award seat for yourself.

The only difference is that you enter the name of the passenger for whom you’re booking an award!

You Can Use Your Airline Miles To Book Flights For Anyone

You Can Enter Someone Else’s Name as the Passenger

Some Airlines Don’t Let You Book Awards for Others

All US airlines will let you book award flights for someone else.

Some airlines, like Korean, state that you can only redeem awards for yourself and family members and require proof of relationship.  But there is a workaround so you can still book flights for others.

You just need to transfer points into each person’s (family members) Korean air miles account before you book their award ticket.  You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Korean Airlines in a 1:1 ratio.  Note that you should transfer points only into your spouse or domestic partner’s account.

International Flights

Some airlines require the passenger to show the same credit card used to book the trip when they check-in for an international flight.

For example, Delta almost didn’t let Emily go on her birthday trip because she didn’t have my credit card!

In my experience, most US airlines don’t require you to show the credit card at check-in if you book an award for someone else.  But it may help to give the passenger a letter acknowledging that you used miles from your frequent flyer account to book the trip and a copy of the credit card (just in case).

Bottom Line

Airlines charge fees to transfer miles to from account to another.

But you can avoid those fees by directly booking award seats for others using the miles from your account!

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32 Responses to You Can Use Your Airline Miles To Book Flights For Anyone!

  1. I thought that Chase had rules on who you were allowed to transfer ultimate rewards points to and whose account you were allowed to transfer to.

  2. Also u can use avios

  3. use a prepaid visa dedicated to award tickets’ fees and taxes?

  4. There are exceptions. I think for example Korean only lets you ticket awards for family members (?)

  5. Thanks for the post. I posted a question about this topic on your contact me portion and there is the answer in a blog post! Thanks for all the posts, but especially this one.

  6. @Benji – That’s true. You should transfer Ultimate Rewards points from the personal card only to your spouse or domestic partner. And to your employees or spouse or domestic partner if you have a business card.

    @anon – That could work, but sometimes they want the names to match on the credit card and account holder.

    @Nun – Some international airlines have restrictions, but most US airline do not.

  7. Daraius, please bear with me as I am still learning about this. I am wondering how much is the value of American Airlines mile (a mile is worth how much $$?).How about US Airways and Southwest Airlines’ mile? Among these 3 airlines’ miles, which one has the best value redemption for international and which one is the best one for domestic?
    It would be great too if you could share the link to a chart of how much value a mile of each airline worth.

  8. Why would you check-in at the airline check-in booth? You can check in online on the airline’s website and save time and hassle.

  9. I have some chase points but not enough to book a flight. My mom has a Chase Freedom card and she has some points. Can I combine her freedom chase card point to my Chase Bold ink card? My mom live with me. We have same address. Thanks.

  10. I’m thinking of going to Tahiti with my wife in summer 2015, but I don’t have enough AA miles and I probably won’t have enough for the both of us by then either. However, my parents have tons of AA miles. I know we can use our own miles to book for other people on American Airlines, but how about partner airlines such as Air Tahiti Nui? Booking on American and some partner airlines can be done online, but I have to call in to book on Air Tahiti Nui. Will they let my parents calling to use their miles for me?

  11. @Dave
    Yep I have done that before on CX with AA miles. You don’t even have to have your parents call, if they give you the acct info, you can call yourself.

  12. Anon, thanks. I have my parents’ account info.
    I wonder if this is airline-specific or if it applies to all Oneworld airlines.

  13. Love the blog.

    When booking award tickets for family or friends (eg AA or US), if I use my own credit card (for example the new aa citi with 100k bonus), any chance of them getting the baggage fee waived?

    Also, I noticed that it’s fairly easy to get status on Aegean, any program similar on oneworld’s alliance?

  14. Hello Daraius, love your blog. I just noticed that Korean Airlines is part of the Skyteam alliance. Does mean that if I transfer my CSP Ultimate Rewards to Korean Air, I could use those miles to fly on Delta? That would be great!

  15. @David – The value of a mile varies based on your goals, travel style and amount of miles you already have. That said, I’d value most miles between 1.25 cents to 2.0 cents.

    @sun pak – The terms say that you shouldn’t and are meant to discourage folks from selling miles etc.

    @ Dave – You could call on behalf of your parents. Or even have an award booking service book on your behalf. You can book flights on partner airlines with someone else’s American Airlines miles.

    @Mj – They are unlikely to get the free bag, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

    @Liz W – You could transfer them to Korean Air and use to fly on Delta. But Delta award availability isn’t the best, and Korean Air would only be able to book low level Delta awards. So I’d check availability first before transferring the miles and points.

  16. thats pretty amazing. But how did u manage to find a fare for 150,000 miles to India? I assume it was first class?

  17. just have the person get a prepaid debit card and book that.. easy end around the “have to show the credit card“ used to book the ticket.

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  19. Any idea if my wife books me a flight on SW, will it show up under my rapid rewards account so that I can then book a companion pass ticket? I am running low on points and she just got a Ink card. Is it also possible to transfer UR points to my SW account instead of hers or can you transfer to multiple SW accounts?

  20. @Mike – That does work. You can add your rapid rewards number to the reservation (if you have the confirmation code) and it should show up in your account. And you can then add her as a companion.

  21. When entering a different passenger’s name than the one with the aadvantage miles, it says the passenger name doesnt match the aadvantage miles name..how are you getting around that?

  22. @Taylor – Log into your account with your username, then enter the other passenger’s name and number when it is time to book!

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  25. Steve Tustin

    It won’t. I’m trying right now. Maybe it’s because the other passenger doesn’t have an AA number. I don’t know?

  26. Thanks for the great post! I have an AA account and my husbend also has an AA account, can we make a booking for 2 friends from our 2 account at the same time? Do they need to have AA account or it’s not necessary? We have to make booking via phone, because I cannot see QR availabilty on AA website.

  27. Can we transfer miles between us?

  28. if my husband has us air miles can and how he book a flight for me any advice without paying the fee?

  29. AA charged me a fee to use miles from my account for people not travelling with me. $35 each person. This was today using AA EXECPLAT phone line. I could not purchase online because I used AA EXPLAT phone rep to book tickets. Transatlantic seats not available online. Is this fee well know? I never heard of it before today.

  30. @Mary – You can each book flights for others from your account. You will pay a fee to transfer miles between you which is usually not worth it.

    @michelle – He can call or book the flight online using his miles, but name you as the passenger traveling.

  31. Using my miles to purchase tickets for someone else, successful in entering passengers info but wanted to know if they would be able to pay the fees with their own credit card? Tried doing so and it’s saying I need to use my card since it’s my account, is there a work around? TIA.

  32. Any issue using aadvantage miles to book a hotel for someone else? Cardholder won’t be staying at hotel so other person will be checking in

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