Householding Accounts for Airline Miles
My family is considering a couple potential international travel opportunities this year and it will be the first time the full family (2 parents + 2 kids) would be traveling. I am an airline mile feind and one early concern I have had was acquiring airline tickets for my kids and not being able to take advantage of the airline miles earned from their tickets.
A cursory search revealed for all the US carriers I checked that we could earn mileage in frequent flyer accounts with any tickets purchased for my kids (as long as they have a seat, if we buy a ticket for our infant without a seat we wouldn't earn miles). However, none of the US carriers appeared to offer ability to pool or household miles without fees.
I don't think we are going to become nomads anytime soon and only expect we'd go on a limited number of flights in the forseeable future (unless we somehow find flying with a 3yr old and 6m old enjoyable). I'd like to know we can put the miles to good use and if we could household the miles then we could earn a free ticket if 1/4 the time, or a pair of tickets (a more likely scenario for my wife and I) in 1/2 the time.
While the US carriers were a let down, I did find that there were a few overseas airline partner on the various airline alliances that did offer householding family accounts.
Alliance Member that Offers Householding Benefit*
One World Alliance
While this wouldn't be of much help for anyone who is a loyal user of an US carrier loyalty program, this might offer us some potential. My wife and I already have active British Airways accounts with significant miles from a British Airways Credit Card Bonus opportunity so would be easy for us to use their program rather than American's going forward. For the Skyteam and Star Alliances, I have significant accrued mileage on the US carriers, but my wife does not have accrued mileage. It still might make sense for my whole family to fly using Asiana and Korean Air loyalty programs to maximize our reward benefit. Even if we decide I should still use my US loyalty program, it still might make sense for my wife and children to take advantage of Asiana and Korean Air loyalty programs for any flights we take on those alliances to help use reach a reward ticket faster.
Its good to see there are some options out there, but taking advantage of the loyalty programs becomes that much more complicated with the family in tow. It would be great if the US carriers offered the householding benefit to keep it simple and help keep members loyal.
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