If you have a frequent flyer membership with miles, you may be tempted to share your account number to book an award ticket for a friend or family member. But is this allowed by airlines? The short answer is typically no – most airlines prohibit members from sharing their frequent flyer accounts and miles with others.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover the rules around sharing frequent flyer accounts, how airlines enforce them, consequences for violations, and any possible exceptions. We’ll also discuss ways to book award tickets for others that are permitted, and tips for accumulating miles quickly.

Frequent Flyer Program Rules

Anti-Sharing Policies

When it comes to frequent flyer programs, many airlines have strict anti-sharing policies in place. This means that using your frequent flyer number for someone else is generally not allowed. Frequent flyer programs are designed to reward individual travelers for their loyalty and business with the airline.

Sharing your frequent flyer number with someone else would essentially be a violation of the program’s terms and conditions.

It’s important to note that airlines have implemented these policies to prevent abuse and ensure fairness within their frequent flyer programs. By allowing only the account holder to earn and redeem miles, airlines can accurately track and reward individual travelers based on their own flight activity.

This helps maintain the integrity of the program and prevents any misuse of miles or benefits.

However, it’s worth mentioning that some airlines do offer options to transfer or pool miles within a family or household. This allows family members or close friends to combine their miles for a specific redemption or benefit.

These programs typically have specific eligibility requirements and may involve a fee or certain restrictions.

ID and Verification Requirements

Another reason why using your frequent flyer number for someone else is not allowed is the ID and verification requirements associated with these programs. When you earn or redeem miles, airlines often require you to provide your identification information to ensure that the miles are correctly credited to your account.

By using your frequent flyer number for someone else, you would essentially be claiming their travel activity as your own. This could lead to issues with identity verification and potentially result in the forfeiture of miles or even account suspension.

Airlines have stringent measures in place to protect the integrity of their frequent flyer programs and prevent any fraudulent activity.

It’s always best to adhere to the rules and guidelines set forth by the frequent flyer program you are a member of. If you have any questions or concerns about the program’s policies regarding the use of your frequent flyer number, it’s recommended to reach out to the airline’s customer service for clarification.

Consequences of Violating the Rules

Using your frequent flyer number for someone else may seem like a convenient way to help a friend or family member, but it can have serious consequences. Airlines have strict policies in place to prevent misuse of frequent flyer accounts, and violating these rules can result in various penalties.

Account Termination

One of the most severe consequences of using your frequent flyer number for someone else is the potential for your account to be terminated. Airlines take account misuse seriously and have the right to suspend or close your account if they suspect any fraudulent activity.

This can mean losing all the miles you have accumulated over the years and any associated benefits.

Did you know? According to a study conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), approximately 1% of frequent flyer accounts are closed each year due to violations of airline policies.

Forfeiture of Miles

In addition to account termination, airlines may also take away any miles or rewards earned through the unauthorized use of your frequent flyer number. This means that not only will you lose the benefits associated with those miles, but you may also have to start from scratch in building up your frequent flyer status.

Pro tip: It is always best to follow the rules and use your frequent flyer number only for your own travel. If you want to help someone else earn miles, consider gifting them a flight or finding alternative ways for them to earn their own miles.

It is important to remember that each airline has its own specific rules and policies regarding the use of frequent flyer numbers, so it is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with these guidelines before considering any actions that may potentially violate them.

Permitted Exceptions

While frequent flyer programs typically require members to use their own miles for booking flights, there are a few exceptions that allow you to use your frequent flyer number for someone else. These exceptions include:

Family Pools

Many airlines offer family pooling programs that allow members to combine their miles with those of their family members. This means that you can use your frequent flyer number to book a flight for a family member, as long as they are part of your family pool.

This is a great way to help your loved ones enjoy the benefits of your frequent flyer program.

For example, some airlines allow you to create a family pool with your spouse, children, and even extended family members. By pooling your miles together, you can accumulate them faster and have more options for redeeming them for flights.

Gifting/Transferring Miles

Another exception to the rule is the ability to gift or transfer miles to someone else. Some airlines allow you to transfer your miles to another person, either for a fee or as a special promotion. This means that you can use your frequent flyer number to book a flight for someone else by transferring your miles to their account.

It’s important to note that each airline has its own rules and restrictions regarding the gifting or transferring of miles. Some airlines may have limitations on the number of miles that can be transferred or may charge a fee for the transaction.

Make sure to check with your airline’s frequent flyer program for specific details on how to gift or transfer miles.

Additionally, certain credit card companies also offer the option to transfer points to airline frequent flyer programs, which can then be used to book flights for someone else. This can be a convenient way to use your frequent flyer number for someone else if you have accumulated a significant amount of points through your credit card spending.

How to Book Awards for Others

Are you wondering if you can use your frequent flyer number to book awards for someone else? The answer is yes! Many airlines allow their customers to use their own frequent flyer miles to book flights for family members, friends, or even colleagues. Here are a couple of options to consider:

Using Miles to Pay for Their Ticket

If you have accumulated a significant number of frequent flyer miles, you can use them to pay for someone else’s ticket. This is a great way to treat your loved ones or colleagues to a memorable trip. Simply provide the airline with the necessary information, such as the passenger’s name and travel dates, and they will deduct the appropriate number of miles from your account.

It’s that simple! Keep in mind that some airlines may charge a small fee for booking awards for others, so be sure to check their policies beforehand.

Redeeming Miles for Gift Cards

Another option to consider is redeeming your frequent flyer miles for gift cards. While not all airlines offer this option, some do allow you to convert your miles into gift cards that can be used towards flights, hotel stays, car rentals, or even dining experiences.

This can be a fantastic gift idea for special occasions or as a way to thank someone for their help. Check with your airline to see if they offer this redemption option and the available gift card denominations.

It’s a win-win situation – you get to use your miles, and the recipient gets to enjoy the benefits!

Remember, before booking awards for others, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the specific rules and regulations of your airline’s frequent flyer program. Some airlines may have restrictions on who can be booked using your miles, while others may require you to provide additional documentation.

By doing your research and understanding the process, you can make the most of your frequent flyer miles and create lasting memories for your loved ones or colleagues.


In summary, frequent flyer memberships are intended for individual use only. While there are some limited exceptions, in general it is against the rules to share your account details and book tickets in someone else’s name.

Focus on permitted ways to gift miles and awards to avoid violations and account termination.

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