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TPG reader Paul has a great family travel question. He is traveling with him family of four, would like to know if there is a simple way to book tickets from their individual United MileagePus accounts and merge them onto the same itinerary:
“I’m not sure if you have addressed this before but do you know of a way for the four of us in my family to redeem award travel or upgrades from our own individual United MileagePlus accounts and yet remain on a single itinerary? I like the airlines knowing that we are traveling together with children in case there are mechanical problems, weather delays, equipment changes, etc. I’m Premier Silver and primarily fly on United.”
To the best of my knowledge you cannot make several reservations from various accounts and merge them onto one itinerary. What you can do is call reservations at 1-800-864-8331 and ask them to link each itinerary together. The representative will simply put notes in the reservations stating that you and your family members are traveling together and to please use all courtesy when rebooking.
Even if the notes are in place, there is a good chance that the agents won’t even look at the them when rebooking you. Many times the system will rebook you automatically so you’ll have to be diligent if there is a flight cancellation or if there is an equipment change and your seats get messed up.
As I mentioned in this post, it is in your best interest to do some research and know your options before going to a gate agent or airline representative for help. If you know exactly what flights have enough available seats for your family and can provide the agent with flight numbers you will have a much better chance of all being rebooked together.
In terms of your elite perks, having United Premier Silver status normally gets you benefits like a complimentary checked bag, priority check-in and priority boarding. Technically all passengers traveling with you should be ticketed on your reservation to get all of your benefits. However I’ve had luck with calling different airlines and asking if my traveling companion can be seated next to me in premium seating even if they weren’t on the same itinerary as me. As long as you’re polite and appreciative, many representatives will work with you to get you what you’re asking.
Although you can’t technically get everyone on the same itinerary without booking from the same account, the best advice I can give you is to make notes in the reservations and stay in contact with the airline up until flight departure. Doing those two things should keep you in good shape and will help to avoid a stressful situation of all being split up.
Please comment below if you have any other tips or strategies for adding several tickets from different accounts to the same itinerary.
Check out this post for more Tips on Planning Family Award Travel.