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Last week, I flew United GlobalFirst from Los Angeles to Melbourne, and in my review of the flight I noted that every time I fly an award ticket, I always go to the kiosk to change my frequent flyer number on the reservation.

TPG reader Ritz read that and emailed me to ask, “Why would you do that?”

Whenever you redeem miles for an award, you don’t earn miles on the trip. However, sometime (once in a blue moon!), if you change your frequent flyer number on a reservation to an account you have with a partner airline, you might actually get awarded miles. There can be technical difficulties between frequent flyer programs and it might slip through the cracks so you get the miles, so it can’t hurt to ask.

I don’t push it – for instance, I would never send in boarding passes after an award flight and claim to deserve compensation with a partner airline. But if airlines want to give me free miles (as has happened from time to time), I won’t decline them!

Always keep your boarding passes until your miles have posted.
I won’t send in boarding passes from award flights claiming miles!

Situations where this is worth a shot include if an airline cancels your original flight and rebooks you into a new revenue class – the chances of getting miles awarded on that new ticket have just increased.

It’s also always a good idea to request a change to the frequent flyer number of the partner airline of the one you are flying with which you have the highest elite status, as this might earn you priority boarding or a free checked bag benefit.

This practice is by no means a sure thing, but it’s one of those quirky things I always do when traveling – and it has paid off in the past.

Let me know if you have any other questions by messaging me on FacebookTweeting me or emailing me at

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

With some great bonus categories and an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has a lot going for it. If you don’t have PRG, now’s as good a time as any to add it to your wallet, as Amex added some great new benefits several months back.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 per calendar year for baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, when available with The Hotel Collection at
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the 1st year, then $195.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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