Which Airline’s Partner Award Chart Determines My Mileage Earning?
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
“Reader Questions” are answered twice a week by TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Ethan Steinberg.
The complex web of airline alliances, codeshare agreements and more can make it confusing to separate the difference between who’s operating your flight, selling your ticket and awarding you miles. TPG reader Meir has a question about which airline’s partner award chart will govern his earnings…
I’m looking to book a Lufthansa-operated flight (fare class L) through United and credit the miles to my Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles account. Will I earn miles based on United or Turkish’s partner award chart for Lufthansa?TPG READER MEIR
First of all, Meir is spot-on that his earnings for this flight will be based on a partner award chart, not Lufthansa’s own Miles & More program.
In a situation like this where there are three different airlines in play, you can ignore the airline you’re booking through. The only thing that matters it the loyalty program you decide to credit miles to (in this case Turkish Miles & Smiles), and the partner award chart that program has for the airline you’re flying on (Lufthansa). In this case, it doesn’t look good for Meir as Lufthansa “L” class fares are ineligible for mileage accrual with Turkish Miles & Smiles.
Meir could also decide to credit to a different Star Alliance loyalty program. If he picked United, he’d earned 5x United miles per dollar (assuming he was a general member, more if he had elite status). He’s also earn 100% premier qualifying miles (PQMs) based on the distance of his flight. He could also choose to credit the flight to Air Canada Aeroplan. Assuming this is a long-haul international flight and not an intra-Europe flight (which has a separate award chart), his L class ticket would earn at the following rates.
Singapore KrisFlyer and Avianca LifeMiles are both incredibly valuable Star Alliance loyalty programs, but neither one awards any miles for Lufthansa tickets in the L fare class.
As you can see, partner earning rates vary heavily from airline to airline, even within the same alliance. If you’re ever confused about which earning chart applies to your specific flight, just take the loyalty program you’re crediting your miles to, and look for that carrier’s chart for the airline operating your flight. A simple Google search such as “Turkish Miles & Smiles earning on Lufthansa” will usually help you find the relevant information.
This research is especially important to do if you’re traveling on a deeply discounted economy ticket, as many of these fare classes don’t earn any miles at all with partner airlines. Meir could wind up earning thousands of extra miles by deciding to credit this flight to his United MileagePlus account, as opposed to nothing at all if he credited to Turkish.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees