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Aairline alliances and journey companions

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We love getting questions from our readers and educating our them concerning the foreign money of factors and miles. Though queries incessantly revolve round the way to use the miles and factors you’ve earned from flying or spending with prime bank cards for journey, many readers ask whether or not or not you’ll be able to switch miles from one airline rewards program to a different.

The straight reply is not any, you’ll be able to't switch airline miles to a different airline. However you’ll be able to e book award flights on different airways in the event that they're journey companions.

We’ll clarify the way it works.

It isn't doable to switch airline miles to a different airline however you should use your miles to e book award flights on associate airways. (Photograph by Patrick Daxenbichler / Shutterstock)

Airline alliances and journey companions

Most main airways belong to one in every of three alliances:

You possibly can often credit score paid flights from all of the airways in an alliance to every other airline in the identical alliance.

For instance, you’ll be able to credit score your flights on Finnair or Qantas to American Airways. That's as a result of they're all within the Oneworld alliance. This lets you pool the miles you earn into one account (American Airways).

And, you should use miles from one airline to e book flights on one other associate airline. For instance, you should use your Lufthansa miles to e book flights on United Airways, or vice versa.

Journey rewards are like foreign money

Consider the rewards you earn with every airline like a rustic’s foreign money.

Let's say American Airways Benefit miles are like U.S. {dollars} and British Airways Avios factors are like British kilos. You possibly can't mix your American Airways {dollars} together with your British Airways kilos.

Nevertheless, you’ll be able to use the foreign money you have got in British Airways Avios factors to purchase an American Airways flight. And also you’ll pay the speed that’s charged in British Airways “kilos” as a substitute of the speed charged in American Airtraces "{dollars}."

You possibly can verify the “trade price” purchase trying on the airline award charts.

Evaluating rewards packages isn’t apples to apples however when you perceive the alliances, it's simpler to place award journeys collectively. (Photograph by paulaphoto / Shutterstock)

On this instance, your British Airways “kilos” have a terrific trade price once you use them to purchase brief flights inside the USA on American Airways.

Not each airline accepts each form of miles and factors “foreign money.” It is dependent upon the alliance and partnerships.

For instance, Lufthansa (a German airline that’s a part of the Star Alliance) will settle for your United Airways miles however not your American Airways miles. That's as a result of United Airways is within the Star Alliance with Lufthansa; American Airways isn't.

There's no have to memorize all the alliances – though you in all probability will when you've been within the interest for some time. Within the meantime, listed here are a number of easy-to-read lists beneath:


Oneworld's member within the U.S. is American Airways. Right here’s the entire record of its 13 international member airways:

  • American Airways
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airways
  • Malaysia Airways
  • Qantas
  • qatar
  • Royal Jordanian Airways
  • S7 Airways
  • SriLankan Airways
If you wish to expertise Cathay Pacific enterprise class, you should use American Airways miles to e book an award ticket. (Photograph by Zach Honey)

Among the finest methods to get nice worth in your American Airways miles is to e book business-class and first-class seats on Cathay Pacific as a result of these seats value 1000’s of {dollars} in the event you pay out of pocket.

To discover a flight’s award worth, use the chart of the miles you’ll be utilizing, not the airline you’ll truly be flying.

Which means if you wish to use American Airways miles for flights on British Airways or Cathay Pacific, use the American Airways award chart.


SkyTeam is the alliance that features Delta Air Traces in North America, in addition to these airways internationally:

  • Aeroflot
  • Aerolíneas Argentinas
  • Aeroméxico
  • Air Europa
  • Air France
  • Alitalia
  • China Airways
  • China Japanese
  • Czech Airways
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Kenya Airways
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airways
  • Korean Air
  • Center East Airways (MEA)
  • Saudia
  • Tarom
  • Vietnam Airways
  • XiamenAir

You should use Delta miles to fly on SkyTeam airline companions to Europe or to e book a business-class award seat on SkyTeam member Korean Air.

Fly on SkyTeam associate Korean Airways utilizing Delta miles for a business-class seat. (Photograph by Zach Honey)

Star Alliance

Star Alliance has probably the most member airways, and it contains United Airways which you will bear in mind is a Chase Final Rewards switch associate:

  • Aegean
  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • Air India
  • Air New Zealand
  • ANA
  • Asiana Airways
  • Austrian Airways
  • Avianca
  • Brussels Airways
  • Copa Airways
  • Croatia Airways
  • EgyptAir
  • Ethiopian
  • Eva Air
  • LOT Polish Airways
  • Lufthansa
  • SAS
  • Shenzhen Airways
  • Singapore Airways
  • South African Airways
  • Swiss Air Traces
  • TAP Portugal
  • Thai Airways
  • Turkish Airways
  • United Airways

Take a look at all of the methods to redeem United Airways to fly everywhere in the world. Redeem United Airways miles (or Lufthansa miles, Air Canada miles, or different Star Alliance associate airways miles) for a business-class award seat on Singapore Airways.

You possibly can fly Singapore Airways in enterprise class with United Airways miles. (Photograph by Christian Kramer)

Accomplice airways

If an airline isn’t in an alliance, it often has associate airways (there are a number of exceptions). Although you’ll be able to't switch miles between airline companions both.

For instance, you’ll be able to credit score paid flights on airways similar to Emirates, LATAM or Qantas to Alaska Airways as a result of they’re companions although Alaska Airways isn't in any alliance. Then use Alaska Airways miles totally free journey.

Earlier than you fly on an unfamiliar airline, verify its airline companions (often on the airline’s web site) and credit score the miles to your favourite associate. Then you should use the miles to fly on different companions. For instance, you’ll be able to credit score a British Airways flight to Alaska Airways. After which use the Alaska Airways miles you’ll earn to e book an award seat on Emirates.

Partnerships may be simply as helpful as alliances in the case of redeeming your miles.

Backside line

You possibly can't switch airline miles from one airline to a different. It's additionally inconceivable to mix two various kinds of miles into one account.

Nevertheless, you should use an airline’s miles to e book an award seat on one other airline inside the similar alliance. Oneworld (contains American Airways), SkyTeam (contains Delta), and Star Alliance (contains United Airways) are the three main alliances.

When you perceive airline alliances and airline companions, you'll be nicely in your approach to changing into an award reserving skilled.

Editorial be aware: We're the Million Mile Secrets and techniques group. And we're pleased with our content material, opinions and evaluation, and of our reader's feedback. These haven’t been reviewed, accredited or endorsed by any of the airways, resorts, or bank card issuers which we frequently write about. And that's simply how we prefer it! 🙂

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