There Is No Transitive Property of Miles

Let me clear up one of the most common types of questions I get from beginners.

There is no transitive property of miles.

Just because Airline A partners with Airline B and Airline B partners with Airline C does NOT mean Airlines A and C are partners.

For instance, in yesterday's post Fully Flat Business Class to Europe for 25,000 Miles, I wrote:
I searched award space on Aer Lingus' routes from Chicago, Boston, and New York to Dublin for one passenger next April through July.

I searched on united.com.

Full Analysis of Current AA/SPG Transfer Bonus

Overnight, I wrote about the current Starwood/American Airlines promotion: for all of July, 20,000 Starpoints will transfer to 30,000 American Airlines miles.

I gave the facts in this post, but I was called out in the comments for not analyzing the promotion. Said DH:

"Is this offer an indication there’s an AA devaluation right around the corner? If so, is this transfer still a good idea? Starwood points are really valuable, and I doubt devalued AA miles would be anywhere close.

How to Get Two Completely Free Flights from Europe to the US in Five Steps

An active duty military member emailed me:

This December I am getting out of the Military. When I initially get out I get 2 (one for my spouse and one for me) one-way airplane tickets to anywhere in the world. We want to use this to start our trip around Indo China and Europe. We want to go to Vietnam, Thailand, India, Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, Holland, and England. After visiting these places we will fly to Dayton, Ohio.

Why Is My American Airlines Award Pricing 25k Miles Higher Than It Should?

We just got an interesting comment on Bill's great recent post about Booking Etihad Business Class Using American Miles.

MojoMama is trying to go from Los Angeles (LAX) to the Maldives (MLE) in First Class.

The United States to the Maldives should be 90k miles each way in First Class according to American Airlines' chart. But she's getting charged 115k miles:

Trying to book LAX-JFK(stopover)-AUH-MLE in first for August, but it’s pricing at 115,000 miles. Being told AUH-MLE is separate award because it’s not in the same region, which I know is false.

What Credit Card Should You Use to Pay the Taxes on Your Award Ticket

The offers for the cards listed in this post have expired, so their links have been removed. Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.

A reader emailed me to ask what card she should use to pay the taxes on a United award:
I'm trying to book an award ticket on United ORD-EZE-ORD.

Which Miles Should You Stockpile?

The best advice for collecting miles is to earn and burn. Miles tend to fall in value, and they don't earn interest, so most people shouldn't stockpile them.

But maybe you're too busy to travel this year, so you're earning miles for future travel. Or maybe you need a ton of miles to take a lot of people on a trip together.

Should You Focus on One Airline Program or Accrue Miles in All of Them?

Many people ask me a variety of the question: should I focus my earning on one airline program, or should I try to earn miles in all programs?

Let's divide mileage accrual into two categories:

Miles earned from flying on paid tickets. (Butt-in-seat miles)
Miles earned from other sources.

Can One Person Earn Enough Miles for Two?

The offers for the cards listed in this post have expired. Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.

I get a lot of emails from people who want to travel with a companion, but their companion can't open credit cards. Maybe the companion doesn't have a social security number or just has bad credit.