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Can you "link" airline reservations made separately w/miles?

California
Level Contributor
2,269 posts
4 reviews
Can you "link" airline reservations made separately w/miles?

If I book a ticket for myself on either American or United using my own miles, then my huband books one for himself using his miles, is there any way to "link" these reservations?

I'm talking about a process similar to what cruise ships do: They can link one party's reservations with another's so that friends who book separately can be seated together in the dining room, debark together, etc.

If we book flights separately, there's the danger that, if something went wrong with the flight, we would not be treated as one party. For example, sometimes flights are cancelled and they rebook passengers by distributing them over several different flights, sometimes on different days. If two people weren't on the same reservation, they could presumably be split up -- which would be a pain.

(Transferring miles from one party to another isn't an attractive option because the fees they charge make it not worthwhile.)

Anyone know how to get two reservations linked as one party?

UK
Level Contributor
49,562 posts
92 reviews
1. Re: Can you "link" airline reservations made separately w/miles?

Yes just phone them after both bookings have been made.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
Level Contributor
7,942 posts
85 reviews
2. Re: Can you "link" airline reservations made separately w/miles?

Yes, you can, but it doesn't guarantee that you will be treated as one party. The most flexible way for you to get where you are going in a disuption would be as single individuals. If it means putting two of you on different flights with only a seat left each, at least you'd get where you are going.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
10,857 posts
95 reviews
3. Re: Can you "link" airline reservations made separately w/miles?

If this is a concern, can you book these as two one ways? Such as you use your miles for you and your husband on the outbound on the same PNR, and he uses his miles to book the return?

An agent can put a note that you are traveling together if you have separate PNRs, but someone actually has to then read it.

UK
Level Contributor
49,562 posts
92 reviews
4. Re: Can you "link" airline reservations made separately w/miles?

An agent can put a note that you are traveling together if you have separate PNRs, but someone actually has to then read it.

------

It's my understanding that linked PNRs are more fundamentally connected than just a note that someone needs to read after the event. Perhaps GOPBI can comment?

The idea of booking one ways ought to work, certainly with American there is no penalty at all for doing that.

Edited: 1:33 am, April 18, 2013
Nannup, Australia
Level Contributor
3,647 posts
26 reviews
5. Re: Can you "link" airline reservations made separately w/miles?

Linked bookings (TCPs) are noted in the PNR as a Special Service Request (SSR). The airline has to do something with it - it's not just read 'by chance'.

California
Level Contributor
2,269 posts
4 reviews
6. Re: Can you "link" airline reservations made separately w/miles?

<< can you book these as two one ways?>>

Not this time. They're already one-way flights. I've done that in the past, though, and it worked great. But this time, neither of us has enough miles to do it that way.

Thanks to everyone for chiming in!

Boston...
Destination Expert
for Walt Disney World, Orlando, Antarctic Adventures
Level Contributor
4,935 posts
160 reviews
7. Re: Can you "link" airline reservations made separately w/miles?

I've done this no problem on American, United, and Delta, the only nuance was it was my miles for one ticket and the other ticket was a paying passenger. I simply called each airline after booking and requested the link and picked out seats together. American honored my status and moved my mother into an exit row at no cost to sit with me as originally she couldn't request that seat without paying.

Specifically on Delta, they actually changed my flight and routed it through another city a month out and called me to inform me about it and I questioned whether my mother's flight had been changed as well and they said it had since we were linked and since they noticed I was in first class and she was in coach, they upgraded her for free! For some reason I couldn't use the miles for a coach ticket so we all won! I wouldn't be too worried, especially if you both have accrued so many miles on the airlines they would probably be keen to give you a bit more customer service should the unexpected happen.

no
6 posts
8. Re: Can you "link" airline reservations made separately w/miles?

Nice outcome, anonymous928.

Minneapolis
2 posts
1 review
9. Re: Can you "link" airline reservations made separately w/miles?

I just called to link two reservations with American and the person said it was not possible to link them. Not sure if he's new or uninformed, but i thought I'd pass it on.

Minneapolis
2 posts
1 review
10. Re: Can you "link" airline reservations made separately w/miles?

I just called American again and this time the agent was able to cross-reference the two reservations. So if at first you don't succeed, try again...