Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Should you add a different frequent flyer number to your reward flights?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

There was an interesting post on US blog The Points Guy last weekend about whether – when flying on a reward ticket – you should put in the frequent flyer number of a different airline.

The rationale for this is that airline industry IT is often not the best.  Whilst it is very rare to be awarded back miles for a reward flight on the airline you used to book your ticket, they will occasionally credit to other airlines.  This is especially likely to happen if your travel is disrupted and your ticket is reissued.

Concorde ticket

Would I recommend this?

To be honest, if you have BA status, I would NOT recommend it.  You should keep your BA number in the booking.  This will ensure that you get priority treatment if your travel is disrupted and passengers need to be rebooked.

(If you had swapped your BA Gold number for an American Airlines ‘no status’ number, BA would put you at the back of the queue for rebooking.)

Of course, if you are redeeming Avios, have NO BA status but DO have status with another oneworld airline, then it makes sense to put that number in the booking for the same reason.

Does this strategy ever work?

Yes, it does.  There was a time now gone, and I can’t remember the exact details, when some BA redemptions would credit to American Airlines (or was it the other way round?).

In the good old days of BMI, you could also credit Star Alliance reward flights to Diamond Club, although I never did.  They would not post automatically, but if you sent in the boarding pass then they would be credited.

I did once get BMI miles on a Thai Airways business class ticket I won in a competition.  It was booked into a reward ticket class, but there was a problem with the ticket at Heathrow and the ticket agent reissued it.  The reissued version qualified for miles and was solely responsible for my wife and I retaining BMI Silver status that year!

All in all, though, I wouldn’t see this as a serious opportunity to earn yourself additional miles.

Comments (24)

  • Jpi74 says:

    Booked a redemption flight in F to Sydney last year and made a few changes to it over time from the first booking (I was using a GGL Joker) and ended up getting 720 TPs and over 30,000 Avios for the flight in the end. I would agree that the BA IT systems don’t seem too sophisticated.

  • JD says:

    I found it worked easier prior to Avios. I booked several Air Miles flights and put my BAEC number on and got a tier points/miles.

    I also booked a Virgin Atlantic flight to the US once with Air Miles, added my Continental Airlines number and got miles. Its a lottery but sometimes works. Likewise I would say its down to airlines inadequate IT systems and in these days of mileage devaluations we should take what we can get!

  • Elt says:

    Is it poss to change the FF no once it is in the booking then?
    I.ve been trying to exploit this by changing my BA no. To Iberia .
    But can’t see how to do it , tho it will let me change passport details.
    Thanks for help

    • Alan says:

      Use the Finnair website 🙂

    • Rob says:

      Either the Finnair or Qatar websites, via their Manage My Booking function, should let you do this for an Iberia or BA booking (oddly!)

  • louie-m says:

    I’ve got a couple of Avios.com reward flights coming up with the fare classes listed as X and G. BA’s MMB shows that I am due to earn no Avios, but do I stand any chance of earning Avios on the G fares if I put my AAdvantage number (or Qantas one) on the booking do you think?

    • Rob says:

      Does no harm unless you have BA status

      • louie-m says:

        True. I shall report back later…… My only status is with US Airways (silver) which I seem to have acquired without ever having flown them, much to my surprise!

  • bigglesgirl says:

    Does it work with *A? I have United miles redemption flights with Thai coming up soon in F (LHR-BKK and return) – would it be worth putting my Aegean Airlines number on the booking for example to see if would get the miles and TP?

    Similarly, I’ve also got Avios redemption flights booked on ba.com, flying with CX to KUL, via HKG – again, would it be worth putting either my CX Gold or Qatar Silver card on those bookings?

    • Rob says:

      Does no harm to try as long as you do not remove a status number to replace with a non status number.