Earning Mileage Credit (or not) with Int’l. Partners

When you fly your flagship carrier all of the time, you never really have to think about mileage earning.  You know that as long as your frequent flyer number is in the record, you will automatically see your miles post and you probably have a pretty good idea of what bonus miles you might based on your status in the program and the class of fare purchased.

Twice in the past year, I have found out that you cannot make the same assumptions when flying with international partners that participate in your airline’s alliance.

The first instance of this was this past Spring when I took a  China Eastern flight between Beijing and Shanghai.  China Eastern is a full-fledged member of SkyTeam so I made sure my Delta Sky Miles number was in my record.  However, after failing to see the mileage post and a couple of follow-up emails, I found out that the class of service I purchased on China Eastern was not eligible for mileage credit on Delta.

I looked at the terms of service and it was there but who wants to do that when traveling with an alliance partner?

A similar situation occurred this summer when taking some Lufthansa flights within Europe.  I used my United MileagePlus number , Lufthansa’s partner in Star Alliance, and received credit for my Paris to Munich segment but not my Munich to London segment.

Once again, the terms and conditions show that not all Lufthansa fare classes are eligible for mileage credit at United, but what is the point of an alliance if it doesn’t provide you some level of consistency?

So, check the eligibility of fare classes when you are in the same scenario and make a good choice about what FF # to use.