I am looking to book some flights for Christmas and have found an interesting itinerary on Expedia that I am considering to book. However the outbound and return legs are operated by two different airlines in two different alliances - the outbound would be on Vietnam Airlines (SkyTeam, VN flight numbers, VN metal) while the return would be on Air China (*A, CA flight numbers, CA metal).

All flights are on one ticket though so would I be able to earn miles on this itinerary by retroactively claiming for the VN portion of the ticket with SkyTeam and for the CA portion with *A? Or could I not claim miles at all on a ticket like this?

Any clarification/past experience on this would be great!

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    Many airlines “manage my booking” and/or online check-in features allow you to add a frequent flyer number. In the worst case, you should be able to do it when checking in at the airport. I have no experience with those specific airlines though.
    – jcaron
    Jun 11, 2019 at 7:35

1 Answer 1


The Global Distribution Systems are very complex animals. Wikipedia has an example for what you are doing here. You will get a PNR from Booking.com which contains the entire itin (flights, hotels, cars, everything) and there will be a VN PNR and a CA PNR. If the Booking.com email doesn't contain them (I do not know because I never use them for booking flights, it's typically pointless) then contact them and ask for it. Armed with those, you will be able to add your frequent flyer program either online or via phone, ask for special diet and all that jazz, your ticket might even include free seat choice. And you can always add the frequent flier numbers at check in as well.

Here is an example from a different agency (it's very old so I am no doxxing myself here):


as you can see there's a locator for the entire trip and then there's the Air Canada code, separately.

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