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I've always booked United flights, but some legs of the "United" trips (ticket codes all starting 016) are operated by Lufthansa.

I've already/automatically got these flights for United MileagePlus status, but can I sign up for Miles and More (Lufthansa) and then also claim those flights for Lufthansa status?

United has a mileage requirement (Premier Qualifying Miles - PQM) and a dollar requirement (PQD) to get status. I'm under the impression that I can claim any star-alliance flight for mileage, but tickets that don't start 016 don't count towards any PQD status.

What I'm really looking for is entry to the Lufthansa Business lounges, which you can get with only 35k miles on Miles and More. I am also getting close to United Gold, but that doesn't hit until 50k miles.

I'm reluctant to just try it because I'm worried I'm going to cost myself United status if Lufthansa "claims" the flight or something similar, so I was hoping someone had an answer or could point to some official statements from Star Alliance, etc. on how this would work.

  • Are you asking for advice on how to cheat? – Weather Vane Aug 22 at 17:49
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    @WeatherVane - It's not cheating if it's allowed. Maybe game the system? I've already met the PQD dollar requirement for United gold status, so I was kind of hoping that there was some other constructive way to use travel mileage I've got. – Chuck Aug 22 at 17:51
  • United silver just gets an extra bag and earlier boarding (25k miles). Lufthansa frequent traveler gets you Lufthansa business lounges, but that's it (35k miles). United gold gets you any star alliance gold lounge (50k miles), and then United and Lufthansa both grant some nice benefits at the 100k mile mark (1k/Senator). I'm currently around the 35k mark, and I'll almost certainly hit the 50k mark with United by the end of the year, but most years I peter out around the 35k I'm at now. – Chuck Aug 22 at 17:54
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    You may be able to change the whole booking to being credited to your Lufthansa account. Airlines will often allow you to pick within their alliance. For example, I sometimes fly on British Airways, but have the mileage credited to my American AAdvantage account. – Patricia Shanahan Aug 22 at 17:56
  • The program the miles, points, dollars or whatever unit is in use is stored in your PNR (booking) and is in most cases shown on the boarding pass. I would believe it impossible to claim twice. – jcaron Aug 22 at 18:29
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You can't double dip.

Your booking is always associated with a single frequent flyer account, regardless which carrier flies, markets, books or operates it. You can easily change it anytime before the flight typically until check in, but there can be only one at a time

Benefits get credited after completion of the flight depending on what frequent flyer is on the booking. You can give your LH numbers during check in and the agent will put it on the booking, but the agent will also remove your UA number. There is only space for one.

  • To nitpick a little, you used to be able to add an FQTS for benefits and an FQTV for accrual, so technically the booking could be associated with more than one frequent traveler account, although only one would be used for earning. But that may be moot as it is reportedly increasingly difficult to get the airlines to enter them for you. – choster Aug 22 at 19:48
  • There is usually a possibility to claim afterwords but I guess that would also involve editing the booking and so the second claim would bounce? – chx Aug 23 at 0:05
  • @chx they usually ask for a copy of the boarding pass, which will show the other FF program. They will also see it in the booking. And many programs no longer allow retroactive credit if a FF program was not chosen prior to check-in. – jcaron Aug 23 at 1:01
  • You can give your LH numbers during check in and the agent will put it on the booking, but the agent will also remove your UA number. Yeah, that's the bit I was worried about. I need one more big business trip this year and I'll just cross into United gold status, so it's definitely not worth risking getting one of my flights stripped. – Chuck Aug 23 at 1:34
  • @Chuck: you are not getting stripped. All Star Alliance partners allow to credit miles to any other partner account. You can credit your miles to LH, ANA, Air New Zealand, Singapore, Thai, etc. whichever you want. But obviously you can credit only once since you are only flying once. – Hilmar Aug 23 at 13:59

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