I'm new with any kind of miles program and I am wondering some questions. As assumption I'm considering the SkyTeam program.

  • If a friend of my mine buy two ticket one for him and one for me, he'll receive all the miles or he can claim his miles and I can claim mine also if he paid everything? Assuming I'll register to the miles program.
  • Possible duplicate of Do you earn miles for trips that you flew, but you didn't buy? Nov 7, 2015 at 13:38
  • @KateGregory I already read that question. This one is referred to the specific case of SkyTeam!!
    – rebatoma
    Nov 7, 2015 at 13:39
  • @NateEldredge so if we both (me and my friend) register to the program we will have the equal amount of miles. And in the particular case in which I am the only one register to the program I can have my miles and also his miles if he'll get to the plane and he isn't register to any program. Have I understood correctly?
    – rebatoma
    Nov 7, 2015 at 14:11
  • Sorry, I missed that you were both flying. Let me write an answer. Nov 7, 2015 at 14:17

3 Answers 3


As far as I know, Skyteam has the same rules as pretty much every other airline or alliance: the miles for each ticket go to the person who actually uses that ticket to fly, provided they are registered in the program. It makes no difference who paid.

In your example, let's say the trip is 1000 miles long. No matter who pays, if you both register, and you both fly, then each of you gets 1000 miles. If you register and your friend does not, you get 1000 miles and your friend gets nothing.

See how it works? There is no way for you to earn miles for the ticket used by your friend, or vice versa.

Note that if possible, you should register for the miles program before the trip, and add your frequent flyer numbers to the ticket. While it is usually possible to claim the miles retroactively, the process is less convenient.


There are several reasons for the "flyer earns" general rule. Consider some scenarios if "payer earns" would happen:

  1. I'm a frequent traveler so I put an ad on Craigslist where I offer X% off your ticket if I book it (and you PayPal me the rest). I pocketed the miles which to an infrequent traveler is practically useless anyways.

  2. I am a big company and I am spending ten of millions of dollars a year on flying my people all around. All the miles land in the laps of the board of directors.

  3. Mileage runs already happen can you imagine the insanity that would commence if you wouldn't be required to actually fly it? Check for example http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/21758192-post4.html

And so on.

Edit: a mileage run is when someone flies for the sole purpose of accruing miles to achieve status. People already try to find the maximum mileage for the dollar. Very few people do this mostly because of the required time investment and because flying 10-20-40 hours in one go is not fun to most people. If you would not need to fly, everyone would do it.

  • Thanks for you explanation, but I don't get your 3rd point. Could you be more precise please.
    – rebatoma
    Nov 8, 2015 at 10:18
  • 1
    Added an explanation of mileage runs.
    – user4188
    Nov 8, 2015 at 10:27
  • 3
    Actually I think the main reason is none of these. The main reason is that the regular passenger flying on business often has some influence or indeed an open choice in his airline, but this is disconnected from the cost, which is paid by someone else. Therefore with a carefully arranged reward scheme that rewards the passenger, not the purchaser, the airline can increase the demand for its product without lowering the price. If one airline had a scheme where the passenger was not a beneficiary, the passenger would be ill disposed to use his influence to select the airline.
    – Calchas
    Nov 8, 2015 at 11:49
  • (-1) This is mostly speculation and does not even address the practical question at hand.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 9, 2015 at 20:32

Some airlines run a separate scheme where the payer can also earn some kind of credit towards future flights. This is typically aimed at small businesses.

But the usual rules are that the passenger, not the purchaser earns. The reason is very simple, to drive repeat business from the passenger, both in his personal capacity and in his ability to influence the purchaser.

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