Airline miles can be inherited

By Wanda Bahde
This item appears on page 12 of the July 2020 issue.
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Following the passing of my husband, Ray, a travel consultant suggested I contact airlines to see if Ray’s United and Delta airline miles could be merged into mine. (The suggestion came during a discussion I was having with Pat Lalonde of Lion World Travel [Toronto, Ontario; 800/387-2706, www.lionworldtravel.com] about their East Africa tour.)

I contacted the airlines about this on Jan. 20, 2020. Both were compassionate and cooperative, and I learned that miles CAN be inherited.

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Following the passing of my husband, Ray, a travel consultant suggested I contact airlines to see if Ray’s United and Delta airline miles could be merged into mine. (The suggestion came during a discussion I was having with Pat Lalonde of Lion World Travel [Toronto, Ontario; 800/387-2706, www.lionworldtravel.com] about their East Africa tour.)

I contacted the airlines about this on Jan. 20, 2020. Both were compassionate and cooperative, and I learned that miles CAN be inherited.

United Airlines’ MileagePlus Service Center (mileageplus@united.com) noted that “Accrued mileage and certificates don’t constitute property of the member; however, we may transfer miles on an exception basis in accordance with our own policies.”

Upon their receipt of the required Certificate of Death and notarized Affidavit and Release along with my email address, they promptly merged Ray’s United MileagePlus miles into mine at no cost.   

Delta Air Lines’ SkyMiles Online Customer Support (DeltaBonus MilePromo@delta.com) requested a Certificate of Death as well as copies of both Ray’s and my SkyMiles cards and driver’s licenses for identification purposes.

The Delta representative efficiently merged Ray’s miles into my own Delta account at no cost, and with compassion: “On behalf of Delta, I am very sorry to learn of your loss and hope you will accept my deepest sympathy.”

Our Delta miles were merged by Feb. 9. United’s response was equally prompt. I was pleasantly surprised at how well each airline treated me and my query.

WANDA BAHDE
Summerfield, FL