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Can I use someone else’s frequent flyer number?


Don't need the points yourself? Here's the right way to pass them on.

Here's a scenario I often get asked about: I'm not a frequent flyer and don't plan on joining a scheme, but I have to take a flight. Can I use the frequent flyer number of a friend or relative so they earn the points instead?

While this might seem like a generous idea, it goes against the terms and conditions for joining frequent flyer schemes.

And it won't work in practice. If you try and enter a frequent flyer number that doesn't match the name on the booking, you'll see this error message:

Virgin error message Image: Virgin Australia/Supplied

The same applies with Qantas and every other major airline. If the name details don't match, you can't earn the points.

If you flew domestically and weren't planning on checking any luggage, you could, in theory, book a ticket in that person's name and with their frequent flyer number and just use it yourself, printing out a ticket at the airport using a kiosk. But it's a very risky strategy if anything at all goes wrong with your flight, and I absolutely wouldn't recommend it.

If the airline does detect that strategy you won't be able to take the flight as you're not the named passenger. (It would be detected immediately with checked baggage if you need to show ID to staff, or at regional airports that don't have kiosks for tickets.)

So what are your actual options? The only way to earn those points is to join the scheme yourself. But there are ways to join for free for Qantas and Velocity is already free, so that's not a major barrier. It makes more sense to have someone use the points than miss out altogether.

Both frequent flyer schemes will let you transfer points to other family members. Our detailed Qantas and Velocity take you through how the process works.

The main limitation here is that there's a minimum transfer amount of 5,000 points, so you probably won't be able to help someone out immediately with the points from a single flight (unless you're booking some very expensive business class seats).

If you want to hang onto the points until you have enough to transfer, remember that Qantas Points expire if there's no earning activity for 18 months, and Velocity Points expire after 24 months.

That doesn't mean you need to take a flight to keep the points, though. An easy way to keep your account active and top up your total is to transfer points from Everyday Rewards to Qantas or from flybuys to Velocity.

Want to keep your frequent flyer points balance growing? Check out the latest credit card sign-up deals.

We updated this guide in May 2023 with current examples and more details on Qantas.

Image: Finder/Photographer: Angus Kidman

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