Maybe, maybe not. That's according to a new survey of major airlines on whether you can inherit or bequeath those coveted frequent-flyer miles.
AirfareWatchdog.com, a consumer site on airline fares, compared seven U.S. airlines, reviewing their websites and calling their customer service centers. What it found: some pretty confusing policies.
For instance, United Airlines clearly states that frequent-flier miles are not the consumer's property and are not transferrable at death. But in calls to United customer service agents, AirfareWatchdog got conflicting answers, from a "full-on 'Yes' to flat-out 'No'."
Southwest's website says the airline does not permit transfers, but "admits there is nothing stopping a relative from using a deceased family member's awards," according to AirfareWatchdog.
In some cases, airlines said they would accept a death certificate and charge a fee for transferring miles from a deceased person. American Airlines was cited as having the most generous and lenient policy.
"It's always worthwhile to ask - and ask again - until you get a good result," AirfareWatchdog founder George Hobica, said in an email. "But if the final answer is no, then the only option is to help oneself to the miles or take legal action, which probably would be expensive and difficult."
The other airlines surveyed were Alaska, Delta, Jetblue and US Airways.