But that’s not my frequent flyer number!?!

Hmm…why can’t I do online check-in for my upcoming flight by putting in my MileagePlus number like I do every other time? “Surely there is a reasonable explanation,” I think to myself as the current PNR has had a number of changes made to it so maybe it is just something silly there. And then the website asked me to enter my passport data, something which has been saved in my profile for years and which I’ve not had issues with, even through the PSS integration era. Possible explanations are quickly becoming far less reasonable, I’m afraid. I entered the data and got to the end of the check-in process where I was informed that I was not actually checked in for the flight. But they were willing to email me something telling me that I wasn’t checked in. Apparently I’ve joined the military.


It seems that somehow United managed to get someone else’s frequent flyer number on to my reservation. Pulling up the receipt online confirmed that things were all sorts of messed up.


On the plus side, I managed to fix the problem myself. I went back in to the reservation, edited the passenger information and put the correct MileagePlus number in the system. Once I did that the OLCI process worked smoothly and I’m now holding the boarding passes I need for the flights. But I have to admit that I’m more than a little surprised that this happened. Yes, I know of some of the reasons why a number other than that of the passenger might show up in a reservation but I didn’t think that I’d met any of those with this trip.

It was quite bizarre.

Ultimately the travel experience was quite fine. I got to LaGuardia on the Q70 bus at 7:32, was standing at the gate at 7:40 and had completed my SDC on to the 8am departure and boarded the plane by 7:41. There was the small issue of the deicing truck catching on fire which caused some delays but I made it to Chicago in time for lunch and to Vancouver in time for happy hour. All in all, I’ll take it.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Was this booked with your miles? Or somebody else? I think that CO Shares has always put in the FF number of the person booking the reward res rather than that of the flyer. It’s probably something else but yet another United tech problem.

  2. Weirdest thing like this I’ve had happen is when I went to register a new Amex card recently. Put in the card information and then I was somehow logged in to the account of a person who lived at my address before the people we bought the house from.

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