Hi everybody, This is my first post to MP and I'm hoping someone can help me with the quandry that I've found myself in. I'm a full-time soldier living in Columbus, OH (CMH) and have to fly relateively often for my job (2 RTs per month). I am also flying more often for pleasure and want to maximize my FF miles. After browsing MP and reading a lot of the blogs, I think I should be focusing on earning my miles within one alliance to ensure that I optimize my rewards and chance of gaining elite status. Unfortunately, I suffer from having to fly using the government's contracted carriers to my official destinations. This has basically meant that my select airline is always different depending on which airport I'm flying into and when. For example: DEN = UA, DCA = US, MDW = WN, and ORD = FL. I also can't use my own CC to purchase the tickets, so I can't take advantage of additional CC miles when purchasing from the airline. I've joined each of these FF programs to at least capture the miles, but I'm spreading out my miles instead of focusing them on one program/alliance. To make up for this, I've enrolled in a number of CCs to gain miles. I've currently got the following CCs: AMEX SPG (25K bonus) AMEX Delta Platinum (20K bonus) Chase United Mileage Plus Select Visa (30K bonus) Chase BA Visa (50K bonus) My primary airport is CMH. The major carriers are DL, UA/CO, AA, US, and WN. My goals for FF are: elite status (and the perks that come with it), international routes, and awards trips on quality airlines. I already try to maximize my use of CCs to pay for as many expenses as possible, so I would use the AA MC to pay for all my domestic expenses and keep the BA Visa to pay for expenses overseas (no FTF). I know that a lot of flyers are partial to the SPG AMEX, but it doesn't help me gain elite status and I understand that the transfer process can take a great deal of time. Also, it doesn't make sense to transfer to UA or US because of the 2-1 rate. I've also thought about getting either an AMEX Platinum or Premier Rewards Gold to be able to do (nearly) instant tansfers through MR to AA or DL. I like the thought of the Platinum benefits, but I'm not sure how often I'd be able to take advantage of them because CMH doesn't have any lounges. My latest thought has been to make AA my primary airline for personal travel since they partner with BA (which has my largest chunk of miles because of the CC bonus), get a Citi AA MC, and concentrate my mileage acitivity with AA through their online shopping portal and partners. While I'm neutral when it comes to all the domestic carriers, I like the thought of traveling on BA, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, and LAN when I go overseas. So, sorry for the long explanation, but here are my questions: 1. Does this plan make sense and is it the best way to maximize my mileage earning/use? What does everyone else think? Has anyone run into a similar issue with their business seeming to randomly choose carriers? 2. Can you combine AA & BA miles when booking award tickets? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.