Does your frequent flyer program belong to the Star Alliance? Discover how you can earn extra points and redeem rewards with other airlines around the world.
Airline alliances between multiple airlines offer flyers a number of benefits. While the primary aim of such alliances is to simplify inter-airline codeshare connections, belonging to a frequent flyer program that’s in an alliance also brings benefits like lower prices, access to shared airport lounges, extra points and more.
At the time of writing, Star Alliance rates as the largest global airline alliance and is considerably ahead of competitors oneworld and SkyTeam. Discover how you can take advantage of extra points and rewards with the Star Alliance.
What is the Star Alliance?
Star Alliance came into existence in 1997, with the coming together of five airlines from three continents. These included Lufthansa, United Airlines, Thai Airways International, Scandinavian Airlines, and Air Canada.
Every time you fly with an airline that is part of this alliance you get to earn points, and you can redeem accumulated points for flight tickets and flight upgrades. Given the number of airlines that are part of this network, you get scores of destination and flight options from which to choose. Depending on your membership status, you also get automatic access to a variety of travel benefits.
Which airlines belong to the Star Alliance?
Star Alliance currently includes 28 member airlines, and it serves over 641.10 million flyers every year through more than 18,500 daily departures. This alliance comprises over 4,600 aircrafts, more than 432,000 employees, and around 1,300 airports. It gives its members access to more than 1,000 airport lounges in over 190 countries. As a result, when you become part of this extensive network, you can look forward to flying to just about every destination in the world. Airlines that are part of the Star Alliance include the following:
- Adria Airways
- Aegean Airlines
- Air Canada
- Air China
- Air India
- Air New Zealand
- Asiana Airlines
- Avianca in Braz
- Brussels Airlines
- Copa Airlines
- Croatia Airlines
- Ethiopian Airlines
- EVA Air
- LOT Polish Airlines
- Scandinavian Airlines
- Shenzhen Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airways
- TAP Portugal
- Turkish Airlines
What are the benefits of belonging to the Star Alliance?
Some of the benefits you can expect from the Star Alliance include:
- Earn and redeem points. While Star Alliance does not offer a frequent flyer program of its own, all you have to do to earn points is join a frequent flyer program of one of its member airlines. It is best that you choose the program that your favoured airline offers. Once you’re a frequent flyer program member, you stand to earn points no matter which member airline you use, and you can also redeem your points through all member airlines.
- Status benefits. Every member airline defines its own tier status levels, which then translates to Star Alliance’s Silver and Gold status. When you get to the Silver status you can make use of priority reservations waitlist and priority airport standby. The Gold status, in addition to the Silver status benefits, also offers priority airport check-in, airport lounge access, priority boarding, extra baggage allowance, and priority baggage handling.
- Airport lounges. All Star Alliance Gold status holders get access to more than 1,000 airport lounges globally. These include Star Alliance member airlines lounges as well as Star Alliance lounges, and these spaces give you the perfect way to relax and unwind just before a flight. You can access these lounges without Gold status, as long as you’re flying business class or international first. Star Alliance branded lounges exist in Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Nagoya, Paris, and Sao Paulo.
What are the drawbacks of the Star Alliance?
While becoming a Star Alliance member can be a good idea, especially if you travel overseas from time to time, take into account that this alliance comes with drawbacks as well:
- Limited to a certain number of airlines. The Star Alliance started with five member airlines, and it now consists of 28 member airlines. Given that there are hundreds of airlines globally, you can be sure there are scores that are not part of this alliance.
- Independent rewards programs. The frequent flyer programs Star Alliance member airlines offer are independent of each other, so if you earn points through one frequent flyer program you cannot directly transfer them to another.
Being a part of the Star Alliance can open up a world of benefits for you, but make sure the airline you favour is part of this alliance. This is because not all popular airlines are part of the Star Alliance, and the airline or airlines you normally use might just be part of another airline alliance. As a result, compare your options well before making a decision.Back to top
Frequently asked questions
How can I join a Star Alliance member airlines’ frequent flyer program?
You have to visit the member airlines website and complete the required formalities.
Do I get a Star Alliance card?
No, your frequent flyer program card comes linked to your Star Alliance account.
Do I earn miles or points through all Star Alliance member airlines?
Once you’re part of a frequent flyer program offered by a Star Alliance member airline, you stand to earn points or miles no matter which member airline you use.
Can I combine miles or points from different frequent flyer programs?
No. You cannot combine points and/or miles between two or more Star Alliance airline frequent flyer programs.
What do I have to do to redeem miles or points on Star Alliance member airline flights?
If you wish to redeem your points or miles for a flight onboard a member airline, you have to get in touch with your frequent flyer program service centre, and not that of the desired partner airline.
Is there a way I can find out about the location of lounges at different airports?
Yes. You can use the Lounge Finder Tool provided by Star Alliance, and you can also find maps of airports using Star Alliance airport information pages.