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Travel topics > Transportation > Flying > Airline alliances

Airline alliances

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What is an airline alliance?[edit]

Airline alliances are formed when different airlines agree to substantially cooperate with each other. Advantages for customers include more destinations and more convenient connections, while the airlines benefit by feeding passengers to each other instead of to competitors. For travelers, the most obvious effect of airline alliances is codesharing whereby one airline will sell a seat on a flight with its own flight number, but the flight is performed by a different airline. (Note that not all airlines are part of an airline alliance, and not even all airlines within the same alliance do codeshares with each other.)

Although many airlines in an alliance have subsidiaries, the subsidiaries are often not members of the alliance which the parents are part of.

How does this apply to me?[edit]

  • Airline alliances tend to coordinate their flights to ease connections, flying intercontinental flights to each other's hubs, adjusting schedules and grouping one alliance's flights at a single terminal at large airports. They code-share and interline with each other so that you can travel to many more destinations on a single ticket sold by your local airline.
  • You can collect frequent flyer miles when flying on an alliance partner airline. This means for example that a passenger with Qantas can claim mileage when flying with another OneWorld airline such as British Airways.
  • Additionally, status levels that you have on one airline are generally recognized by other airlines in the same alliance. For example, a 'Morning Calm' status with Korean Air will automatically give you 'Elite' status when flying with another airline in the SkyTeam alliance. Thus, you can check in at the Business Class counter, get priority luggage tags, getting emergency exit row seats assigned to you and priority boarding of the aircraft.
  • Travelers can take advantage of a round-the-world ticket, a ticket with the ability to stop at a few countries around the world for a relatively lower price.


Oneworld logo.svg
G-CIVK B747-436 British Aws(OneWorld c-s) YVR 18JUL13 (9323743814).jpg

Oneworld is the smallest alliance counting by the number of airlines. The member airlines are spread evenly around the world, so it is a workable option when planning a long multi-point trip such as for a round the world flight. It was the first alliance to introduce interlining e-tickets.


Airline Country Hubs Frequent flyer
Lounges IATA
American Airlines United States United States Charlotte, Chicago - O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York - JFK, New York - LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Washington - Reagan AAdvantage Admirals Club, Flagship Lounge AA
British Airways United Kingdom United Kingdom London - Heathrow, London - Gatwick Executive Club Various BA
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong Asia Miles/Marco Polo Club Various CX
Finnair Finland Finland Helsinki Finnair Plus Finnair Lounge AY
Iberia Spain Spain Madrid Iberia Plus Sala VIP IB
Japan Airlines Japan Japan Tokyo - Narita, Tokyo - Haneda, Osaka - Kansai JAL Mileage Bank Sakura Lounge JL
LATAM Airlines Chile Chile Santiago LANPass Lounge Neruda & Mistral LA
Malaysia Airlines Malaysia Malaysia Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching Enrich Golden Lounge MH
Qantas Australia Australia Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth Qantas Frequent Flyer Qantas Club QF
Qatar Airways Qatar Qatar Doha Privilege Club Premium Lounge QR
Royal Jordanian Jordan Jordan Amman Royal Plus Crown Lounge RJ
S7 Airlines Russia Russia Moscow - Domodedovo, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk S7 Priority S7 Business lounges (Moscow, Novosibirsk) S7
SriLankan Airlines Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Colombo FlySmiLes Serendib Lounge UL


Skyteam Logo Alliance.png
F-GTAE A321 Air France Skyteam (14807314613).jpg

SkyTeam is the latest alliance to be formed. It has a particularly strong network in Europe.


Airline Country Hubs Frequent flyer
Lounges IATA
Aeroflot Russia Russia Moscow - Sheremetyevo Aeroflot Bonus SU
Aerolíneas Argentinas Argentina Argentina Buenos Aires - Ezeiza, Buenos Aires - Jorge Newbury Aerolíneas Plus Salón Cóndor AR
Aeroméxico Mexico Mexico Mexico City, Monterrey Club Premier Salón Premier AM
Air Europa Spain Spain Madrid - Barajas Flying Blue UX
Air France France France Paris - Charles de Gaulle Flying Blue Various AF
Alitalia Italy Italy Rome - Fiumicino MilleMiglia Club Freccia Alata AZ
China Airlines Taiwan Taiwan Taipei - Taoyuan, Taipei - Songshan, Kaohsiung Dynasty Flyer Dynasty Lounge CI
China Eastern Airlines China China Shanghai - Hongqiao, Shanghai - Pudong, Xi'an, Kunming Eastern Miles MU
China Southern Airlines China China Beijing - Capital, Guangzhou Sky Pearl Club CZ
Czech Airlines Czech Republic Czech Republic Prague OK Plus Crystal Lounge OK
Delta Air Lines USA United States Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York - JFK, New York - LaGuardia, Paris - Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma, Tokyo - Narita SkyMiles Delta Sky Club DL
Garuda Indonesia Indonesia Indonesia Jakarta - Soekarno Hatta, Bali GarudaMiles Garuda Indonesia Executive Lounge GA
Kenya Airways Kenya Kenya Nairobi Flying Blue Simba Lounge KQ
KLM Netherlands The Netherlands Amsterdam Flying Blue KLM Crown Lounge KL
Korean Air South Korea South Korea Seoul - Incheon, Seoul - Gimpo, Busan SKYPASS Korean Air Lounge KE
Middle East Airlines Lebanon Lebanon Beirut Cedar Miles Cedar Lounge ME
Saudia Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh, Medina Al-Fursan SV
TAROM Romania Romania Bucharest Flying Blue RO
Vietnam Airlines Vietnam Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi Golden Lotus Plus Golden Lotus Lounge VN
Xiamen Airlines China China Xiamen, Fuzhou, Hangzhou Egret Card MF

Star Alliance[edit]

Star Alliance Logo.svg
N653US Boeing 767 United Star Alliance (7496775714).jpg

Star Alliance is a global network of airlines, and the world's largest airline alliance.

Cooperation includes seamless code share flights and baggage interlining and, as a new trend, an increased degree of co-location in airport terminals.

Members of any Star Alliance frequent traveler program (FT) can credit miles or points flown in many booking classes on any Star Alliance operated aircraft.

"Gold" Star Alliance FT members get an extra 20 kg or "piece" of baggage; reciprocal access to most Star Alliance members' lounges; priority boarding and priority wait listing.


Airline Country Hubs Frequent flyer
Lounges IATA
Adria Airways Slovenia Slovenia Ljubljana Miles & More Senator Lounge JP
Aegean Airlines Greece Greece Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion Miles&Bonus Aegean Club Lounge A3
Air Canada Canada Canada Calgary, Montréal - Trudeau, Toronto - Pearson, Vancouver Aeroplan Maple Leaf Lounge AC
Air China China China Beijing - Capital, Chengdu, Shanghai - Pudong Air China Companion/Phoenix Miles VIP Lounge CA
Air Dolomiti Italy Italy Munich Miles & More Senator Lounge EN
Air India India India Delhi, Mumbai Flying Returns Maharaja Lounge AI
Air New Zealand New Zealand New Zealand Auckland Airpoints Koru Club NZ
All Nippon Airways Japan Japan Tokyo - Haneda, Tokyo - Narita, Osaka - Kansai, Osaka - Itami ANA Mileage Club Club ANA Lounge NH
Asiana Airlines South Korea South Korea Seoul - Incheon Asiana Club Asiana Lounge OZ
Austrian Airlines Austria Austria Vienna Miles & More Senator Lounge OS
Avianca Colombia Colombia Bogotá LifeMiles Avianca VIP Lounges AV
Brussels Airlines Belgium Belgium Brussels Miles & More HON, Senator Lounge SN
Copa Airlines Panama Panama Panama City ConnectMiles Copa Club CM
Croatia Airlines Croatia Croatia Zagreb Miles & More Senator Lounge OU
Egypt Air Egypt Egypt Cairo EgyptAir Plus EGYPTAIR MS
Ethiopian Airlines Ethiopia Ethiopia Addis Ababa ShebaMiles Cloud Nine and Sheba Miles Lounges ET
EVA Air Taiwan Taiwan Taipei - Taoyuan, Taipei - Songshan Infinity MileageLands EVA Air Lounge BR
LOT Poland Poland Warsaw Miles & More Executive Lounge LO
Lufthansa Germany Germany Frankfurt, Munich Miles & More HON/Senator Lounge LH
SAS Scandinavian Airlines Denmark Denmark, Norway Norway, Sweden Sweden Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm Eurobonus Scandinavian Lounge /Business Lounge SK
Shenzhen Airlines China China Shenzhen PhoenixMiles ZH
Singapore Airlines Singapore Singapore Singapore KrisFlyer SilverKris Lounge SQ
South African Airways South Africa South Africa Johannesburg - O.R. Tambo, Cape Town Voyager Cycad/Baobab Lounge SA
Swiss International Switzerland Switzerland Zurich Miles & More Swiss Lounge LX
TAP Portugal Portugal Portugal Lisbon Victoria Top Executive Lounge TP
Thai Airways Thailand Thailand Bangkok - Suvarnabhumi Royal Orchid Plus Royal Lounges TG
Turkish Airlines Turkey Turkey Istanbul - Atatürk Miles & Smiles THY CIP Lounge TK
United Airlines United States United States Denver, Los Angeles, Chicago - O'Hare, San Francisco, Newark, Washington - Dulles, Houston - Bush, Cleveland, Guam, Tokyo - Narita Mileage Plus United Club, United Polaris Lounge UA

Rail-air alliances[edit]

In some countries (especially those with extensive high speed rail networks) there are also cooperation agreements between airlines and railway operators, offering trains as a code-shared "flight" or other benefits to travelers. For more on the topic see rail air alliances.

Frequent flyer programs[edit]

Main article: Frequent flyer programmes

You should choose your Frequent Flyer airline in an alliance carefully. Although you may think it is intuitive to join the airline you fly most, you should be aware that privileges offered are often different and frequent flyer points may be more generous under a different airline in the same alliance.

By way of example, to reach Star Alliance Gold status (affording you priority wait listing and boarding, extra checked baggage allowance and use of lounges even when flying on any Star Alliance economy flight) requires only 20,000 miles in one year with Aegean Airlines' Miles&Bonus program, but some other member program require 50,000 or even 100,000 miles in a year to be flown before awarding Gold status.

This travel topic about Airline alliances is a usable article. It touches on all the major areas of the topic. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.