Earning miles/points are great... Almost every big airline has its own frequent flyer program. These programs are basically loyalty programs, allowing you to accumulate miles/points from flying with them or using their credit card. You can use your miles/points to save on your flight costs, "paying" with your miles.
If there's anything we like more than frequent flyer programs, it's alliances.
Alliance is a group of airlines partnering and allowing the travelers to use their frequent flyer program's miles/points on booking a flight from another member airline of the alliance.
The most popular and big one is Star Alliance.
Star Alliance was founded in 1997 by five airlines as the first worldwide aviation alliance, with a proven track record of success and a commitment to innovation and exceptional customer service.
Star Alliance has 26 member airlines, each with its own unique culture and service style. Members of the Alliance aim to provide seamless connectivity over a wide global network. Star Alliance activities are mainly coordinated in Frankfurt, Germany.
Many of the world's largest aviation firms, as well as smaller regional airlines, are among the alliance’s members. They provide quick access to practically any destination on the planet when flown together. Each airline has its own own style and cultural identity, contributing to the alliance's rich diversity and multiculturalism. At the same time, each airline is dedicated to providing the highest level of safety and customer service.
The company’s mission is to “Execute leadership in managing a portfolio of alliance products and services using an agreed process”.
Star Alliance collaborates with its airline partners to make earning and spending miles/points easier and more fun. Here's how you can earn and redeem miles/points from their airline partners.
The more you fly on the Star Alliance network, the faster you'll accumulate enough miles or points to exchange for a reward ticket or an upgrade.
You can join any of the programs and have full access to the whole Star Alliance network without having to join another program.
If you travel with one of the member airlines, submit your frequent flyer number when booking or checking in, and the miles or points will be automatically credited to your account. If you flew with one of the partner airlines and neglected to submit your frequent flyer number, you can credit miles to your account on the website of your frequent flyer program.
You can join any number of member airline Frequent Flyer Programs if you'd like, but you can't transfer miles or points between them or combine them into one. You will achieve Star Alliance Silver or Gold status faster if you use a single Frequent Flyer Program every time you fly.
1. Enroll in one of the 20 Frequent Flyer Programs of Star Alliance's member airlines
2. Add your frequent flyer number to your flight booking. (If you forget, you can always do it at check-in)
3. Collect your miles and points across their 26 member airlines and achieve Star Alliance Silver or Gold Status
REDEEMING YOUR MILES/POINTS
It’s very simple to use Star Alliance to redeem your miles or points. You can fly to any destination in the globe with their 26 member airlines.
With Star Alliance, you can "pay" for a flight or an upgrade to a higher class of travel with your accumulated miles/points. You can use your miles to book an award ticket with any member airline, subject to availability, regardless of which Frequent Flyer Program you earned them with. Contact your Frequent Flyer Program to redeem your miles for a flight or an upgrade on any Star Alliance member airline.
1. Go to your airline's frequent flyer program site and log in
2. Check the miles and point you have collected and see which award flights are available across the network
3. Book a flight online by any of the 26 member airlines by redeeming your frequent flyer miles or points
The most popular way to redeem miles/points: Flight Awards
When you use your miles or points to "pay for" a flight, it's called a flight award (or an award ticket). You can use them on any member airline in the Star Alliance, regardless of where you earned them.
Use your miles or points to upgrade your travel experience: Star Alliance Upgrade Awards
You can utilize accumulated miles or points to "pay for" an upgrade with a Star Alliance Upgrade Award, allowing you to fly in a class of travel one higher than your initial class. This award can be used on any of the 26 member airlines. The Star Alliance is the only airline alliance that provides this advantage to all of its members.
To request a Star Alliance Upgrade Award through your Frequent Flyer Program, you must have a reserved ticket in an upgradeable booking class. Check their website to see how many miles you'll need to upgrade and which booking classes are upgradeable.