Originally Posted by uxb
Sure it has. US vs. UA in *A over JV.
Not at all the same thing. US is not in the A+++ TATL JV. But you still earn US Dividend Miles flying on the UA/LH/AC JV flights as a Star Alliance partner, or earn UAMP or LHM&M or AC AE miles flying on US Airways flights.
There has never been a case of "we're in this alliance but totally excluding any reciprocity with one particular airline of the alliance" before.
I'm also not talking AA "O" fares on TATL or similar not earning in LANPass, or LA intra-single-country low-fares not earning in AAdvantage, or no FF mileage for SK intra-Norway flights in any *A program. Those are particular route/fare earnings carve-outs.
Here, we have an entire airline eliminated from being treated as being "in the same alliance." For all intents and purposes, TAM is not "in the same alliance as AviancaTaca Group".
That's never happened. The fact that it has happened is extremely interesting when combined with LATAM's refusal to come right out and say "of course we can't be in Star Alliance after the first year of the merger, we agreed to that in court in Chile."
This looks like a brilliant way for them to make a case that they can keep TAM in Star Alliance and thus could bring LAN in too. Just argue that the antitrust agreement means "don't act like they are in the same alliance and don't share any benefits whatsoever with the excluded airline."
It's also obvious that LATAM subsidary TAM had to get permission from the Star Alliance to make such an exclusionary exception. Because that's not how the alliance is supposed to work. The Chilean court was 100% ok with JJ remaining in Star for a year after the merger, with nothing saying that they had to exclude benefits with AV/TA during that year - it just said that after the year they can't be in the same alliance. By normal standards, that means until mid-2013, LifeMiles members should be able to earn on TAM and TAM Fidelidades members should be able to earn on Avianca & Taca. But we can't.
There's a reason why JJ-sub-of-LATAM and Star Alliance allowed breaking the rules of Star Alliance. Otherwise it would work like any other time an airline has left one alliance for another or for no alliance: 100% regular alliance benefits with all the other airlines in the old alliance until the day the airline leaves the alliance. Continental leaving SkyTeam. Aer Lingus leaving oneworld. There even can be dual benefits for a transition period, as in this year only a few months ago with BMI, bought by BA, leaving Star but with all Star airlines benefits except on LH, their former parent, for a few months.
Yes, that's another carveout example. But it only happened after BMI officially left Star. As of that date, they had "as if we're still in Star" benefits with everybody except LH, due to contractual reasons between seller LH and purchaser BA parent IAG. During the time they still really were in Star, they had full Star reciprocity including with their parent and cousins in the LH Group.
There's a pattern for airlines that have to leave alliances, and TAM/Star are not following anything like that pattern.
So again, I ask why? The answer to "why" is really obvious, especially because neither LATAM nor Star will talk about it. The answer to "will it work" is yet to be seen.
But it is clearly a ploy for LATAM's desire to be in Star Alliance with the combined group of all six airlines. (5 LAN, 1 TAM). Otherwise they wouldn't be doing what they are currently doing.
Edit: Only thing that even comes close historically was the reciprocal exclusion between BA and AA until about a year ago when the OW TATL JV was finally approved. And that was likewise voluntary as an attempt to appease a set of antitrust regulators to allow them both to be in OW and both fly to LHR from USA despite otherwise controlling too much of the market within OW. They worked as if they were not in the same alliance. Sound familiar?