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QUICK GUIDE: Airline Alliance Benefits [under construction - please help!]

Old Nov 12, 13, 8:55 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: MSPeconomist
Offers guaranteed connections between alliance airlines, even if booked on separate tickets


The lower alliance status tier is called SkyTeam Elite and doesn't carry many benefits.

Higher tier is called SkyTeam ElitePlus, which corresponds to DL GM (Gold at 50,000 status miles/60 segments and $5000 spend or a waiver for the new spend requirement based on a foreign address or $25,000 charged to a DL AmEx card). It gives access to business class (and DL FC in North America) check in lines, additional luggage, and lounge access to SkyTeam operated lounges before (and typically also after for DL lounges in the USA) a SkyTeam operated flight that is part of a SkyTeam same day international itinerary. (This does not include the AF IFC lounge at CDG, nor any AF FC check in facilities.)

DL and KLM/AF agreements give additional benefits, such as FB elite free domestic (includes Canada and the Carribean but excludes Hawaii) upgrades at low priority on DL flights (after all DL elites and their companions have cleared) and free or discounted EC seats on KLM and DL. (AF offers a separate premium economy cabin class.)

Star Alliance
Largest alliance with most routes and destinations served

Alaska Airlines is not part of an alliance. And most benefits don't spill over to other carriers. There are two exceptions though:
  • Delta:
    MVP/Gold/75K can upgrade at the gate.
    Larger free baggage allotment
    Priority checkin and security
    SkyPriority for MVPG/75K
  • American:
    Larger free baggage allotment
    Priority checkin and security
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QUICK GUIDE: Airline Alliance Benefits [under construction - please help!]

Old Nov 12, 13, 8:06 am
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
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QUICK GUIDE: Airline Alliance Benefits [under construction - please help!]

In addition to the benefits that one obtains from one's own FF program, the three major airline alliances grant benefits to elites when traveling with partner carriers. Examples include lounge access, special check in and security lines, priority boarding, and additional free checked bags. This thread will serve as a reference for those benefits.

Note that, in addition to alliance partner benefits, many carriers have joint ventures (DL and AF/KLM or AA and BA) or other particularly close relations (UA and LH) with a few partners that result in enhanced benefits. There are also some bilateral partnerships that provide benefits, often with a carrier that doesn't belong to any alliance (for example, Delta and Virgin Atlantic/Virgin Australia) or that may be on the way to joining the alliance.
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