As you get into the “Frequent Flier” realm there is a lot to understand. At worldwanderlusting.com we want you to understand how all of this works together. One of the things that might be hard to understand is how some airlines work together and how you can book them together.
There are three major players in this in the US. The three players are Skyteam, Oneworld, and Star Alliance. If you haven’t spent a lot of time flying abroad (You really should) then this post is designed to show you how you can work with other carriers and still earn and redeem your miles.
There are 14 airlines that participate in the Skyteam alliance. Those airlines are: Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Eastern, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, TAROM, and Vietnam Airlines.
This means that if you book a flight on Delta and it takes you to Russia, you might actually fly on their partner airline, which is Aeroflot. However, if you were to book a flight to Vietnam, it is possible that the flight would be on Vietnam Airlines.
Let’s say that you’ve scored the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, and you have had a number of other accumulated Skymiles and you wanted to book a ticket to Italy so you could imagine seeing the gladiators fight in the Colosseum, or have a cappuccino in Venice, you might consider calling Delta to ask them to help you book the award ticket. If you don’t have quite enough points or miles, then score the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express to top off your account. It will also give you 5,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM), so you can work your way to first class, like we spoke about yesterday.
The Oneworld alliance is where I’ve flown most of my trips around the world. They have great access to the parts of the world where I’ve spent the most amount of time. They happened to have the best rate when I flew to Southeast Asia in 2009, and had the best rate flying to Central America on a number of occasions.
There are currently 12 airlines that participate in this partnership. They are: American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malev, Mexicana, Quantas, Royal Jordinian, S7 Airlines.
Remember that when you are booking your award travel to consider using any of these airliners as they are all partners. Even if you purchase a ticket on Cathay Pacific because you’re going to China, remember to get credit to your American Airlines AAdvantage account. Just give them your AAdvantage number when you are booking the ticket, or when you show up at the airport.
The largest partnership amongst the three is the Star Alliance. They have 27 partnering airlines all across the world. This means that you can both earn and use miles on any of these companies with your United Miles.
The companies that participate are: Adria, Aegean, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana, Austriana, Blue1, British Midland, Brussels, Continental, Croatia, EgyptAir, Lot, Luthansa, Scandanavian, Singapore, South African, Spanair, Swiss, TAM, Tap Portugal, Thai, Turkish, United, US Airways.