The Star Alliance: Everything You Need to Know [Partners Listed]

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Star Alliance

“The Way the Earth Connects”

Founded: May 14, 1997
Headquarters: Frankfurt Airport, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Website: staralliance.com

The Numbers / Statistics:

  • Annual Customers: 690 million
  • Daily Flights: 18,450+
  • Destinations: 1,300+
  • Countries: 190
  • Combined Fleet: 4,631 aircraft
  • Lounges: 1,100+
  • Employees: ~ 44,600
  • Annual Revenue:  ~ $174 billion

Partners:

How it Works:

The Star Alliance itself does not host an individual frequent flyer program.  This is consistent with the other major airline alliances.

To achieve Star Alliance status, members must first accrue status through their respective partner airline of choice.  Once this is achieved, an equivalent Star Alliance tier status is issued. (see “status equivalents” below)

Miles earned through multiple different airline programs cannot be transferred or combined to reach the designation for Star Alliance status.

That being said, passengers traveling on eligible flights operated by Star Alliance member airlines will accrue miles/points which can be redeemed across the entire Star Alliance network.

Status Levels:

  • Star Alliance Silver
  • Star Alliance Gold

Benefits:

Star Alliance TierSilverGold
Priority Reservation Waitlist / Standby
Priority Check-In
Priority Boarding (where available)
Extra Baggage Allowance
Priority Baggage Handling
Worldwide Lounge Access
Priority Security Lanes (Gold Track – where available)
Priority Immigration (Gold Track – where available)

Tier Breakdown:

Star Alliance Silver:  When your respective tier status is equivalent to Star Alliance Silver, you may take advantage of the following benefits, no matter which Star Alliance airline you are flying or cabin class you’re assigned.

Priority on Waitlists and When on Standby (where offered)

  • This allows those with status to move ahead of other non-status flyers on reservation lists and standby lists, making it more likely to be granted a seat on the flight in question.

* except when flying on an award ticket

Star Alliance Gold:  When your respective tier status is equivalent to Star Alliance Gold, you may take advantage of the following benefits, no matter which Star Alliance airline you are flying or cabin class you’re assigned.

Priority on Waitlists and When on Standby (where offered)

  • This allows those with status to move ahead of other non-status flyers on reservation lists and standby lists, making it more likely to be granted a seat on the flight in question.

* except when flying on an award ticket

Access to Priority Check-In Counters

  • This can significantly expedite time spent in line/at the airport ticket counter.

Access to Priority Boarding

  • Star Alliance Gold members board along with First and Business Class passengers (where offered).

Extra Baggage Allowance*

  • Using the “weight” concept, Star Alliance Gold members are eligible for an additional 20kg (44lb) baggage weight.
  • Using the “piece” concept, Star Alliance Gold members are eligible for one extra piece of luggage.

       *exclusions apply

Priority Baggage Handling

  • This ensures Star Alliance Gold member baggage is among the first on the belt from aircraft to carousel when traveling on any cabin on any eligible Star Alliance flight.

Access to over 1,100 Airport Lounges (when you fly on a member airline flight)*

  • This includes premium First Class, Business, and frequent flyer lounges, regardless of service class flown at the time of travel.
  • This also includes one guest

       *exceptions apply – more lounge details .

Access to Priority Security Lanes (at select airports, for select carriers)

  • Star Alliance Gold Track can significantly decrease security wait times.
  • Restrictions and local agreements cause significant variations in the ability to utilize this benefit.  More information is available here.

Access to Priority Immigration Lanes (at select airports, for select carriers)

  • Star Alliance Gold Track can significantly decrease immigration/customs wait times.
  • Restrictions and local agreements cause significant variations in the ability to utilize this benefit.  More information is available here.

Status Equivalents:

Adria, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines

  • Miles & More Frequent Traveller = Star Alliance Silver
  • Miles & More Senator = Star Alliance Gold
  • Miles & More HON Circle = Star Alliance Gold

Aegean Airlines

  • Miles+Bonus Silver = Star Alliance Silver
  • Miles+Bonus Gold = Star Alliance Gold

Air Canada

  • Aeroplan/ Altitude Prestige 25K = Star Alliance Silver
  • Aeroplan/ Altitude Elite 35K = Star Alliance Silver
  • Aeroplan/ Altitude Elite 50K = Star Alliance Gold
  • Aeroplan/ Altitude Elite 75K = Star Alliance Gold
  • Aeroplan/ Altitude Super Elite 100K = Star Alliance Gold

Air China, Shenzhen Airlines

  • Phoenix Miles Silver = Star Alliance Silver
  • Phoenix Miles Gold = Star Alliance Gold
  • Phoenix Miles Platinum = Star Alliance Gold

Air India

  • Flying Returns Silver Edge Club = Star Alliance Silver
  • Flying Returns Golden Edge Club = Star Alliance Gold
  • Flying Returns The Maharajah Club = Star Alliance Gold

Air New Zealand

  • Airpoints Silver = Star Alliance Silver
  • Airpoints Gold = Star Alliance Gold
  • Airpoints Elite = Star Alliance Gold

All Nippon Airways (ANA)

  • ANA Mileage Club Bronze = Star Alliance Silver
  • ANA Mileage Club Super Flyers = Star Alliance Gold
  • ANA Mileage Club Diamond = Star Alliance Gold
  • ANA Mileage Club Platinum = Star Alliance Gold

Asiana Airlines

  • Asiana Club Gold = Star Alliance Silver
  • Asiana Club Diamond = Star Alliance Gold
  • Asiana Club Diamond Plus = Star Alliance Gold
  • Asiana Club Platinum = Star Alliance Gold

Avianca

  • Lifemiles Silver = Star Alliance Silver
  • Lifemiles Gold = Star Alliance Gold<
  • Lifemiles Diamond = Star Alliance Gold

Avianca Brazil

  • Programa Amigo Silver = Star Alliance Silver
  • Programa Amigo Gold = Star Alliance Gold
  • Programa Amigo Diamond = Star Alliance Gold

Copa Airlines

  • ConnectMiles Silver = Star Alliance Silver
  • ConnectMiles Gold = Star Alliance Gold
  • ConnectMiles Platinum = Star Alliance Gold
  • ConnectMiles Presidential Platinum = Star Alliance Gold

EgyptAir

  • EgyptAirPlus Silver = Star Alliance Silver
  • EgyptAirPlus Gold = Star Alliance Gold
  • EgyptAirPlus Platinum = Star Alliance Platinum

Ethiopian Airlines

  • Sheba Miles Silver Club = Star Alliance Silver
  • Sheba Miles Gold Club = Star Alliance Gold

EVA Air

  • Infinity MileageLands Silver = Star Alliance Silver
  • Infinity MileageLands Gold = Star Alliance Gold
  • Infinity MileageLands Diamond = Star Alliance Gold

Scandinavian Airlines

  • EuroBonus Silver = Star Alliance Silver
  • EuroBonus Gold = Star Alliance Gold
  • EuroBonus Diamond = Star Alliance Gold
  • EuroBonus Pandion = Star Alliance Gold

Singapore Airlines

  • KrisFlyer Elite Silver = Star Alliance Silver
  • KrisFlyer Elite Gold = Star Alliance Gold
  • KrisFlyer PPS Club = Star Alliance Gold
  • KrisFlyer Solitaire PPS Club = Star Alliance Gold

South African Airways

  • Voyager Silver = Star Alliance Silver
  • Voyager Gold = Star Alliance Gold
  • Voyager Platinum = Star Alliance Gold

TAP Portugal

  • Victoria Silver Winner = Star Alliance Silver
  • Victoria Gold Winner = Star Alliance Gold

Thai Airways International

  • Royal Orchid Plus Silver = Star Alliance Silver
  • Royal Orchid Plus Gold = Star Alliance Gold
  • Royal Orchid Plus Platinum = Star Alliance Gold

Turkish Airlines

  • Miles & Smiles Classic Plus = Star Alliance Silver
  • Miles & Smiles Elite = Star Alliance Gold
  • Miles & Smiles Elite Plus = Star Alliance Gold

United Airlines

  • MileagePlus Premier Silver = Star Alliance Silver
  • MileagePlus Premier Gold = Star Alliance Gold
  • MileagePlus Premier Platinum = Star Alliance Gold
  • MileagePlus Premier 1K = Star Alliance Gold
  • MileagePlus Global Services = Star Alliance Gold

Co-Location Airports:

Star Alliance offers a number of co-location airports where specific terminals are dedicated to Star Alliance member airlines offering combined ticketing & check-in counters, member lounges, baggage facilities, and other services.  This is an “everything under one roof” operating logic.

*some exceptions apply

Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN): Terminal 1

Beijing Capital (PEK): Terminal 3

Cairo International (CAI): Terminal 3

Chongqing Jiangbei International (CKG): Terminal 2B

Indira Gandhi International, Delhi (DEL): Terminal 3

Frankfurt Airport (FRA) – Terminal 1

Hong Kong International (HKG): Terminal 1*

London Heathrow (LHR): Terminal 1

Manchester Ringway International (MAN): Terminal 1*

Benito Juárez International, Mexico City (MEX): Terminal 1*

Miami International (MIA): Concourse J*

Munich Airport (MUC): Terminal 2*

Domodedovo International, Moscow (DME): Terminal A*

Charles de Gaulle, Paris (CDG): Terminal 1*

Phuket International (HKT): Terminal 1*

São Paulo-Guarulhos International (GRU): Terminal 3*

Incheon International, Seoul (ICN): Concourse A*

Shanghai Pudong International (PVG): Terminal 2

Stockholm-Arlanda (ARN): Terminal 5*

Taiwan Taoyuan International, Taipei (TPE): Terminal 2*

Narita International, Tokyo (NRT): Terminal 1 – South Wing*

Toronto Pearson International (YYZ): Terminal 1

Vienna International (VIE): Austrian Star Alliance Terminal (Check-in 3)*

Global Travel:

Due to the number of cooperating airlines, providing travelers with opportunities for global travel is simplified within alliance networks.

Star Alliance provides the following global travel options:

Round the World Fares

  • choose from over 1300 destinations in 191 countries
  • full 28 member airlines available
  • individually planned or
  • Star Alliance Inspired Itineraries such as World Food, World Wonders, Romantic Journey, etc.

Circle Pacific

  • Choose from over 85 destinations in 25 countries
  • 14/28 member airlines available

Airpass

  • explore a continent, region or country
  • Available for Africa, Asia, China, Europe, North America

For more information on these fares, please visit the Travel Centre on staralliance.com.

Star Alliance ‘Exclusive Lounges’:

Star Alliance provides ‘Exclusive Lounges’ at the following airports:

  • Rio de Janeiro, Galeão International(GIG):
    • International Departures Pier, Level 3; after passport control, before the departure gates; via escalators or lifts
  • Buenos Aires, Ministro Pistarini / Ezeiza International (EZE):
    • Airside, after security & immigration; upper level opposite Gate 9; via elevator or stairs
  • Japan, Nagoya / Chubu Centrair International (NGO):
    • after customs/immigration, access via elevator near Gates 12-18; lounge entrance on Level 2
  • Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG):
    • after passport control, before security checkpoints; access via elevator to entrance on Level 11 of the Central Terminal Building
  • Sao Paulo, Guarulhos International (GRU):
    • Terminal 3 on the Mezzanine level above duty-free;  accessible via escalators or elevators after passport checkpoint
Erin Miller

About Erin Miller

Erin currently maintains her status as Alex's adventure-seeking partner-in-crime and contributes to Upgraded Points through content creation & relationship management.
She caught the travel bug just after high school when her grandmother took her on a two-week, whirlwind trip around Europe. That was that - she's been gallivanting around the globe ever since (22 countries & counting)!

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8 comments

  1. Medhat Soliman · December 31, 2018 · Reply

    I need to know what is the exact weight of the extra baggage for the business class on Lufthansa from Orlando International airport to Cairo international airport?

  2. Ashna Mathema · March 11, 2019 · Reply

    I am flying Turkish Airlines from D.C. to Istanbul in business class, and connecting from there on a Turkish flight in economy to New Delhi. I am a star alliance gold member. What is my exact baggage allowance? Can I check in two bags through from DC to Delhi?

    • Hey Ashna, the Star Alliance website states that as a Gold Member: “You can take an extra 20 kg (44 pounds) where the weight concept applies or an extra piece where the piece concept applies.”

      Since Turkish Airlines Elite & Elite Plus are both technically equivalent to Star Alliance Gold, their information is a bit tricky in that Elite is allowed 20k and Elite Plus 25k where weight applies and both allow for an extra piece where the piece concept applies.

      This is made more complicated in that you’re flying both business and economy. Usually, when this is the case, you’re subject to the lesser fare’s policies… but we can’t confirm 100% since we aren’t Star Alliance OR Turkish Airlines.

      If you’re at all nervous or unsure, we suggest calling Turkish Airlines customer service (if you’re calling from the U.S. 1 800 874 8875). Hope this helps!

  3. Lee Cooper · March 31, 2019 · Reply

    In January we purchased tickets at http://www.turkishairlines.com. A couple of weeks ago Turkish Airlines (TA) disrupted the Houston to Istanbul leg of our trip. We have spoken to TA customer representatives about 12 times. We have sent emails. TA has done nothing. We are now 5 days from the scheduled departure with NO resolution. This is the worst treatment we have EVER received. Lee Cooper (XXX) XXX-XXXX.

    • Hi Lee, we’re sorry to hear you’re having issues but please be advised we are not affiliated with Turkish Airlines in any way. We’re simply a website that produces content on award travel and related topics. What type of disruption was/is it? It’s possible you’ll be eligible for compensation of some sort if they don’t resolve prior to your flight.

      That being said, some customers have reached out to the airlines via Social Media, especially Twitter… when people voice a concern on such a public platform, this seems to grab the airline’s attention… not sure if Turkish Airlines is the same???

  4. Francis Ali Osman · April 2, 2019 · Reply

    I am a United Airlines Platinum member with Star Alliance Gold status. I get an automatic seat upgrade to Economy Plus when I travel on United Airlines. Because of my Star Alliance Gold Status, am I entitled to a similar upgrade on other Star Alliance airline partners?

    • Hi Francis, according to the Star Alliance Website, Star Alliance Gold Status gives the benefit of a “Priority Reservations Waitlist” on Star Alliance airlines. Specifically, this is what’s stated:

      “If seats in your desired class of service are not available, your status gives you higher priority on the waitlist when a reservation is possible, except when you are traveling on an award ticket. Please note that Priority Reservations Waitlist is subject to individual member carrier’s policy and legal regulations.”

      Hope this helps! 🙂

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