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

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Stephen Au
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Stephen Au

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Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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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

By the Numbers

  • Annual Customers: 728 million
  • Daily Flights: 18,800+
  • Destinations: 1,200+
  • Countries: 193
  • Combined Fleet: 4,919 aircraft
  • Lounges: 1,100+
  • Employees: 423,210
  • Annual Revenue: $171 billion

Partners

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Star Alliance Partners
Aegean AirlinesEthiopian Airlines
Air CanadaEVA Air
Air ChinaLOT Polish Airlines
Air IndiaLufthansa
Air New ZealandScandinavian Airlines
ANAShenzhen Airlines
Asiana AirlinesSingapore Airlines
AustrianSouth African Airways
AviancaSWISS
Brussels AirlinesTAP Air Portugal
Copa AirlinesThai Airways
Croatia AirlinesTurkish Airlines
Egypt AirUnited Airlines

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn is also a Star Alliance intermodal partner. With this partnership, you can travel to and from a Deutsche Bahn station in Germany to Frankfurt Airport on a high-speed train and onward on a Star Alliance member airline flight on a single ticket.

Hot Tip:

If you are looking for award availability, check out our Ultimate Guide to Searching for Flight Award Space.

How It Works

Consistent with the other major airline alliances, Star Alliance does not host an individual frequent flyer program.

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 below).

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

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

Status Levels

Star Alliance lounge in Rome FCO Airport
The Star Alliance lounge in Rome (FCO). Image Credit: Star Alliance

Benefits

Essentially, Star Alliance status levels aim to translate elite status benefits across partner airlines. For example, if you fly on United Airlines and have the equivalent of Star Alliance Gold, you should be able to get perks such as extra baggage when flying on Lufthansa or any other Star Alliance partner.

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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 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 flyers without status on reservation 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 flyers without status on reservation 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 the time spent in line or at the airport ticket counter. Just look for the Star Alliance Gold sign.

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 44 pounds (20 kg) baggage weight.
  • Using the piece concept, Star Alliance Gold members are eligible for 1 extra piece of luggage.

* Exclusions apply, including intra-Europe Light fares from Lufthansa, Austrian, and SWISS; Check&Go fares from Brussels Airlines, and Go light fares from SAS. Also, Air New Zealand’s Seat fares are ineligible for extra baggage allowance. 

Priority Baggage Handling

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

Access to Over 1,000 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, for you and 1 guest traveling on the same flight.

* Exceptions apply.

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 can significantly change 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 and customs wait times.
  • Restrictions and local agreements can significantly change this benefit. More information is available here.
Hot Tip:

Status Equivalents

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

Air China, Shenzhen Airlines

  • PhoenixMiles Silver = Star Alliance Silver
  • PhoenixMiles Gold = Star Alliance Gold
  • PhoenixMiles 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 Red Plus = Star Alliance Silver
  • LifeMiles Silver = Star Alliance Silver
  • LifeMiles Gold = Star Alliance Gold
  • LifeMiles 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
  • EgyptAir Plus Elite = Star Alliance Gold
  • EgyptAirPlus Platinum = Star Alliance Gold

Ethiopian Airlines

  • ShebaMiles Silver Club = Star Alliance Silver
  • ShebaMiles Gold Club = Star Alliance Gold
  • ShebaMiles Platinum 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
  • KrisFlyer Solitaire PPS Club Life = Star Alliance Gold

South African Airways

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

TAP Portugal

  • Miles&Go Silver = Star Alliance Silver
  • Miles&Go Gold = 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

To enjoy Star Alliance Silver, you must have one of these statuses:

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List of Star Alliance Silver Equivalent Statuses
Air Canada Aeroplan Prestige 25KLifeMiles Silver
Air Canada Aeroplan Elite 35KMileagePlus Premier Silver
Airpoints SilverMiles&Smiles Classic Plus
ANA Mileage Club BronzeMiles&Go Silver
Asiana Club GoldMiles+Bonus Silver
ConnectMiles SilverMiles & More Frequent Traveler
EgyptAirPlus SilverPhoenixMiles Silver
EuroBonus SilverRoyal Orchid Plus Silver
Flying Returns Silver Edge ClubShebaMiles Silver Club
Infinity MileageLands SilverVoyager Silver
KrisFlyer Elite Silver 

Conversely, you receive Star Alliance Gold if you have any of these statuses:

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List of Star Alliance Gold Equivalent Statuses
Airpoints GoldKrisFlyer PPS Club
Airpoints EliteKrisFlyer Solitaire PPS Club
Aeroplan Elite 50KKrisFlyer Solitaire PPS Club Life
Aeroplan Elite 75KLifeMiles Gold
Aeroplan Super Elite 100KLifeMiles Diamond
ANA Mileage Club Super FlyersMileagePlus Premier Gold
ANA Mileage Club DiamondMileagePlus Premier Platinum
ANA Mileage Club PlatinumMileagePlus Premier 1K
Asiana Club DiamondMileagePlus Global Services
Asiana Club Diamond PlusMiles&Go Gold
Asiana Club PlatinumMiles&Smiles Elite
ConnectMiles GoldMiles&Smiles Elite Plus
ConnectMiles PlatinumMiles+Bonus Gold
ConnectMiles Presidential PlatinumMiles & More Senator
EgyptAirPlus GoldMiles & More HON Circle
EgyptAirPlus PlatinumPhoenixMiles Gold
EuroBonus GoldPhoenixMiles Platinum
EuroBonus DiamondRoyal Orchid Plus Gold
EuroBonus PandionRoyal Orchid Plus Platinum
Flying Returns Golden Edge ClubShebaMiles Gold Club
Flying Returns The Maharajah ClubShebaMiles Platinum
Infinity MileageLands GoldVoyager Gold
Infinity MileageLands DiamondVoyager Platinum
KrisFlyer Elite GoldVoyager Lifetime Platinum

Co-Location Airports

Connecting at London Heathrow Airport
Connecting at London Heathrow Airport. Image Credit: heathrow.com

Star Alliance offers several co-location airports with specific terminals dedicated to Star Alliance member airlines, offering combined ticketing and check-in counters, member lounges, baggage facilities, and other services. This is an “everything under 1 roof” operating logic, though some exceptions apply.

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 1,300 destinations in more than 190 countries.
  • Full 26 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.
  • 12 out of 26 member airlines available: Air Canada (AC), Air China (CA), Air India (AI), Ethiopian Airlines (ET), EVA AIR (BR), All Nippon Airways (NH), Air New Zealand (NZ), Asiana Airlines (OZ), Singapore Airlines (SQ), Shenzhen Airlines (ZH), THAI (TG), United (UA)

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

Star Alliance Exclusive Lounges

In addition to member airlines’ lounges, a small set of exclusive Star Alliance-branded lounges are also offered. Local architects with local flair have created these to leave you with a positive and lasting memory of that country’s culture. 

Star Alliance provides Exclusive Lounges at the following airports:

  • Amsterdam, Amsterdam Airport Schipol (AMS):
    • After the security checkpoint for Schengen flights on the upper level next to gate area D
  • Buenos Aires, Ministro Pistarini/Ezeiza International (EZE):
    • Airside, after security & immigration; upper level opposite Gate 9; via elevator or stairs
  • Los Angeles, Los Angeles International (LAX):
    • Tom Bradley International Terminal; Level 6, via escalator or elevator from the main atrium
  • Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG):
    • After passport control, before security checkpoints; access via elevator to entrance on Level 11 of the Central Terminal Building
    • Paris also offers an intra-Schengen Lounge
  • Rio de Janeiro, Galeão International (GIG):
    • International Departures Pier, Level 3; after passport control, before the departure gates; via escalators or lifts
  • Rome, Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO):
    • Terminal 3 after the security checkpoint for intra-Schengen flights on the upper level of Gate Area D
  • São Paulo, Guarulhos International (GRU):
    • Terminal 3 on the mezzanine above duty-free; accessible via escalators or elevators after passport checkpoint
Hot Tip:

Check out our guide to the full list of U.S. Star Alliance Lounges.

Frequently Asked Questions

What airlines are in Star Alliance?

The airlines that make up the Star Alliance are:

How do you join Star Alliance?

To start the process, you can create a frequent flyer account for any Star Alliance airline. Simply add your frequent flyer number to all your Star Alliance bookings to earn miles and enjoy perks.

What is the point of airline alliances like Star Alliance ?

Star Alliance was created in 1997. Its central idea was to offer easy access and smooth transitions when flying on different airlines across its vast network of routes. Overall, it’s a hugely important part of global aviation travel, and it transports hundreds of millions of people in nearly all the countries in the world.

How many miles do I need to reach Star Alliance Gold or Silver status?

Each member airline defines its tier status levels, equating to Star Alliance Gold and Silver. To learn about qualification requirements, you must visit your airline’s frequent flyer program website.

What are the benefits of Star Alliance Silver?

With Star Alliance Silver, the introductory Star Alliance status, you get onto a priority reservation waitlist and standby over nonmembers.

What are the benefits of Star Alliance Gold?

Star Alliance Gold is one of the most valuable alliance elite status tiers out there. You receive:

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Star Alliance Gold Benefits
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)
Stephen Au's image

About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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