This last month has seen further expansion of both Star Alliance and oneworld, with Turkish Airlines officially joining Star Alliance and Mexicana announcing it would join the oneworld airline alliance from 2009 after a 12-18 month joining process.
More on Turkish Airlines joining Star Alliance
“At a ceremony held in Istanbul overnight, Turkish Airlines was welcomed as the 20th Star Alliance member airline. With an additional 31 destinations – mainly in Turkey, Central Asia and the Middle East, customers now have more choice than ever before when travelling on the Star Alliance network. Overall, the world’s most experienced aviation alliance now offers customers the choice of 18,000 daily flights serving 965 airports in 162 countries.”
Star Alliance Customer Benefits now available on Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines is now offering the wide-ranging customer benefits of Star Alliance. These include among others:
- through check-in on journeys involving more than one Star Alliance member carrier from the originating airport;
- full frequent flyer reciprocity: All Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles members can now collect and redeem miles on all other Star Alliance member carriers;
- Star Alliance Gold status for Miles & Smiles Elite and Elite Plus: These customers can now access alliance-wide benefits which include access to more than 790 lounges world-wide, extra-baggage allowance, priority baggage delivery, dedicated check-in counters and priority waitlist (reservation) and airport stand-by;
- Star Alliance Silver Status for Miles & Smiles Classic Plus:-These customers are now entitled to priority waitlist (reservation) and airport stand-by;
- Turkish Airlines will sell the 11 different Star Alliance Fare Products, which include among others the popular Round the World Fare, and North American and European Airpasses;
- Turkish Airlines will also participate in Star Alliance’s Corporate Plus and Conventions Plus products.
More on Mexicana Joining oneworld
Mexicana’s addition to oneworld comes after a year which has seen the alliance complete its biggest yet expansion drive, with 11 airlines joining in 2007 – Japan Airlines, Malév Hungarian Airlines and Royal Jordanian as full members and, as affiliates, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador, Dragonair and five other carriers in the Japan Airlines group.Mexicana’s invitation to join oneworld was sealed at a ceremony today attended by its Chief Executive Officer Manuel Borja with his counterparts from all ten of oneworld’s established member airlines and oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch during a meeting of the group’s Governing Board in key alliance hub Los Angeles.
“As a member of oneworld, we will be able to offer our customers more choice and convenience, a much more extensive global network, more opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer rewards, more lounges, more customer service support and better value – services and benefits beyond the reach of any individual airline or bilateral partnership. For Mexicana and our employees, this will strengthen our position in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”
How will these larger Airline Alliances affect future business travel?
Larger airline alliances are a bit of a mixed bag, there are the obvious benefits of alignment and co-operation of frequent flyer and lounge programs, along with the alignment of flight schedules. The downside to this is possible less competition and increased price control by member airlines. I for one look forward to larger alliances that will give me more flexibility for the earning and burning of miles, but hope increased prices are kept under control.
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