Continental Airlines plans to join the Star Alliance on October 27. The Houston airline will end its participation in the SkyTeam alliance after its...

Continental Airlines plans to join the Star Alliance on October 27.

As Continental previously announced, the Houston airline will end its participation in the SkyTeam alliance after its last scheduled flight on October 24.


Continental’s transition from SkyTeam to Star Alliance is a strategic change, originally announced in June 2008, to enhance its travel options and competition. Continental says its New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport will play a particularly important role for Star Alliance travelers.

The carrier’s OnePass members will not need to make any changes to their OnePass accounts and will continue to redeem their mileage as normal. Mileage balances will not be affected by the transition.

Through October 24, OnePass members can continue to earn and redeem miles and make reward reservations on SkyTeam partners.

When the transition to Star Alliance occurs on October 27, OnePass members will begin earning base miles and Elite Qualification Miles/Points and will be able to redeem miles on Star Alliance airlines. Continental provides alliance updates on its web site at continental.com/alliancenews.

The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first major global airline alliance. Its members are Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, BMI, EgyptAir, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, Swiss International, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, Thai Airways International, United and US Airways.

Slovenia’s Adria Airways, Finland’s Blue1 and Croatia Airlines are affiliated to the alliance as regional member carriers. However, senior Star executives told www.AirlinesAndDestinations.com in late May that the alliance was likely to do away with different membership levels and that the three existing regional members would almost certainly be upgraded into full members, a move subsequently confirmed by Star CEO Jaan Albrecht at the IATA Annual General Meeting in Kuala Lumpur in June.

Aegean Airlines, Air India, Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines and TAM have been announced as future members of Star. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers more than 17,000 daily flights to 916 destinations in 160 countries, not including the networks of all forthcoming members, among them Continental.