When traveling on Air Canada, TAM and US Airways, frequent flyers on the Star Alliance network can now use their mileage points from other Star carriers to upgrade their seat class.
Air Canada, TAM and US Airways are now participating in the Star Alliance Upgrade Awards program, the redemption option enabling customers to use miles or points from their frequent-flyer program (FFP) accounts for one-class upgrades on scheduled flights operated by participating Star Alliance member carriers.
Travelers enrolled in Aeroplan (Air Canada), Fidelidade (TAM) or Dividend Miles (US Airways) can exchange their collected miles for a Star Alliance Upgrade Award. With this award, a confirmed and ticketed booking can be upgraded to a higher class prior to travel.
In order to redeem the award, customers need to contact their FFP, either by calling reservations or logging onto the web (depending on what is offered by the carrier). The upgrade is processed electronically, eliminating the need to issue paper certificates. Upgrades are permitted for one class of travel, either from Economy Class to Business Class or from Business Class to First Class. Upgrades from certain types of fares are not possible.
“Our frequent flyers have always told us that upgrading using miles across the entire alliance is one of the highest sought after benefits. Hence, by now offering Star Alliance Upgrade Awards across all flights in the Americas we further increased the attractiveness of our Alliance product,” says Christopher Korenke, vice president commercial for Star Alliance. “We are working on getting the remaining Star Alliance member carriers into the product as soon as possible.”
Star Alliance says it is the first global airline alliance to offer such a product, which is now available to the FFP members of Air China (PhoenixMiles); Air Canada (Aeroplan); Air New Zealand (Airpoints); ANA (ANA Mileage Club); Asiana Airlines (Asiana Club); Austrian (Miles & More); Brussels Airlines (Miles & More); Continental (OnePass); LOT Polish Airlines (Miles & More); Lufthansa (Miles & More); SAS (EuroBonus); Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer); SWISS (Miles & More); TAM (Fidelidade); TAP Portugal (Victoria); THAI International (Royal Orchid Plus); Turkish Airlines (Miles & Smiles); United (Mileage Plus); and US Airways (Dividend Miles).
With the latest additions, all five Star Alliance member airlines based in the Americas now offer Star Alliance Upgrade Awards.
Star Alliance says that, since its inception in 1997, the network has placed emphasis on adding value to each member carrier’s FFP by offering alliance-wide benefits to customers. Star Asays it was the first airline alliance to offer harmonised benefits for both Gold and Silver Card holders across its network. These include:
● Priority check-in: Star Alliance Gold members can make use of separate check-in desks;
● Priority waitlist: Star Alliance Gold and Star Alliance Silver members receive priority waitlisting if the desired flight is already fully booked;
● Priority airport standby: Star Alliance Gold and Star Alliance Silver members receive priority standby listing if they arrive at the airport without any reservation for a specific flight (depending on local regulations);
● Lounge access: Star Alliance Gold members have access to more than 970 lounges at airports around the world;
● Priority baggage tags: Star Alliance Gold members are entitled to priority baggage service across the network; and
● Increased baggage allowance: Star Alliance Gold customers are entitled to one additional piece of checked baggage (piece concept) or an additional 20 kilos (weight concept).
Star Alliance also says it is currently the only alliance that provides customers with one point of contact to book and ticket-award travel on all other Star Alliance carriers.
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