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Star alliance membership?

New York City, New...
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Star alliance membership?

Hello.

We have been traveling at least twice per year internationally but never bothered to sign Frequency Flight program. Now I saw "star alliance membership" like to sign (up coming trip-Lufthanza flights) but it looks very complicate... I even checked flyertalk/star alliance website but still no clue.

1. Do we have to obtain miles/points per year in order to maintain the membership?

2. Can I fly any star alliance member flight and accumulate mile/point?

Thank you.

San Francisco...
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1. Re: Star alliance membership?

well these programs are offered by the airlines individually and depending on the carrier and program miles expire after a few years. Star Alliance is a group of airlines that include United, Air Canada and Lufthansa among others. You don't join the alliance, you sign up for the frequent flyer program of a specific airline and miles accrue. You can also accrue miles through non airline partners.

Depending on the number of miles you fly in a year, the airlines will put in in a different status or bucket and you get some freebies or accrue more miles

Now it is best to join the mileage program of an airline you fly frequently and who has a hub close to your home. If most of your flights are international, sure sign up with lufthansa. if you tend to fly domestically then choose united mileage plus and you will still get miles accrued based on the Lufthansa miles

Once you get a certain number of miles you can use it to fly for free (some tax and fees) on your specific airline or any other Star Alliance airline. But the number of miles used on a different airline may vary

hope that helps

You don't have to get miles to keep your membership but you do have to get miles or the ones banked for you may expire depending on the airline

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Star alliance membership?

You don't need to fly every year but each FFP may have a different expiry date for miles/activity. If you're flying every year or crediting miles every year you shouldn't have an issue.

Yes, if you have a *A FFP then you can credit miles from any *A flight to your account. There may be some discounted flights that earn zero miles (you'll need to check back against your scheme's earnings table before booking) but there may be some *A airlines who have partnerships with non *A airlines. Again, look at the earnings table/chart for the scheme you want to participate in.

Fortaleza, CE
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3. Re: Star alliance membership?

No reason not to sign up (make sure it's free, which is the case in all of those I've signed up for).

Having miles and being able to use them can be two different things. Domestic easier than international. There must be availability. Number of miles required can vary not only by route but by time of year.

You can look at United's Web site, for example, and check a routing you want to fly (one-way just as good as r.t.), and then click the box that says you want to use miles. Last summer we used 25k UA miles each to fly, on US Airways, from San Juan to Philly to LAX in first class. Used 25k Delta miles to fly economy class from BUR-SEA (on Alaska Airlines metal).

Edited: 17 February 2014, 15:11
New York City, New...
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4. Re: Star alliance membership?

Sorry.. I lied. I remembered I signed Delta/Continental skymile a few years ago (trip to south Korea). Delta is not star alliance but can I combine Lufthasa point system. I know it sounds stupid.... so confusing. Thank you!

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Star alliance membership?

Delta is not star alliance but can I combine Lufthasa point system.

____________

No.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Star alliance membership?

,, check the *Miles and More* program.. you can get points with various carriers to include Lufthansa, LOT, Swiss.. all in Star Alliance group;-) Best.. and EnJOY!

Phoenix, AZ
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7. Re: Star alliance membership?

Bilomister did a great job of explaining Star Alliance, based on one's membership with its member airlines. It is the airlines, themselves, with whom you sign up, and accrue miles/points.

Now, one CAN gain status within Star Alliance (and most other alliances), when you reach certain status with, say UA. That can translate, through Star Alliance, to status (differs by alliance and airline) to member airlines. As an example, I am Gold with Star Alliance, through my 1K status with UA, and if I fly a member airline, I get Gold status perks with most - though not all, and not always, on member airlines. Sometimes, it's just early boarding, but also might be a higher position for upgrades. It just depends.

While I have membership in most USA airline programs, and several UK/European ones, I try to concentrate on but a few, to build my status, and keep it, with those.

Portland, Oregon
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8. Re: Star alliance membership?

>> ,, check the *Miles and More* program.. you can get points with various carriers to include Lufthansa, LOT, Swiss.. all in Star Alliance group;-) <<

I think a lot of people would disagree with that. The biggest downside of M+M is that they impose YQ (fuel surcharge) on virtually all award flights, including those on partner airlines that don't charge YQ themselves.

If you're based in the US, I'd go for United MileagePlus. No fuel surcharges on any award flights regardless of which airline you book with.

United may not be the anywhere near the best airline around (though they've served me well) but they do have one of the best frequent flier programs.

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Star alliance membership?

..agreed that many would.. but not sure on most;-) Although lots of folks have no clue what YQ is.. fuel surcharge is a common additive to lots of programs many take as a given! Although UA Mileage Plus here as well, when flying internationally, personally like to use home carriers and just plug points onto M&M.. and again, a personal pref.. always like flying a Country's carrier trans as opposed to an American carrier.. if available;-) Keep enjoyin' all!

New York City, New...
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10. Re: Star alliance membership?

So confusing.... Thank you!