Frequent flyer programmes (FFP) are one of the most advantageous loyalty rewards systems in the world. It is a convenient way for regular travellers and credit card holders to receive airline frequent flyer miles. These frequent flyer miles or points can be redeemed for airfare tickets or upgraded seats. Prospective members can accumulate miles through airline specific FFP on their credit cards or membership cards. These often come with accident travel insurance and other additional benefits. Each frequent flyer programme differs depending on the benefits and scope offered to members.
Star Alliance, SkyTeam, and oneworld are three of the major airline alliances. Aside from transferable miles, each airline alliance features different airline members and benefits. In this blog article, we are listing down the advantages members can expect.
1. Star Alliance
With 28 different airline members, Star Alliance is the largest airline alliance in the world. Those enrolled in one of their member airlines’ frequent flyer programme will have access to different benefits depending on their tier level. There are two tier levels for Star Alliance – Silver and Gold. Each specific airline frequent flyer programme level corresponds to these two tier levels. Star Alliance Silver is the qualifying tier. There are two benefits that Star Alliance Silver members get such as priority waitlisting and airport standby. Star Alliance Gold, on the other hand, gets premium benefits such as priority check-in and boarding, extra baggage allowance, and access to all Star Alliance lounges worldwide.
Notable Airline Members: Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer), EVA Air (Infinity MileageLands), Lufthansa (Miles & More), ANA (ANA Mileage Club), Air India (Flying Returns), Air China (PhoenixMiles), Asiana Airlines (Asiana Club), Thai Airways (Royal Orchid Plus), Air Canada (Altitude & Aeroplan), and United (Mileage Plus).
Who is it suitable for? Businessmen who often fly from Singapore will benefit from this due to Singapore Airline’s membership.
SkyTeam is a fairly new airline alliance. Created in 2008, it already has 20 member airlines. Depending on their specific frequent flyer programme, they will have exclusive SkyTeam benefits. Similar to Star Alliance, they have two tier levels – SkyTeam Elite and SkyTeam Elite Plus. SkyTeam Elite gets members priority check-in, seating, boarding, and airport standby. Whereas, SkyTeam Elite Plus members get additional benefits such as lounge access in all their partner lounges, priority at transfer desks, and so much more.
Notable Airline Members: AirFrance (Flying Blue), Delta (SkyMiles), China Airlines (Dynasty Flyer Program), KLM (Flying Blue), Garuda Indonesia (GarudaMiles), Korean Air (SKYPASS), Alitalia (MilleMiglia), and China Southern (SkyPearl Club).
Who is it suitable for? It would be most beneficial to people who regularly travel to China and Europe.
oneworld is the smallest airline alliance at 15 member airlines. Fortunately, they have a great selection of member airlines that you can choose from. Unlike Star Alliance and SkyTeam, oneworld has three different status tiers – Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. Ruby is the qualifying level and its members can expect priority check-in, preferred seating, and priority stand-by. In addition to the benefits of Ruby members, Sapphire members get access to business class lounge, priority boarding, extra baggage allowance, and priority baggage handling. Emerald is the highest tier and members get fast track at security lanes, first class priority check-in, and access to first class lounges.
Notable Airline Members: Qantas (Qantas Frequent Flyer), Qatar Airways (Privilege Club), Cathay Pacific (The Marco Polo Club), Malaysia Airlines (Enrich), Japan Airlines (JAL Mileage Bank & JAL Global Club), British Airways (Executive Club), and American Airlines (AAdvantage).
Who is it suitable for? It is perfect for people who prefer booking on their airline members.
*Please note that some of the benefits are dependent on the specific airport and country policies.
Most people base their frequent flyer programme on the advantages of the credit card because they get to save on family travel insurance if they purchase their plane tickets using the card. At the end of the day, it all boils down to preference. Preferences when it comes to the benefits you want, the airlines you are loyal to, as well as the credit card that you use.
Regardless of what airline alliance you are a part of, it is important to invest in individual or family travel insurance before any trip. Customisable group travel insurance ensures the cheapest premiums because you only get what you need. Buy travel insurance online to make the most out of your trip.
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