What is the Star Alliance Network

One of the most powerful airline alliances is the Star Alliance. Many of our Pointsters have probably seen us mentioning the Star Alliance in articles, Instagram posts, and throughout our website.  For those Pointsters who are familiar with the Star Alliance, keep earning miles!! For those who aren’t as familiar with the airline alliance, we’re diving into the details now.


The Star Alliance is a network of airlines that was created in 1997 to offer more ways to earn mileage points while traveling.  The alliance allows travelers to earn points through traveling with 28 different airlines.  Offering more than 18,500 daily flights to 1,330 airports in 192 countries, the Star Alliance truly has a “global reach,” as they like to call it.

The alliance’s members are made up of 28 prominent airlines: Adria, Aegean, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Eqyptair, Ethiopian, EVA Air, Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, South American Airways, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, Tap Portugal, Thai, Turkish Airlines, and United.

The Star Alliance recommends that you join the frequent flyer program of the Airline you most likely are to fly with consistently.


Earning points is subject to the frequent flyer program you choose to use.  Travelers must register with Star Alliance member’s frequent flyer program to earn miles and points. Whenever booking a flight, add your frequent flyer membership number in the booking.  Points will be automatically transferred to your account when eligible.

Travelers will not be able to combine or transfer miles from different airlines, since frequent flyer programs (FFP) are operated by member airlines.  For this reason, you should choose the FFP of the airline you most likely to use consistently.


The Star Alliance has two tiers of membership, Gold and Silver, where travelers can earn additional benefits.  The benefits are available through any Star Alliance member airline.

In the Star Alliance Silver Tier, members will earn priority waitlisting and priority airport standing (where allowed by law).

In the Star Alliance Gold status, members can obtain even more benefits.  In addition to priority waitlisting and priority airport standing (where allowed by law), members will have access to priority check-in, priority boarding (when available), priority baggage delivery, extra baggage allowance, worldwide lounge access, and Gold Track (priority security and immigration).


Customers traveling on Round the World fares may accumulate miles in any of the frequent flyer programs offered by participating airlines.  Collected miles can be put towards earning Star Alliance Gold or Silver status and can be redeemed for free flights, upgrades, and hotel stays.

Star Alliance claims, “It is in a unique position to offer customers the possibility of traveling around the world on a single ticket,” according to the Backgrounder document on their website.

So, how can you travel around the world using a single ticket? The ‘Round the World’ (RTW) fares are the tickets to buy if you’re looking to travel with less hassle.  The cost of an RTW ticket is reliant on multiple factors, including your class of travel, the precise itinerary, mileage and routing, and currency exchange rate fluctuations.  RTW fares are available in First, Business, Premium Economy, and Economy Class.

Pointsters can create a custom individual itinerary with Star Alliance for up to 39,000 miles, which is larger than the total circumference of the Earth.


Written by Karly Trimble

Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock



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