Just Announced: New Zealand Star Alliance FlyerTalk Member Gathering

If the StarmegaDO 2010 (SMD2) Nov 1-6, 2010 Masterthread does not provide enough opportunity for bonding with your fellow FlyerTalk members, consider attending the *A / Air NZ Mega DO – 13 December 2010, where Star Alliance is holding its annual chief executive board meeting and its  alliance mangement board meeting in Queenstown, New Zealand. Currently, details are scarce but will be posted as they become definitive.

Is anyone willing to host some Star Alliance FlyerTalk events to fill in the gap between 6 November and 13 December?

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It is Now Official: Continental Airlines Joins Star Alliance

For those of you anticipating the exact date of when Continental Airlines joins Star Alliance, the wait is over and the announcement is now official: CO joining Star Alliance on Oct 27, 2009.

Continental Airlines has an interesting history of alliance memberships, as it once was a member of the now-defunct Wings alliance, and then it became a SkyTeam member before switching to Star Alliance.

What does this exactly mean for Continental Airlines OnePass members, as well as Star Alliance members of other airlines based in the United States? Details can be found in both the above thread and the Continental to begin *A participation on Oct. 27, 2009 thread.

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If You Want to Travel Around The World on Star Alliance Member Airlines, Do It Before February

If you plan on traveling around the world on Star Alliance member airlines and paying for it, you are well advised to ticket your itinerary before 01 February 2009, when the airfares will reported increase substantially.

By how much are airfares expected to increase, and what impact will it have on you, if any? Please read the Massive RTW fare increase from Feb thread for additional details and information.

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Reduced award availability on partner airlines

In the United Airlines Mileage Plus forum there is frequent discussion on the reduced availability for awards flying on partner airlines, relative to using some other Star Alliance frequent flyer miles.  A sample of recent threads includes Air New Zealand (UA filtering NZ), Asian airlines (UA filtering NH, OZ, SQ and TG), Lufthansa (UA being stingy with LH), general (UA gets tough on manual sell for award seats), and I hate the ANA tool.  A simple search on “Starnet” brings up many more threads.

For those unfamiliar with the ANA tool, anyone can sign up to the ANA program and search for awards on all Star Alliance airlines (except Swiss) online.

This is not something as simple as a blackout for a short period, or the oft-discussed situation whereby Qantas releases awards 355 days before departure but AAdvantage can only access them 330 days prior (thus many prime awards have already gone).

Do other frequent flyer programs have a similar issue of reduced availability on partner airlines? 

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Does Lufthansa need Star Alliance?

Totti writes

Given all the rumors and information on possible mergers and close co-operations between LH and airlines like BD, SN, B6 etc. do you still think that LH needs to be part of *A? LH is constantly growing (LX acquisition, B6 equity holding) and has close relationships with different airlines (OS, LO etc.). So what’s the deal for LH (and for the customer) to be part of *A in future? LH could easily start an M&M alliance sooner or later. Is this the beginning of the end of *A?

An interesting question.  If an airline takes over/merges with enough other airlines does it need to be in one of the big global alliances?

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