3. Lesson 102: Airline Alliances and Partners
There are 3 main airline alliances in the world: the Star Alliance, Oneworld, and SkyTeam. For our purposes, this means that if you have points with an airline that is part of one of these alliances, you can redeem those points for flights on the other airlines in the alliance. This makes your airline points more valuable as you would have a limited selection of where you could fly with your points if you could only fly with one airline.
The first 6 programs I chose have 2 airlines in each alliance:
1. United Airlines
2. Air Canada
1. American Airlines
2. British Airways
1. Delta Airlines
2. KLM/Air France
To get a sample of where each of the alliances fly, you can check out their maps of destinations:
In addition to alliances, airlines sometimes have special partnerships with airlines outside of their alliance that you are able to redeem your points for travel on. Just like alliances, this makes our points more valuable as it gives you even more choices when redeeming your points.
The airlines on our first 6 list have the partners listed below that you can use your miles for travel on. If an airline is listed as a hyperlink, it has a good route map tool or list of destinations that you can use to see where that airline flies.
Air Tahiti Nui, Alaskan Airlines/Horizon Air, Etihad Airways, Fiji Airways, Hawaiian Airlines (On 9/1/2015 you will no longer be able to book flights between Hawaii and continental United States), Jet Airways, Seaborne Airlines
Could not find any (Let me know if you know of any).
Air Corsica, Air Europa, Air Mauritus, Aircalin, Airlinair, Alaska Airlines, Chalair Aviation, Comair, Copa Airlines, GOL, HOP!, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, TAAG, Twin Jet, Ukraine International Airlines, Wijet
As you can see, you have almost endless possibilities for how you can redeem your miles. These resources can give you an idea for the different routes/airlines you can use your miles to fly. I want to note that many airlines allow you to book awards on airlines that do not show up on their online award booking tool. For these you must call the airline and ask if there is award availability on the airline/route you wish to fly.
The tools here I use most often are the Star Alliance and Oneworld route maps. So far, I have only booked awards with these alliances. I have only recently begun looking into the Skyteam airlines for awards, but so far the best tool I have found for seeing where you can go on Skyteam is the award booking tool on the Air France/KLM FlyingBlue website. I will dig into this in a later lesson.
Now that you know where you can fly, the next step is to learn how to most cheaply get from one part of the world (using miles!) to the next using all of the routes I have linked on this page. Stay tuned for the next lesson!