• Maximizing your miles with airline alliances

    In a previous CWT Savvy Traveler blog post, I wrote about popular supplier loyalty programs like Delta SkyMiles and Etihad Guest that let you rack up miles to later exchange for personal trips, gift cards or other items. You may think that signing up for a loyalty program and then flying on that specific airline is the only way to earn miles, but by supporting airlines within the same alliance, you can earn miles faster.

    Here is a quick reference guide for the top airline alliances, which let you get the most out of your miles:


    oneworldThe oneworld alliance serves a total of 12 airlines including American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Qantas, along with several other affiliate airlines. Within the oneworld network, travelers can earn miles/points, advance their tier status and access a wider range of member benefits while contributing to a single airline’s frequent flyer program, as well as a oneworld-specific program.

    To see a full list of oneworld members, visit http://www.oneworld.com/member-airlines/.


    skyteamSkyTeam is the alliance for popular airlines such as Delta Air Lines, KLM, Air France, Alitalia, China Southern Airlines, Korean Air and more, and travelers can earn and redeem miles with all 18 member airlines. The more you fly with any of the SkyTeam members, the quicker you can earn miles towards Elite status, which includes priority check-in, preferred seating, lounge access and more.
    To see a full list of SkyTeam members, visit http://www.skyteam.com/en/About-us/Our-members/.

    Star Alliance

    star allianceStar Alliance was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance and currently has 27 members, including Air Canada, Lufthansa and United Airlines. Unlike the oneworld alliance, there is no actual Star Alliance frequent flyer program, so travelers can use any Star Alliance member airline’s frequent flyer program to build frequent flyer status. Travelers only need one frequent flyer card to collect miles from every member airline.

    To see a full list of Star Alliance members, visit http://www.staralliance.com/en/about/member_airlines/.

    As a business or leisure traveler, you likely fly on a variety of airlines depending on the location of your next meeting, conference or vacation destination. By flying within your chosen airline alliance, you can maximize your frequent flier miles and hopefully earn rewards in the process.

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