Airline Alliance to Merge Frequent Flyer Programs

27 February 2001

The European members of the Star Alliance, the twelve-strong global airline association, plans to launch a joint frequent-flyer scheme in place of Lufthansa’s shared Miles &More program.

In addition to Lufthansa, the alliance has three European members with international routes – British Midland, Scandinavian Airline System and Austrian Airlines. Other members, including America’s United, Brazilian carrier Varig, Ansett of Australia and All Nippon Airways, will not participate in the initiative.

Lufthansa board member Ralf Teckentrup denied that Star is moving toward a global frequent-flyer program: "That won't happen in the foreseeable future," he insisted. Studies had demonstrated that the US, Asian and European markets differed too greatly for a single unified program to generate more benefits than drawbacks.

Teckentrup also believes that a single European program will help to minimise passengers’ distinction between an airline and the alliance, thereby optimizing marketing by member airlines.

News source: Handelsblatt (Germany)