Go farther with free travel when you book with one or two airline alliances versus traveling with a hodge-podge of airlines and never amassing points. Then, escape sooner and more often through loyalty to one program.
Australia - that's a lot of mileage... For example, I'd like to go to Australia later this year. Even though I desperately want to fly there with VAustralia, I must hold back my index finger from buying the fare online since Virgin's mileage program "elevate" is only applicable for redemption with other Virgin carriers. For a trip with such a huge distance or mileage earning potential (YVR to SYD), you better believe I'll book with my preferred airline alliance. It would be stupid not to. The mileage I'd collect from Vancouver to Sydney return, represents two-thirds the mileage needed to fly from Seattle to the Southern Caribbean return in off-season.
Knowing most of us are price-conscious flyers, start to think strategically about collecting points: - weigh the price difference between the flights in question - which option better aligns with your preferred airline alliance? - which alliance do you fly with more (consider your regular destinations & airlines serving your home airport)?
Start your free travel strategizing now! Here's a list of global airline alliances and their carriers:
Star Alliance Air Canada Air New Zealand US Airways United Continental Adria Air China ANA Asiana Airlines Austria Blue1 bmi Brussels Airlines Croatia Airlines EgyptAir LOT Polish Airlines Lufthansa Scandinavian Airlines Shanghai Airlines South African Airways Spanair Swiss TAP Portugal Thai Turkish Airlines
One World American Airlines British Airways Cathay Pacific Finnair Iberia Japan Airlines LAN Malev Mexicana Quantas Royal Jordanian
Sky Team Aeroflot AeroMexico AirFrance KLM Alitalia China Southern Czech Airlines Delta Korean Air
Note - Most discount carriers aren't part of global airline alliances, yet some offer mileage-style programs like WestJet dollars, giving frequent flyers cash-back towards use of a WestJet flight or vacation package. - Alaska Airlines has a mileage program and partners with a host of airlines, yet is not part of a global airline alliance (except that most of their airline partners are part of One World...).