LOS ANGELES, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Star Alliance member United Airlines
today announced the introduction of Star Alliance Awards in its Mileage Plus
frequent flyer program. With similar programs already introduced by Air
Canada, Mexicana and Varig Brazilian Airlines, United's announcement completes
the launch of these new awards by all Star Alliance airlines based in the
Americas. The other Star Alliance carriers in the region -- Air Canada,
Mexicana and Varig Brazilian Airlines -- have already launched their programs.
Star Alliance Awards enable customers to use just one frequent flyer award
ticket for travel to more that 700 destinations worldwide on any combination
of Star Alliance airlines.
Previously, a Mileage Plus award ticket could only combine one other Star
Alliance airline in addition to United. Now customers can book any
combination of Star Alliance airlines on one ticket for their award travel,
providing passengers with added convenience and flexibility. By eliminating
the need to use two or more award tickets to reach certain destinations, Star
Alliance Awards in some cases also reduce the total number of miles required
for award travel to those destinations.
The program is simplified through a single, geographic-based chart. An
Around-the-World award -- previously not offered in many programs -- will also
be available within Mileage Plus and most other Star Alliance Awards charts.
"Star Alliance Awards add value to the member airlines' frequent flyer
programs by enabling them to offer their customers simplified routings and a
greater choice of award destinations than they could offer on their own," said
Denise Martineau, Director -- Loyalty, Star Alliance. "This program allows
each airline to maintain its own frequent flyer program structure, while
giving customers the chance to take full advantage of the entire Star Alliance
network, with added flexibility."
To improve the award ticket booking process, Star Alliance developed a
computer function that allows its member airlines to book available seats in
"real time" on all other Star Alliance airlines. The function, called
Redemption Availability and Sell (RAS), creates an alliance-wide ability to
deliver faster award bookings and more flexibility in the choice of available
"Booking an award ticket on another airline used to take from 30 to
60 minutes, not including the time needed to call customers back and rebook
them when space could not be confirmed," noted Martineau. "Feedback on this
new technology enhancement indicates that it is already improving service by
shortening award booking call lengths, reducing customer callbacks and
Star Alliance was established in May 1997 as the first truly global
airline alliance to provide customers the benefits of global reach and a
smooth travel experience. The member airlines are Air Canada, Air New
Zealand, All Nippon Airways -- ANA, Austrian Airlines, bmi british midland,
Lauda Air, Lufthansa German Airlines, Mexicana, SAS Scandinavian Airlines,
Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways International, Tyrolean Airways, United
Airlines and VARIG Brazilian Airlines.
Asiana Airlines of South Korea, LOT Polish Airlines and Spain's Spanair
are scheduled to join Star Alliance in 2003. The future member carriers will
further enhance the Star Alliance network, which currently serves 729 airports
in 124 countries with almost 11,000 daily flights. Additional information is
available at www.star-alliance.com .
For further information please contact: Stephan A. Roth, Director,
Corporate Affairs, Star Alliance, +1-310-643-7766, mobile +1-310-908-5075
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SOURCE Star Alliance