New Star Alliance Partner and a New Lufthansa Business Class Seat

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. “Star Alliance is adding low cost and ‘hybrid’ airlines to its network under a new ‘Connecting Partner’ model. Sounds like pretty weak sauce, confusing, and undermining consistent brand and marketing — but more mileage opportunities are at some level better.”

    I disagree with this lukewarm reception to this brilliant idea or model, whose time has come…

    “…more mileage opportunities,” by which I understand to mean opportunities to earn redeemable miles, is the least of it. More to the point is the rationale for the move, as provided by Star Alliance CEO Mark Schwab:

    “At the same time, our customers are telling us that they need access to markets where we do not yet provide ideal coverage,” Schwab admitted…

    The wish for more *A carriers in poorly covered regions has been mine for a while. For instance, for my upcoming Year-end Asian Escapade(TM), I will have to pay out of pocket for some segments, despite having loads of UA miles that I would have preferred to redeem for award tickets, because there were *A award tickets on any of the major *A carriers that serve N and SE Asia to take me from BKK to Koh Samui or BKK to Siem Reap. Heck, a year ago I could not find any A* award tickets between SIN and Manila or SIN and Bali! In each case I had to pay cash to fly on one of the low-cost regional carriers (Bangkok Airways, Cambodia Angkor Air, Air Asia). Now, imagine such low-cost regional carriers becoming part of *A in the proposed ‘Connecting Partner’ model to simply provide connections on routes that the big *A carriers feel too important to cover?

    It’s brilliant from a consumer’s point of view!

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