Redeem Star Alliance Miles for oneworld Travel (Limited Routes): Am I the Last to Know??

Most airlines that belong to a global alliance – Star, oneworld, SkyTeam – partner mostly with airlines inside of that alliance. They may have non-alliance partners as well, though those are often limited. For instance American Airlines partners with airlines such as Air Tahiti Nui and Etihad which aren’t part of any alliance.

I like that Korean Air partners with Etihad, as well as Emirates. And they partner with Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian which aren’t alliance members either.

Alaska’s position outside of an alliance means that they’ve built their partnerships out of the backbone of airlines in both SkyTeam and oneworld (and some that are outside of either, like Hainan Airlines and Icelandair).

There’s only a limited number of cases where an airline that is a part of one alliance partners with an airline that’s in another alliance.

You can use United miles to redeem for travel on Aer Lingus (but can no longer use Aer Lingus miles to redeem for travel on United). However Aer Lingus is not yet a member of oneworld, and the United partnership seems highly likely to end once it joins.

Given that, I’m embarrassed to admit that I did not realize Star Alliance member Avianca LifeMiles lets you redeem your miles for travel on Iberia. (Roundtrips are required.)

Redemptions are only available on specific routes, and there’s a separate award chart for Iberia travel — it’s not the same as the Star Alliance award chart. Of course there are no fuel surcharges.

Here’s economy:

And business class:

These awards are expensive, to be sure. I’d much rather use LifeMiles for travel on Star Alliance airlines. But I had no idea this was possible, even though Iberia is listed as a partner on the LifeMiles site and indeed included on the dropdown box when choosing to search award availability by individual airline online.

(HT: ariel_sjo)

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. There are a number of these between alliance partnerships such as AirNewZealand and Etihad, or Copa and KLM

  2. Just like Gol’ Smiles FFP.
    You can redeem flights from Air Canada, Air France, Delta, KLM, Korean Air, Qatar, Aerolineas Argentinas, Alitalia, TAP, Etihad, Copa Airlines, Aeromexico and Emirates. Some of them are outrageously expensive to redeem (like EK and EY). Some are not (like AF /DL)

  3. Air China (CA) – Star Alliance partners with Cathay Pacific (CX) – oneword alliance. First Air China use kilometer instead of mile. Second you have to call them to redeem CX flights, however, it is kind of near impossible to redeem even thought you have million of miles in CA account. Because CA only accept China issued credit card as payment method. This is a nightmare for most foreigner. I personally tried to redeem CX flights and successful. But the payment policy really gave me a hard time. I end up have to borrow a friend in China whos also have a China credit card (still credit card isn’t really popular in China compare to US). The best deal as I know is they cost only 110k from HK to Europe ROUND TRIP in CX first class!

  4. @Ivo – true, CA award on CX is hard to process. I had the same issue, though i have Chinese credit card, but not the right one…still managed to book a FCO-HKG CX flight via the Air China Rome Office Sales Dept., their employees were professional and helpful. It was possible to wire the fee+tax to their bank account, plus they needed the PIN code of my Phoenix Miles account. It took a few weeks to process (emails, phone calls) but it worked out 🙂

  5. @康康 Base on my experience when trying to searching for available seats for CX flights, the best tool is BA search engine as usual. Whenever you see available seats on BA then 99% the CA customer rept can also see it. This can save lot of time by just call CA to search for seats. I was trying to redeem CX flights by calling HK office in first, everything was smooth, but there was a problem in the last step. I believe they accept foreigner credit card in HK. The only problem is HK office rept tell me that I have to go to their office to do the payment. They not accept payment by phone. And that the only way to do the payment process in HK office. I just want to say WTX…. I then end up call to their headquarter in Beijing to do the redeem. Then I found out that I need a 100% China issued credit card. It was still a nightmare for me with CA. I used to gold in CA and gold will expire soon this year. End my relationship with CA.

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