During their board meeting in Singapore, which falls on the eve of the third anniversary of the creation of the Alliance, the member airline CEOs...
The CEOs said they were satisfied that, in just three years, the Star Alliance network has re-shaped international air travel, and delivered the wide range of benefits anticipated at the launch. When the Alliance was created, the original five members pledged to provide customers with unsurpassed global access and seamless service. Initially, this simply meant allowing loyal customers to accumulate mileage points on all member airlines that counted toward top-tier status in the frequent flyer plan of their choice, as well as providing them reciprocal privileges at airport lounges. But that quickly changed as many new benefits were added.
At the launch, the CEOs promised that the Star Alliance network would result in access to more flights and destinations, simplified ticketing and reservations, more convenient connections, and better baggage and ground services - all of which combine to create a hassle-free, seamless travel experience.
In the three years since, Star Alliance has delivered on all the promises of Day One:
More than 2,500 flights daily and more than 250 destinations have been added to the Star Alliance network since 1997, and member airlines have adjusted their arrival and departure times to make for more convenient connections.
Passengers on flights connecting from one Star Alliance carrier to another are now checked through all the way to their destination, with boarding passes for all legs of the journey - eliminating the need to check in at transfer desks for seat assignment.
Travelers can use the Internet to select their Star Alliance flight and make their own reservations through the Star Alliance website, www.star-alliance.com. The new, user-friendly system makes travel planning easy by being available 24-hours a day, seven days a week and only a mouse-click away.
Wherever possible, Star Alliance airlines are moving their airport facilities to be close to one another, speeding up and simplifying connections. The most recent example of this under-one-roof approach is Rio de Janeiro.
Frequent flyers who attain Star Alliance Gold or Star Alliance Silver status are given special recognition by all the member airlines, and are given priority service, such as Priority Check-in and Priority Baggage Handling.
The reciprocal privileges at airport lounges has now been extended to more than 500 lounges worldwide.
No one airline on its own can offer this range of benefits, the scope of destinations or the ease of travel that we can offer together, through the Star Alliance network, said Dr Cheong.