The Basics

What’s the Deal with Airline Alliances?

In order to offer an expanded travel network, airlines formed alliances. Airline alliances allow airlines to sell a ticket originating from a city they do serve to a destination city that they do not offer service to. For example, Continental serves Rochester but does not fly to Nairobi, Kenya. Sometimes it may prove cheaper to buy the different tickets on my own, but it is often not convenient to do it that way. So, due to Continental being in an alliance with Kenya Airlines, Continental is able to ticket me an itinerary traveling from Rochester – Newark – London on Continental and then London – Nairobi on Kenyan Air – all from Continental’s website. That requires me to only have to purchase one ticket and to be protected in case of flight cancellations and baggage transfers. So, alliances make our global travel easier. Below is a list of the alliances and the airlines that make them up. Keep in mind that alliances are now growing at a fast pace as they pick up regional airlines around the world, so this list will grow (and I will update it as we go). As you will notice, the alliance with the most domestic airlines is the Star Alliance. Often, that will be key when it comes to planning your trips (the more partner airlines, the better the award availability may be).

  • Oneworld Alliance
    • American Airlines (Domestic carrier)
    • British Airways (serves primarily Europe, but multiple international destinations as well)
    • Cathay Pacific (primarily Asia/South Pacific)
    • Finnair (primarily Europe)
    • Iberia (Europe)
    • Japan Airlines (Asia)
    • LAN (South America)
    • Malev (Europe)
    • Mexicana (Central America/South America)
    • Qantas (Pacific/Asia)
    • Royal Jordanian (Eastern Europe/Middle East/North Africa)
    • S7 Airlines (Russia)
  • Skyteam Alliance
    • Aeroflot (Europe)
    • Aerolineas Argentinas (South America)
    • Aeromexio (Central America/South America)
    • Air Europa (Europe/North Africa)
    • Air France (Europe)
    • Alitalia (Europe)
    • China Airlines (Asia)
    • China Eastern (Asia)
    • China Southern (Asia)
    • Czech Airlines (Europe)
    • Delta Airlines (Domestic Carrier)
    • Garuda Indonesia (Asia/Pacific)
    • Kenya Airlines (Africa)
    • KLM (Europe)
    • Korean Air (Asia)
    • Middle East Airlines (Middle East)
    • Saudi Arabian Airlines (Middle East/Asia)
    • TAROM (Europe)
    • Vietnam Airlines (Asia)
  • Star Alliance
    • Adria Airways (Europe)
    • Aegan (Europe)
    • Air Canada (North America)
    • Air China (Asia)
    • Air New Zealand (Oceania/Pacific)
    • ANA (Asia)
    • Asiana Airlines (Asia)
    • Austrian (Europe)
    • Blue1 (Europe)
    • British Midland International – BMI (Europe)
    • Brussels Airlines (Europe)
    • Continental Airlines (Domestic Carrier)
    • Croatia Airlines (Europe)
    • Egyptair (Africa/Middle East)
    • LOT Polish Airlines (Europe)
    • Lufthansa (Europe)
    • SAS – Scandinavian Airlines (Europe)
    • Singapore Airlines (Asia)
    • South African Airways (Africa)
    • Spanair (Europe)
    • Swiss (Europe)
    • TAM (South America)
    • TAP Portugal (Europe)
    • THAI (Asia)
    • Turkish Airlines (Middle East/Asia)
    • United (Domestic Carrier)
    • US Airways (Domestic Carrier)
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