Star Alliance Posts

Lounge Review: Star Alliance Lounge at LAX


This was my first time flying out of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal since the remodel and I was giddy as a kid in a candy shop to finally visit it.  The new terminal is modern, beautiful and is actually quite enjoyable to walk around and kill some ...

Lounge Review: Star Alliance Lounge at Paris Charles de Gualle (CDG)


My amazing Thai Airways A380 flight from Bangkok sadly ended too soon and we arrived at our gate in terminal one slightly ahead of schedule. I had a six-hour layover in Paris before connecting to Montreal on Air Canada and decided to check out the airport ...


Spin-Off of Thai Smile Another Blow to Star Alliance


Thai Airways will spin-off its Thai Smile Air unit into a separate subsidiary that will not participate in Star Alliance. Created in mid-2012 as a low-cost division of Thai Airways, Thai Smile has now obtained its own air operators’ certificate (AOC) and starting later this month ...


US Airways + TAM Join oneworld Alliance


As Star Alliance shrinks, oneworld grows. Effective today, both US Airways and TAM transition from Star Alliance to oneworld, adding a more robust route network across the U.S., South America, and Europe for oneworld ...

US Airways is a Huge Loss for Star Alliance

US Airways’ upcoming departure from Star Alliance on March 30, 2014 is a huge loss for the airline alliance and a particular burden for North American flyers using United MileagePlus miles.

My most-requested award redemptions are business class to Italy or ...


Should I Burn my US Airways Dividend Miles Now or Later?

US Airways is leaving Star Alliance on March 30, 2014 and we can only guess at what the future Dividend Miles loyalty program will look like. Will the award chart stay the same for now? Will you be able to get to where you need to go? Will fuel surcharges be introduced on carriers like British ...


Last Call on the US Airways 90K USA + Europe + Asia Business Class Award

US Airways is leaving Star Alliance on March 30th, 2014, meaning your last chance to book on many Star Alliance carriers with US Airways Dividend Miles is this week.

There are several gems on the chart, but the most valuable to North American flyers is round-trip business class to North ...


Turkish Airlines 777 Business Class from Houston to Istanbul

Turkish 777

The first leg that I will review from my winter trip to Europe is the flight from Houston to Istanbul in Business Class on the Turkish Airlines 777.  The eastbound flight is typically about 11 hours, which is an ideal length for my preferences; with enough time to enjoy a meal, work or watch ...


Maintaining United lounge access in 2014 and beyond

United Club

I seeking advice on how to renew lounge access for my routine travels, primarily on United.  

United Club in Austin, photo thanks to Kevin


I have never directly paid for a United Club membership.  For the ...


Air Canada's New Business (Class) Model


I don't know if Air Canada hired a new PR firm or not but it looks like they are having a bit of an identity crisis.  As you know, Air Canada's business class product used to be called, "Executive First." Because their lineup lacked a true first class product, ...

AVE high speed train for a day in Madrid - Star to Spain


Most of my trip reports are about airplane and hotel experiences, but for some variety, here is a quick review of the AVE high speed train that we took from Seville to Madrid.  Plus, a little bit from our brief time in Madrid.

AVE train at Seville ...

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Customer Friendly? United Softens Blow of New Award Chart

United Airlines left a substantial question unanswered before its award chart devaluation yesterday--what changes to awards booked under the old chart will be permitted without having to pay additional miles? Today, it answered the question and also lessened the harshness of the new award chart ...


India downgraded to Category 2 safety rating by US FAA

Another public humilation for one of the world's most troubled aviation markets

Progressive moments, as it pertains to the Indian Civil Aviation industry, is best characterized by "one step forward, two steps back," with the latest ...


Germanwings (4U) Award Space Now Available on


United Airlines MileagePlus members have been eligible to earn miles on Germanwings, the Lufthansa low-cost-subsidiary since last October, with the promise that Germanwings flights would soon be available for mileage bookings. Now, Germanwings flights are bookable on in both ...

The ANA Award Search Tool is Great, but not Perfect


Even if it can be a bit cumbersome to use, I have found ANA's award search tool to be the single most accurate source of Star Alliance award availability for several years. Singapore Airlines space has been problematic--ANA automatically blocks out premium cabin space on the 777-300ER and ...


Using United Miles to Get to Australia and New Zealand


Just a friendly reminder that United's Mileage Plus devaluation goes into effect on February 1, 2014.  You don't have to fly by February 1, 2014. You just have to book your trip by then. With a couple of weeks to go before the Great Devaluation, I decided this ...