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Which Airlines are part of Star Alliance?

United Airlines 787. Star Alliance Partner Airline.

Star Alliance is the largest of the three major airline alliances in the world, alongside oneworld and SkyTeam. Consisting of 26 airlines with a global flight network spanning 1,290 destinations in over 190 countries, Star Alliance is the largest of the three airline alliances by passenger count. The airline alliance accounts for over 700 million passengers per year. Star Alliance also has 2 connecting partner airlines and 1 intermodal partner.

Star Alliance member airlines work together to provide flight connections, shared frequent flyer elite status benefits and simplified check-in and baggage operations for passengers through to their final destination, across the entire flight network.

All in all, for passengers, this means you can fly to more destinations, not have to self-transfer your bags and re-check in on connecting journeys, and get similar frequent flyer benefits when you are not flying your native airline carrier.

Air New Zealand 777-300. Air New Zealand is a Star Alliance Partner Airline.

Who are the Star Alliance partner airlines?

As the world’s largest airline alliance by passenger count, Star Alliance consists of the following 26 airlines:

  • Aegean Airlines
  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • Air India
  • Air New Zealand
  • ANA (All Nippon Airways)
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Avianca
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Copa Airlines
  • Croatia Airlines
  • EgyptAir
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • EVA Air
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • SAS (Scandinavian Airlines)
  • Shenzhen Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • SWISS International Air Lines
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Thai Airways
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines

As you can see, these airlines span the globe. Covering over 1,290 airports in over 190 countries, Star Alliance reaches pretty much every country in the world. 

Announced in 2022, Star Alliance also has one non-airline partner: Deutsche Bahn. This means that it is entirely possible for all Star Alliance passengers travelling to Germany to connect onto Deutsche Bahn services throughout Germany. This means you can collect airline miles on train journeys booked on the same ticket, access Deutsche Bahn lounges with Star Alliance Gold, and use the AirRail check-in facility at Frankfurt Airport. Hopefully the number of non-airline partners will increase in the future, as this is a great option for short domestic connections in countries where flying will just take longer than taking a train from the Airport.

Additionally, Junyeyao Airlines and Thai Smile are Star Alliance connecting partners. This means you will accrue miles, tier points and access elite status benefits when you fly with these two airlines, connecting from one of the other Star Alliance partners.

Lufthansa Airplane Wing upon final approach into Munich Airport in Winter. Snow on the ground.

What Star Alliance status am I?

Star Alliance has a very simple two-step frequent flyer system for elite status benefits across the 26 alliance airlines. To note, this is only applicable once you earn the first step of frequent flyer status with your chosen Star Alliance airline, and no shared alliance benefits belong to the base frequent flyer status (usually just a base member). These are the shared benefits applicable when you fly with other Star Alliance airlines, and may be different to your native Star Alliance airline frequent flyer program.

Star Alliance Silver

  • Aegean Airlines Miles+Bonus Silver
  • Air Canada Aeroplan 25K and Aeroplan 35K
  • Air China PhoenixMiles Silver
  • Air India Flying Returns Silver Edge Club
  • Air New Zealand Airpoints Silver
  • ANA (All Nippon Airways) Mileage Club Bronze
  • Asiana Airlines Asiana Club Gold
  • Austrian Airlines Miles & More Frequent Traveller
  • Avianca LifeMiles Red Plus and Silver
  • Brussels Airlines Miles & More Frequent Traveller
  • Copa Airlines ConnectMiles Silver
  • Croatia Airlines Miles & More Frequent Traveller
  • EgyptAir EGYPTAIR Plus Silver
  • Ethiopian Airlines ShebaMiles Silver
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands Silver
  • LOT Polish Airlines Miles & More Frequent Traveller
  • Lufthansa Miles & More Frequent Traveller
  • SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) EuroBonus Silver
  • Shenzhen Airlines PhoenixMiles Silver
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Elite Silver
  • South African Airways SAA Voyager Silver
  • SWISS International Air Lines Miles & More Frequent Traveller
  • TAP Air Portugal TAP Miles&Go Silver
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus Silver
  • Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Classic Plus
  • United Airlines MileagePlus Premier Silver

Star Alliance Gold

  • Aegean Airlines Miles+Bonus Gold
  • Air Canada Aeroplan 50K, Aeroplan 75K and Super Elite
  • Air China PhoenixMiles Gold and Platinum
  • Air India Flying Returns Golden Edge Club and The Maharaja Club
  • Air New Zealand Airpoints Gold, Elite, and Priority One
  • ANA (All Nippon Airways) Mileage Club Platinum and Diamond
  • Asiana Airlines Asiana Club Diamond, Diamond Plus and Platinum
  • Austrian Airlines Miles & More Senator and HON Circle
  • Avianca LifeMiles Gold and Diamond
  • Brussels Airlines Miles & More Senator and HON Circle
  • Copa Airlines ConnectMiles Gold, Platinum and Presidential
  • Croatia Airlines Miles & More Senator and HON Circle
  • EgyptAir EGYPTAIR Plus Gold, Elite and Platinum
  • Ethiopian Airline ShebaMiles Gold and Platinum
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands Gold and Diamond
  • LOT Polish Airlines Miles & More Senator and HON Circle
  • Lufthansa Miles & More Senator and HON Circle
  • SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) EuroBonus Gold and Diamond
  • Shenzhen Airlines PhoenixMiles Gold and Platinum
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Elite Gold, PPS Club and Solitaire PPS Club
  • South African Airways SAA Voyager Gold, Platinum and Lifetime Platinum
  • SWISS International Air Lines Miles & More Senator and HON Circle
  • TAP Air Portugal TAP Miles&Go Gold
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus Gold and Platinum
  • Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Elite and Elite Plus
  • United Airlines Premier Gold, Premier Platinum and Premier 1K

So what does Star Alliance Silver and Star Alliance Gold mean? What elite status frequent flyer perks and benefits does it entitle you to? Let’s dig into it below.

Brussels Airlines Aircraft taking off at Brussels Airport.

What Perks and Benefits do I get from my Star Alliance elite status?

When travelling with a different Star Alliance airline to the one of your frequent flyer program that you hold elite status with, Star Alliance Silver and Star Alliance Gold defines what set of perks and benefits you are entitled to. These standardised perks and benefits make your travel experience smoother, especially if you are only flying in Economy. Below are the standardised perks and benefits for each of the two Star Alliance frequent flyer tiers:

Star Alliance Silver

  • Priority Airport Standby
  • Priority Reservations Waitlist

Star Alliance Gold

  • Priority Airport Standby
  • Priority Reservations Waitlist
  • Priority Check-in
  • Priority Boarding
  • Priority Baggage
  • Access to Star Alliance Gold Lounges (Business Class Lounges)
  • Additional Checked Baggage (20kg (44 pounds) or one extra piece)
  • Star Alliance Gold Track

Star Alliance are fairly consistent with their frequent flyer perks across airlines, and I haven’t encountered any airlines that differ from the perks above for non-native Star Alliance elite status holders. If you have had an airline deny perks such as frequent flyer seating, email me at [email protected] so I can update our readers.

These perks and benefits are available across all cabin classes, when add your Star Alliance frequent flyer number that you hold status with to your flight booking. These perks and benefits make travel super easy when you are flying Economy or Premium Economy, as these are generally the same as the perks and benefits you receive in business class or first class with cash paid fares.

Lufthansa Senator Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2

Star Alliance Lounge Access

One of the best perks in my opinion is lounge access when it comes to frequent flyer programs. Star Alliance has over 1,000 lounges globally across most of its routes and destinations. As mentioned above, for Star Alliance, this is only available to Star Alliance Gold members. Business class and first class ticketed passengers (both airline miles redemptions and cash paid tickets) on any Star Alliance flight are also entitled to lounge access. Having lounge access before your flight automatically elevates your travel experience, whether you are travelling for business or leisure.

Star Alliance First Class Lounge Access

Across the 1,000+ Star Alliance lounges, there are a limited number of International First Class lounges reserved for First Class Star Alliance ticketed passengers only. Sometimes, these are just a small section of the main lounge or a separate room, and sometimes these are more extravagant. An airline’s own top-tier frequent flyers may also get access to these lounges (in addition to the Star Alliance Gold lounges). Some airlines also have “ultra-premium” lounges only for their own First Class passengers and their own top-tier frequent flyers, restricting access for Star Alliance Gold status holders of other airlines. 

Star Alliance Business Class Lounge Access for Star Alliance Gold Members

For Star Alliance Gold holders, you get access to business class lounges of Star Alliance airlines when travelling with a Star Alliance airline in any cabin class. Access is also provided to a guest on the same flight in any cabin class. These include domestic and international itineraries, with any Star Alliance airline. 

Star Alliance also runs their own Star Alliance Gold Lounges in key airport hubs around the world. These airport hubs are:

  • Amsterdam
  • Buenos Aires
  • Los Angeles
  • Paris
  • Rio De Janerio
  • Rome

These airport lounges are accessible by any Star Alliance Gold holder (+1 guest) as well as those passengers flying business class or first class on any Star Alliance airline.

Star Alliance does not provide arrival lounge access as a perk, so access is only provided upon departure. To note, lounge access gets complicated when it comes to flying with United or holding elite status with United, so I will cover that below.

The Exception: United Airlines

For holders of Star Alliance Gold elite status with United (Premier Gold and above), unfortunately Domestic US itineraries do not qualify for lounge access. You must be flying internationally to take advantage of this perk. If you hold Star Alliance Gold with any other Star Alliance airline, you will receive Domestic US lounge access if you are flying United.

To further complicate lounge access, United Polaris Lounges are for international business class and first class ticketed passengers only. This means Star Alliance Gold holders are ineligible to access the United Polaris lounges, nor are United frequent flyers.

United also set up a new lounge concept in 2022 called “United Club Fly” at Denver International Airport. Intended as a “grab-and-go” lounge for snacks and beverages, these are a quick and easy solution for tight connections in connection-hot airports in the US. Access is only available to Star Alliance Gold members (no guests), United Premier Gold and above members flying internationally, and Star Alliance business and first class passengers. So far, there is only one of these loungers at Denver, but hopefully these are expanded right across the US.

United’s Arrivals Lounge at London Heathrow is only for United Polaris passengers, so Star Alliance Gold passengers are excluded from access from this lounge too.

Summing up Star Alliance Lounge Access

In all, it is best to check ahead of booking your flights which lounges will be available to you based on the Star Alliance elite status you hold. You can use the Star Alliance Lounge Finder here to find which lounges you will have access to on your journey.

If I don’t hold Star Alliance elite status, can I pay to enter Star Alliance Airport Lounges?

This depends on the airline you are flying, class of travel and access restrictions to the particular airport lounge you wish to enter.

Some airlines do offer paid day passes, such as United, however other Star Alliance airlines such as Air New Zealand, do not. For United, you can buy a one-time pass through the United app for most United Club locations, as well as in person at the lounge front desk (subject to availability) for $59.

Although, if you fly regularly but not enough (or in premium cabins) to gain Gold-equivalent frequent flyer status, you could look into a lounge membership of the Star Alliance airline you fly most with. Note, that for most of these programs, you will only be granted lounge access to your airline’s own network, with limited or no access for codeshare partners, including Star Alliance flights.

The Exception: United Club Membership and Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Membership

This is a super handy travel hack if you fly frequently enough to benefit from lounge access but not enough to qualify for Star Alliance Gold. You can purchase a United Club or the worldwide Air Canada Maple Leaf Club membership, and you will receive access to any Star Alliance Gold Lounge when travelling on a Star Alliance flight in any cabin. Additionally, you also get access for one guest travelling on the same flight as well.

The even better travel hack here, is that United or Air Canada doesn’t need to be your native airline loyalty program.

This means you can add your membership number of whichever Star Alliance carrier’s loyalty program you belong to onto your ticket to accrue airline miles and status credits or tier points, and you can still access the lounge with your United or Air Canada lounge membership card.

Unfortunately, it does look like Air Canada has temporarily suspended membership signups, but United is still available currently. Additionally, unlike United Premier Gold (and above) elite status, with a United Club membership you will receive access to United Clubs when travelling domestically within the US.

United Club at London Heathrow Airport Terminal 2.
The United Club at London Heathrow Terminal 2 is accessible with Star Alliance Gold elite status.

Which Airport Lounges can I access with Star Alliance Gold status?

Star Alliance has a great lounge finder here on their website, that shows all the lounges you have access to with your Star Alliance frequent flyer status at your departure airport. In addition, you will also get access when connecting between Star Alliance flights.

Star Alliance Round-the-World tickets?

Star Alliance offers two types of “round-the-world” fares, which can be directly booked through Star Alliance on their website. There is a typical “round-the-world” fare, as well as the “Circle Pacific” fare. The Circle Pacific fare is a great option if you intend to extensively travel around the APAC region, and to North America.

Both have strict terms and conditions so check out the Star Alliance website (links below) for more information, to start planning a potential route, and to book.

Star Alliance Round the World Fare

Star Alliance Circle Pacific Fare

Chicago O'Hare Airport. One of United Airlines' major airport hubs.
Chicago O’Hare Airport – One of United Airlines’ major airport hubs.

Star Alliance Airport Hubs

Airport hubs help airlines concentrate their operations and resources to ensure a smooth passenger experience, and provide more destinations for passengers to travel to and from. Multiple airline alliance members often share the same terminal at these hubs, allowing for through connection of bags, tighter connection times for passengers, and shared lounge access and airport facilities. These are the Star Alliance airline partners airport hubs:

  • Aegean Airlines
    • Athens
    • Thessaloniki
  • Air Canada
    • Vancouver
    • Calgary
    • Toronto
    • Montreal
  • Air China
    • Beijing
    • Chengdu
    • Shanghai
  • Air India
    • Delhi
    • Mumbai
  • Air New Zealand
    • Auckland
    • Wellington
    • Christchurch
  • ANA (All Nippon Airways)
    • Tokyo Haneda
    • Tokyo Narita
    • Kansai
    • Osaka Itami
  • Asiana Airlines
    • Seoul Incheon
    • Seoul Gimpo
  • Austrian Airlines
    • Vienna
  • Avianca
    • Bogotá
    • Medellin
    • Cali
    • Cartagena
    • San Salvador
    • San Jose
    • Guatemala City
    • Lima
  • Brussels Airlines
    • Brussels
  • Copa Airlines
    • Panama City
  • Croatia Airlines
    • Zagreb
    • Dubrovnik
    • Split
  • EgyptAir
    • Cairo
  • Ethiopian Airlines
    • Addis Ababa
  • EVA Air
    • Taipei
  • LOT Polish Airlines
    • Warsaw
  • Lufthansa
    • Frankfurt
    • Munich
  • SAS (Scandinavian Airlines)
    • Copenhagen
    • Stockholm-Arlanda
    • Oslo
  • Shenzhen Airlines
    • Shenzhen
  • Singapore Airlines
    • Singapore
  • South African Airways
    • Johannesburg
  • SWISS International Air Lines
    • Geneva
    • Zurich
  • TAP Air Portugal
    • Lisbon
    • Porto
  • Thai Airways
    • Bangkok
  • Turkish Airlines
    • Istanbul
  • United Airlines
    • San Francisco
    • Denver
    • Houston
    • Chicago O’Hare
    • New York-Newark
    • Washington Dulles
    • Los Angeles
    • Guam

These are all 26 Star Alliance airlines’ main airport hubs. All of these airlines do also have secondary hubs and focus cities in addition to this, designed to allow connections onto routes with other Star Alliance partners or airports of key significance and traffic to the airline.

Rear view of a parked Aircraft on an Airport apron.


As the largest airline alliance by passenger count, serving over 700 million passengers per annum, Star Alliance is a behemoth in the airline world. This complex airline network aims to ensure a smooth passenger experience from all corners of the globe, and provides the foundation for codeshare agreements between it’s member airlines. With unique lounge offerings, and the most destinations and airlines of the three airline alliances, Star Alliance is a great option for your primary frequent flyer membership if you fly most often on routes serviced by one or more of its’ airline members.

If you are interested in how the oneworld airline alliance (and their elite status perks and benefits) compares, check out my article on oneworld here.