SkyTeam NewsFlash – September 2009

SkyTeam NewsFlash – September 2009


SkyTeam, the global airline alliance partnering ten members – including Aeroflot, Aeroméxico, Air France, Alitalia, China Southern Airlines, Continental Airlines, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Korean Air – and three Associate carriers – Air Europa, Copa Airlines and Kenya Airways – sets itself apart by offering an exclusive experience for all passengers. Issued monthly, SkyTeam NewsFlash provides media with key updates and insights on alliance activities.

SkyTeam Offers Tips for Frequent Flyers

As the busy summer vacation season comes to an end, frequent travelers may already be checking on their frequent flier account balances to earn enough miles for their next trip, or maintain their status level. And now may be the best time to do so, as airlines are offering more passenger benefits via their frequent flyer programs (FFP), in addition to increasingly convenient fares. In fact, frequent flyer experts agree that now may be the best time for passengers to acquire more miles at a lower cost.

At the heart of SkyTeam’s alliance benefits is its multi-carrier frequent flyer program, which allows its passengers to earn and redeem miles on all SkyTeam carriers. In this month’s NewsFlash, Mauro Oretti, SkyTeam vice president of sales and marketing, offers the following tips and best practices for SkyTeam frequent flyers:

  • Maximize your miles – Select the FFP with the member airline you plan to fly with most frequently, and credit all your miles to that single account to earn the most mileage. For example, if you plan to fly often within domestic inland China, sign up for China Southern Airline’s Sky Pearl Club and credit all your miles to that account.
  • Explore flight combinations with all of SkyTeam’s carriers – As SkyTeam passengers can earn and redeem miles on all member airlines, multi-carrier FFPs offer more route options and scheduling flexibility. An additional advantage is SkyTeam’s global network, which combines flight density and breadth: for example, a passenger travelling out of London Heathrow has an option of nine different SkyTeam carriers, via direct or one-stop flights, to destinations in Africa, Asia, Europe, the U.S. and beyond.
  • Remain flexible with award flights – Research the best times and destinations to travel with award flights and be sure to book flights as early as possible. Additionally, monitor seasonal destination trends: For example, European hot spot Rome generally experiences a slowdown during August, so it may be easier to book an award flight this month.
  • Coordinate your award travel with the new travel schedules – Based on the International Air Transport Association calendar, airlines announce new flights and routes for the summer and winter travel schedules the first weeks of April and November. These new flights may have more award seat availability when they are first introduced.
  • Research your FFP’s partnerships – Almost all FFPs have agreements in place with providers such as credit card, ground transportation and lodging companies for passengers to earn additional miles and benefits. Currently, SkyTeam is investigating partnerships with non-air travel providers to provide certain benefits exclusive to SkyTeam passengers.
  • Manage and monitor your FFP account regularly – Flying on SkyTeam member airlines’ flights is the best way to accrue miles towards becoming SkyTeam Elite and Elite Plus members, where passengers enjoy benefits such as airport lounge access, priority check-in, priority boarding and more. Keep an eye on your account to be sure to maintain your status or accrue additional miles to reach the next status level.

Above all, be sure to consult with the respective airline website or representatives from your airline’s FFP to verify your eligibility, check your account balance and confirm flight details. Utilizing these best practices and keeping informed of ongoing changes and developments can help passengers receive the most from their frequent flyer programs.