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I agree Star Alliance Silver offers next to nothing, but for many Star Alliance carriers Silver is not the mid tier, but the lower of three status tiers. I don’t regard Silver as worth anything, other than my carrier (Air NZ) offers one free upgrade and one free lounge pass, but it has been years since I was Silver, being Gold and Gold Elite since 2002.
What would be nice is if there was recognition of a common top tier, as with One World. Top tier benefits (beyond Gold) would be First Class checkin, lounge access and perhaps equivalent priority to other Star carrier’s Gold tier in terms of priority for everything else.