Is Star Alliance Silver the biggest joke in the industry?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  ScottWilson 1 Mar 2010
at 11:27

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  • Anonymous


    Dear Fellow BTs,

    I’m sure many of you understand the stress caused by frequent travel, yet Star Alliance seem to want to add insult to injury. As a OW gold and ST Silver, I receive Business class check-in, along with other benefits regardless of class of travel or airline.

    Come on – to acheive FB Silver, I need to fly 15 segments on ST metal a year – the joy of indirect Delta flights in the states makes this an easy task. Yet, as a BMI Diamond Club member (who has recently reached Silver :-)), I am politely turned away from Business class check-in on a short-haul flight and directed to the 200-strong economy queue… I’m sorry, but which alliance does not provide at LEAST Business check-in to its mid-tier frequent flyers… Even FB Silver allows me the perk of Delta First Check-In… I find this an INSULT.

    Star, although the largest alliance needs to take a rethink. Ruby OW and Silver ST provide real benefits besides ‘priotity on standby’… Come on, we are in a recession, do us all a favour and take a look at your priorities. This FQTV will certainly not be re-visiting Star in a hurry.


    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.


    I mentioned something similar mid 2009, being a Star Silver card holder with LH (FTL they call it) you are not even allowed in many lounges anymore, i.e. Star Alliance Lounges in LHR, BCN and even their own LH lounges “if they are busy”. What is the point holding the silver tier with them then and trying to upkeep it? I have asked this question with LH themselves but was given a standard non satisfactory reply. I think they have just got too big to care. I will bank on my BA Card, being Silver, you are allowed a guest into the Lounge regardless of class you are travelling in. They’ve really lost the plot and I, like many others, have lost interest in booking Star towards a gold card now….


    It does seem easier to reach Star Silver than its oneworld equivalent.

    Being a larger alliance, there are many more potential elite status passengers to deal with.

    Accordingly, the benefits are fewer than those offered at a similar oneworld equivalent level.

    It is similarly easier to become Star Gold, where a few more benefits become apparent (such as seat blocking in economy), but still I don’t see the level of quality benefits offered by oneworld, both in terms of documented “perks” (eg lounge access even when not flying the carrier on which you have status) and the quality of offerings (slopey business class beds, fewer “genuine” premium economy offerings, average Gold lounge with limited food offerings and no champers) .


    *A Silver like I said before is largely worthless, but then many *A carriers have a tier beyond *A Gold that only they recognise for special privileges. This is something OW has over *A.

    VK: I get lounge access without flying the carrier on which I have status, I always get *A Gold lounge access regardless of the *A carrier I am on, although the better perk would be lounge access regardless of the flight.

    As far as slopey business class beds are concerned, with *A can avoid this on SQ, AC, NZ, UA, BD, SA and soon CO. 7 out of 21 long haul carriers. For OW it is BA, CX and QF (3 out of 11), for ST it is just DL. Although to be fair, consistently flat beds in long haul business class is rare with all bar BA and SA.

    Genuine premium economy?
    Star Alliance: NZ, SK, NH, BD
    OneWorld: QF, BA, JL,
    Skyteam: AF
    I don’t count KL or UA as genuine premium economy.

    Given *A carriers have the best premium economy hard product (BD) and soft product (NZ), again I don’t think OW or ST can claim accolades here.

    *A Gold lounge vary wildly admittedly, but I doubt any alliance can claim accolades across the board. I’d argue the best food selections can be seen in Asia/Australasia across SQ, QF, NZ, CX. Lounges across North America and Europe are mostly dire to ordinary, with glaring exceptions for the likes of LH 1st class FRA, VS T3 Clubhouse and BA’s Concorde Room.

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