Jared Blank thinks that in my excitement over Continental’s entry into Star Alliance that I’m too hard on Skyteam.
He agrees that Star will be better for Continental Onepass members in terms of “first class options, lounge access and choice of carriers ”
And he agrees with some of the limitations of Skyteam
Was it the best alliance out there? No. Did they have a large array of world class carriers associated? No. Did Continental and Delta have miserable – truly miserable – reward availability, especially in business? Yes.
But he defends Air France, KLM, and Alitalia business class availability. And his priorities were “quick trips to Latin America, or a long weekend in Europe.”
But I think the defense of Skyteam here is a bit of a straw man.
I’m not saying it’s impossible to redeem for business class transatlantic, though I do find it much easier to do so with Star than with Skyteam. Air France and KLM availability aren’t terrible, but Lufthansa and Swiss availability are in my experience better. And have you ever tried to redeem miles for more than one person in business class to Asia on the same flights? It’s relatively easy with Star, an incredible challenge with Skyteam.
Jared liked the Skyteam Latin America route network, but in fairness much of this was provided by Continental which is obviously retained by the move to Star. Sure, perhaps the loss of partner Aeromexico is a blow for the pure Latin America flyer, but those people are better off with oneworld to begin with.
Folks used their Continental miles before, they just have many more and better options to do so now. The world is much much better for Onepass members.