Brussels Airlines officially joined Star Alliance today.
New to the network are more connections from Brussels Airport, which has now become a Star Alliance hub. These include four destinations in Africa which are currently not being served by other Star Alliance member carrier: Bujumbura, Burundi; Conakry, Guinea; Kigali, Ruanda and Monrovia, Liberia.
In fact, I’ve already used them to make an award booking (through my premium service): two passengers in business class from the U.S. to Kigali, Rwanda, Continental from Newark to Brussels and on to Kigali on Brussels Airlines. Their return flight from Kigali makes a one-hour stop in Entebbe.
Expert Flyer users, note that their award search tool is wrong as of today — if you use Expert Flyer to search award inventory, it will pull up “Z” class which used to be award business. Now that they’ve joined Star Alliance they have standardized their business class awards to come from the “I” bucket as with all other Star carriers.
You can still use Expert Flyer to search Brussels Airlines awards, you just have to specify the fare bucket as I for business class rather than checking the business class award box.
(Note that Brussels Airlines award inventory does not, at this point, show up on the All Nippon Airways website or the Continental website.)
Gotta love more options!!
Update: as noted in the comments, Brussels Airlines award availability is now showing up on the All Nippon Airways award search site (and thus also using the KVS Tool).
Update2: In the comments Expert Flyer notes that they’ve gone ahead and corrected the award classes for Brussels Airlines. And indeed, I should have managed to reach out to them to let them know, rather than just writing about this on the blog. Sorry, guys!