Shanghai Airlines Departs Star Alliance October 31

The Global Traveller has the details on Shanghai Airlines’ departure from Star Alliance.

Shanghai Airlines will leave Star Alliance at 31 October 2010.

The alliance status of some of the Chinese airlines has been up in the air for a while due to the complicated and evolving cross-ownerships in each other – Shanghai is in the process of being merged with China Eastern, which earlier this year announced an intention to join Sky Team. China Eastern is itself partly owned by both Cathay Pacific (Oneworld) and Air China (Star Alliance). So it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that Shanghai Airlines would leave Star Alliance.

Travellers on Shanghai Airlines will now have a period of a year or two without alliance benefits but existing Star Alliance awards on Shanghai Airlines for travel after October will be honoured. Those flying on paid tickets on Shanghai Airlines from November will no longer be able to earn Star Alliance frequent flyer status miles. Whether redeemable miles can continue to be earnt will depend on the frequent flyer program being credited to as some may continue to have Shanghai Airlines as a non-alliance partner and others may drop them.

Shanghai Airlines joined Star at the same time as Air China, and they’re an interesting operation but I’ve never had the opportunity to fly them. I’ve also never booked an award segment with them, as though their inventory shows up without difficulty on the All Nippon website I’ve only ever attempted bookings via US Airways and US Airways agents have never been able to see the flights.

Hey, I managed to get Continental to book (and price the taxes on) an award with a couple of Blue1 segments, that was an incredible undertaking, I suppose I should be thankful.

But Shanghai Airlines, I hardly even knew ya! Presumably they’ll be a part of Skyteam at some point, maybe my dormant Delta miles will re-acquaint me with you in the future.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Flew them on a UA award and as a CO Gold a few weeks ago. Very nice overall in Y! Decent lounge at PVG and speedy check-in.

    Getting the award was a huge pain, though, as some UA agents had to keep requesting and waiting to see if it would come through, which apparently took 12 hours, but when it came time to book, another agent was able to grab and book immediately.

    They would be a *really* nice addition to OneWorld’s network if that could ever happen…just think of the possibility for an AB/FM codeshare connecting Berlin and Shanghai!

  2. That’s a huge loss for Star Alliance. CA coverage is centered around Beijing and its strong international network, but with MU, CZ and FM Skyteam basically covers entire China. In fact, I would say that there is not a single city where Skyteam won’t take you in China now – and there is now an awful big gap in Star Alliance which now has only access to a few routes, albeit connecting most major cities.

  3. One more thing, Delta still has problem price CZ domestic flights, basically, most flights in China on CZ with more than one segment will be priced as 2 one ways, MU has no such problem.

    Also, if you add any US flight after CZ from CAN-LAXwill be considered as a extra trip.

  4. Air China is developing the base in Shanghai.

    Although the base does not provide a equivalent replacement to the size of Shanghai, but with Shanghai Air absorbed into China Eastern and joins Skyteam, this should change down the road.

    Alternative option for Star in China right now is Shenzhen Airlines, which Air China recently assumed full control of it. Shenzhen also has cooperation with Star’s ANA and ASIANA.

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