Aerolinas Argentinas Joins Skyteam

Delta Points points me to the news release that Aerolinas Argentinas joined Skyteam today.

But… don’t expect any reciprocal elite status recognition for awhile:

In keeping with SkyTeam’s focus on enriching the customer experience, Aerolíneas Argentinas will implement SkyPriority – SkyTeam priority airport services for Elite Plus, First and Business Class passengers worldwide – by the end of 2012.

(Emphasis mine.)

The majority state-owned airline, which was re-nationalized in 2008, has been in the process of joining since November 2010. I would have imagined that being ready to provide elite recognition would have been a precondition to actually joining the alliance. I guess the folks at Amsterdam felt they had waited long enough.

Aerolinas Argentinas flies Miami-Buenos Aires as their only US route though I have to imagine that they’ll eventually add more US service. They used to fly to New York JFK and Orlando.

Their business class is antiquated. But it’s another option for redeeming Delta Skymiles, and as Lucky pointed out in June after Aerolinas Argentinas became a Delta redemption partner, you could even redeem Miami-Buenos Aires-Sydney, with a Buenos Aires stopover. Not that I’d want to travel that route myself.

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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. You’re confusing “SkyPriority” with status recognition here. The of course will be honoring STE+ benefits like baggage allowance and check-in, but implement the SkyPriority facilities until the end of the year.

  2. The whole “SkyPriority” concept was only extended beyond Delta this year (late spring/early summer). I suspect there won’t be so many problems with elite recognition, just consistent signage for SkyPriority across their network.

  3. We’ll see — they comb through the words on these things pretty carefully and say “will implement SkyPriority – SkyTeam priority airport services for Elite Plus, First and Business Class passengers worldwide – by the end of 2012.” They do NOT say “will implement SkyPriority branding for priority airport services by the end of 2012” they say that they will implement those services by the end of 2012.

    And to be clear “SkyPriority” is nothing more than branding. The benefits existed before the name. Lounges, checkin, baggage, etc. That’s something elite programs have offered for years…

  4. The press release introducing SkyPriority from back in January discusses how it will reach over 1000 airports by 2013, so it’s clearly branding and that’s how I would interpret the statement in the joining press release. I would not expect problems with standard partner elite privileges on AR…at least not any more than you might run into with any other SkyTeam member.

  5. @Mitch the rest of the paragraph contrasts with having to wait for status recognition, pointing out the reciprocal mileage earn and burn starts now…

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