Continental’s Star Alliance Move

You likely won’t be surprised to hear that I had a great time at the bachelor party this weekend, but that means I had very little time to write. So, since every travel blogger on earth has written about the announcement that Continental will be leaving SkyTeam, joining Star Alliance, and instituting a very tight partnership with United, I thought I’d just point to a couple of the more interesting posts I’ve seen.

Make no mistake, this is more than just a codeshare and frequent flier mile deal. Continental will join United, Lufthansa, and Air Canada in a joint venture for all transatlantic flying. Latin and Asia joint ventures will be developed as well. There will be broad systems integration as well.

In terms of routes, the rest of the Star Alliance will be happy to finally have a big international presence in New York. Dan Webb takes a look at route compatibility here.

If you’re a member of United’s Mileage Plus or Continental’s OnePass programs, this will certainly mean changes. Take a look at View From the Wing’s effort to breakdown what this may mean, despite the fact that we have very few details so far. His take? Well, it’ll be a good thing for Continental fliers, but it’s a little less clear for United loyalists.

We don’t know what this will mean for US Airways right now. Is three a crowd when it comes to the Star Alliance in the US? They say they aren’t going anywhere, but they also haven’t had talks with Continental about cooperation either. Could they partner with American now that CO/UA and DL/NW are getting together? Maybe. Or maybe they’ll try a different tactic, as Holly suggests here in PlaneBuzz.

For American fliers, this could be decent news as well. Strange, I know, but it could theoretically mean that getting antitrust immunity with British Airways would become easier, as Terri Maxon discusses on the Airline Biz blog.

There are a lot of different angles to this partnership with a ton of potential ramifications throughout the industry when it develops. I’ll keep you posted as I learn more.

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6 Comments on "Continental’s Star Alliance Move"

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CF, interested for your point of view: I do probably 60% of my flying on OW…when is OW going to sign up anyone new? It feels for me, at least from my corner of the globe that SA is just taking over everything. Air China is now fully on board. Air India will be soon. Possibly Continental. Any chance OW could sign up someone like China Eastern or Jet Airways?

David SF eastbay

CO joining Star Alliance will give the other Star members and flyers better access to Latin America and give UA a better chance to compete against American in that market and against Delta out of New York.

I always hear that Oneworld is a better alliance, but I don’t see that since Star has more partners serving more destinations. Oneworld and Skyteam are a joke when it comes to transpacific travel.


Greetings from the Liberty of the Seas en route to St. Maarten (and hopefully Maho beach to do some spotting). Thanks for the link to my post!


AMEX members have been able to transfer into Air Canada to access Star Alliance for some time now.