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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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