United Airlines this summer became the first U.S. based Star Alliance member to join the alliance’s Upgrade Awards mileage-redemption program. Star Alliance said it is the first major alliance to offer such an option—available on member carriers ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, TAP Portugal, Thai and now United.
Star Alliance CEO Jaan Albrecht said other alliance carriers soon would join the program. With United’s participation in Star Alliance Upgrade Awards, our customers have a much larger number of flights on which they can choose to redeem miles for upgrades, especially across the Americas, as well as on transatlantic and transpacific routes, Albrecht said.
Star Alliance Upgrade Awards require a confirmed booking prior to travel, which can then be upgraded through the existing FFP redemption channels through calling reservations or visiting a Web site, depending on carrier’s offer. United senior vice president of worldwide sales and alliances Graham Atkinson said, Participation in Star Alliance Upgrade Awards greatly enhances the benefits our Mileage Plus program offers United frequent flyers. Our customers can now upgrade on other Star Alliance member airlines using miles from their United Mileage Plus account.