Airline alliance basics for Australian frequent flyers: SkyTeam

By John Walton, January 17 2012
Airline alliance basics for Australian frequent flyers: SkyTeam

Business travellers new to jetting around the world are as much a part of the Australian Business Traveller audience as the seasoned experts. With new airlines joining SkyTeam, here's an updated 2012 version of our series outlining the 'need to know' essentials of the three global airline alliances -- bon voyage!

The SkyTeam alliance is the second-largest of the three global airline alliances, but probably the least relevant to Australians. Only six of its member airlines have flights to Australia, but savvy cost-conscious business travellers often find good deals by connecting through SkyTeam member hubs.

SkyTeam currently has fifteen members and five more due to join, including two further airlines with Australian flights.

Here are the basics to the SkyTeam alliance, its members, frequent flyer benefits, and hubs for Australian passengers.

Key members for Australian travellers

  • Aerolineas Argentinas
  • China Airlines (based in Taipei, not to be confused with Air China)
  • China Eastern Airlines (based in Shanghai)
  • China Southern Airlines (based in Guangzhou)
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Korean Air
  • Vietnam Airlines

Full membership list

Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, Aeroméxico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Saudia, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines, Xiamen Airlines

Future members

Garuda Indonesia, Middle East Airlines (Lebanon), Saudi Arabian Airlines

Frequent Flyer levels and benefits

Specific benefits vary by airline, but here's what you can generally expect:

Elite: preferred seating, plus priority reservations, standby tickets, boarding, and check-in.

Elite Plus: as Elite, plus lounge access, priority lounge access, extra luggage allowance, priority baggage handling, guaranteed reservations on sold-out flights, express airport security.

Airlines flying to Australia

  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern
  • China Southern
  • Delta
  • Korean Air
  • Vietnam Airlines

Key hubs with flights from Australia

  • Guangzhou CAN (China Southern)
  • Hanoi HAN (Vietnam Airlines)
  • Ho Chi Minh SGN (Vietnam Airlines)
  • Los Angeles LAX (Delta)
  • Seoul Incheon ICN (Korean Air)
  • Shanghai Pudong PVG (China Eastern)
  • Taipei Taoyuan TPE (China Airlines)

SkyTeam frequent flyer tiers & benefits

Oneworld: the basics for Australian frequent flyers

Star Alliance: the basics for Australian frequent flyers

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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