Frequent flyer basics: SkyTeam frequent flyer tiers & benefits

By John Walton, October 11 2011
Frequent flyer basics: SkyTeam frequent flyer tiers & benefits

Travelling with one of SkyTeam's member airlines and not sure what your frequent flyer elite status benefits will be? Confused about how your program's tier translates into another's?

Here's our guide to what you can expect on China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Delta, Korean Air or Vietnam Airlines from Australia, and other SkyTeam airlines' services further abroad.

(On Star Alliance airlines or oneworld partners? Check out those articles instead.)

Elite tiers

Once you fly a certain number of qualifying miles or accumulate enough status credits, your entry level frequent flyer membership is bumped up to an elite tier.

That gives you extra benefits, often including business class lounge access, early boarding, priority check-in, better seats, and extra luggage.

The two SkyTeam tiers: Elite and Elite Plus

SkyTeam has two elite tiers, Elite and Elite Plus, although some of its member airlines split their own members up into more teirs than that.

Elite members don't get a huge amount: priority for reservations waitlisting, airport standby, check-in and boarding, plus preferred seating.

Elite Plus members get those benefits plus airport lounge access, priority baggage, extra luggage allowance, express airport security where available, and guaranteed reservations on sold-out flights.

It can often be useful to explain to airline staff which tier in their airline your SkyTeam frequent flyer status corresponds to. Alitalia may not have a huge amount of familiarity with Korean Air, for example. And just try explaining your Korean Air Morning Calm status to an Aeroflot lounge attendant in the middle of Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport.


  • Aeroflot Silver
  • Aeromexico Gold
  • Flying Blue (Air France, KLM, Air Europa, Kenya Airways, TAROM) Silver
  • Alitalia Silver Ulisse
  • China Airlines Gold
  • China Eastern Silver
  • China Southern Silver
  • Czech Airlines Silver
  • Delta Silver Medallion
  • Korean Air Morning Calm
  • Vietnam Airlines Gold, Titanium

Elite Plus

  • Aeroflot Gold
  • Aeromexico Platinum
  • Flying Blue (Air France, KLM, Air Europa, Kenya Airways, TAROM) Gold, Platinum
  • Alitalia Freccia Alata, Freccia Alata Plus
  • China Airlines Emerald, Paragon
  • China Eastern Gold
  • China Southern Gold, Platinum
  • Czech Airlines Gold, Platinum
  • Delta Gold, Platinum and Diamond Medallion
  • Korean Air Premium, Million Miler
  • Vietnam Airlines Platinum
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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