More Star Alliance airport lounges on the way

By David Flynn, July 2 2015
More Star Alliance airport lounges on the way

Star Alliance intends to open more of its own-branded airport lounges next year, based on the same model as its highly-regarded lounge at Los Angeles.

The global airline group also has a Star-branded lounges at Paris and Buenos Ares, and is now in discussions with several other airports “sprinkled around the world” says Star Alliance CEO Mark Schwab.

Schwab says that likely locations for a Star-branded lounge are airports “where we have a significant number of Star carriers” but none which call that airport their home hub.

“In the case of LAX, United Airlines is based in terminals 7 and 8 but we have nine Star Alliance carriers operating out of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, so it made good sense to have a single lounge in a location like that” Schwab told Australian Business Traveller at a half-yearly gathering of Star Alliance airline CEOs in Warsaw last week.

The Star Alliance LAX Lounge is sure to impress
The Star Alliance LAX Lounge is sure to impress

Read: Star Alliance business class lounge review, Los Angeles

Star Alliance is now looking at airports “where typically our carriers are ending up in three or four different lounges being run by third party operators. So the question we ask ourselves is, does it make good business logic to build one lounge on behalf of all the carriers and at a (better) standard.”

Schwab admits that Heathrow Airport is an exception to the rule – while no Star Alliance members are based in London, four of them have opened their own lounges rather than share a single mega-lounge at the Star Alliance Terminal 2.

Singapore Airlines' new lounge at London Heathrow T2
Singapore Airlines' new lounge at London Heathrow T2

“The reason is that those particular carriers have huge operations (at Heathrow), they’re operating double-digit wide-body aircraft and A380s per day, and at the time we were setting up the Star terminal they felt that they should have their own branded lounges."

Star Alliance member Air New Zealand, which designed and operates the group's LAX lounge, last month opened the first of four new-look lounges across Australia and New Zealand.

The Kiwi carrier's Sydney Airport lounge caters for AirNZ's own travellers along with business class passengers on Star Alliance airlines operating out of Sydney.

Air New Zealand's newest lounge at Sydney Airport
Air New Zealand's newest lounge at Sydney Airport

Read: Air New Zealand opens new Star Alliance lounge at Sydney Airport

Schwab also expanded on plans to boost the number of Gold Track express lanes at Star Alliance hub airports to help premium travellers speed through security and immigration, although he remains unsold on the benefits of creating a new Star Alliance Platinum tier.

Read: Star Alliance cool on creating new Platinum status tier

David Flynn travelled to Warsaw as a guest of Star Alliance.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1197

With a new lounge complex nearing completion in MEL and UA already announcing they are closing their lounge, you would have to think MEL is a potential for such a lounge.  Like LAX, NZ would be the logical manager given it has the most STAR flights out of MEL followed by SQ.

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 436

I think they'll redo the NZ Lounge rather than replacing it with a *A lounge - the SYD experiment was just a blueprint.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 38

Agreed. NZ have already announced their intentions to revamp their Koru lounge from later this year. Its most likely the Star airlines lounges in MEL will continue to be NZ & SQ, with the other Star carriers + Virgin just using NZ & SQ lounges

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 733

In MEL, only NZ and SQ actually have a significant number of flights. And SQ prefers to go it alone rather than join in with Star Alliance things (no idea why, their lounges aren't that great).

So a "Star Alliance" lounge would be NZ-run, NZ-dominated, and have just a handful of other Star Alliance flights a day (and probably more VA flights). Might as well keep it a Koru Lounge.

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 436

There's also a Star Alliance lounge in the odd location of Nagoya. I've been there and it was really nothing special (oddly the UA check-in staff directed me to the JL Sakura OW lounge where I was warmly greeted with my UA pass!)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 240

Never quite understood why more alliances don’t combine forces when it comes to things like lounges in main port cities or MEL, (because it’s my town and I’m biased). Melbourne have NZ, SQ, TG and UA from Star Alliance who could join forces like the OneWorld carriers in LAX did. Airlines could then open up a new revenue stream by selling membership to their alliance lounge program, like UA and AC do.

SkyTeam have trialled it elsewhere, although I think in Melbourne they only have GA, CZ and soon CI. Chime in if anyone thinks I’ve missed something.

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 436

I think its because each airline has slightly different access rules for example, VA Lounge members may have access to an NZ lounge but not an SQ lounge etc.

I also assume its cheaper for an airline to operate their own lounge per pax then pay another airline for that paxes entry.

BTW there's no TG lounge in MEL ; )

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

16 May 2011

Total posts 112

MEL SkyTeam carriers include CZ, MU/FM, GA, VN and soon CI. Star Alliance carriers include AI, SQ, NZ, CA, TG and UA, Oneworld carriers include QF, CX, MH and QR.

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