This morning we're taking a good hard look at the mobile and app-based offerings from the three major airline alliances.
Star Alliance, the most wide-ranging of the three major alliances, has the most airline members too: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Blue1, BMI, Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, Swiss International Air Lines, TAM Airlines, TAP Portugal, Thai Airways International, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways.
Surprisingly (and disappointingly) there's no actual app available for the Star Alliance. Instead, the star2go website is a cut-down flight search tool that can charitably be called "functional".
On the plus side, it'll find flights on BlackBerry, Android and Nokia devices (and pretty much anything with a web browser).
It is, however, deeply ugly and the user experience on devices with bigger screens is awful. When we searched for flights from LAX to JFK we had to click through three separate tiny pages of information rather than having the site auto-detect that we could have seen it all on one normal sized page.
The Star Alliance mobile site needs a serious upgrade -- and an app -- to be in the same league as oneworld or SkyTeam. We're surprised that savvy airlines like Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, ANA and Lufthansa haven't put some of their people on it.
The star2go website is available on just about any mobile browser at www.star2go.com.
Check out our full review of airline alliance apps and mobile sites for more information about the offerings from SkyTeam and Star Alliance.