Air India is finally set to join the Star Alliance network after a few false starts on July the 11th, and I’m taking a look at what this means for KrisFlyer members.
Singapore Airlines and Air India have already had a partnership for few years whereby KrisFlyer members can earn and redeem miles on Air India flights. You can find the existing earning and redeeming charts here:
Changes as a Result of Air India Joining Star Alliance
Potentially Changes in the Earning and Redemption Charts
We may see that the Air India earning and redemption charts are brought in line with those of the rest of the Star Alliance Members. However that’s unlikely as the Air India charts and Star Alliance charts as far as I can see already have the same rates for earning and redemptions.
Earn Elite Miles when flying Air India
Probably the biggest change for KrisFlyer members will be the ability to earn elite miles when flying with Air India, which hasn’t been something on offer up to date. This could open up some deals for mileage runs on Air India as when I’ve been searching around I’ve often found them to be very competitive. I’ve seen business class flights to London at under $S4000 return which is a fantastic price (of course the product and service could be expected to be relative to the price you pay).
Extra Benefits for KrisFlyer Elite Members
As part of joining the Star Alliance network Air India will be obliged to offer all of the Star Alliance frequent flyer benefits to other Star Alliance carriers. This will mean those that are KrisFlyer Elite members (Silver, Gold, PPS) will be able to get the following benefits on Air India from the 11th July: KrisFlyer Elite Benefits
Introduction of Star Alliance Upgrades Awards on Air India?
The biggest introduction is perhaps going to be the introduction of Star Alliance Upgrade awards on Air India flights which will open up a lot of new options for KrisFlyer members. Air India should be introducing these and will hopefully follow the Star Alliance upgrade award chart that can be found here for Singapore Airlines.
Although the introduction of Air India won’t increase the network for KrisFlyer members (as you can already earn and redeem on Air India) I do see that the extension on KrisFlyer elite benefits will be of good value. The introduction of upgrade awards will also be a welcome change which members will soon be able to benefit on. Having not flown on Air India I can’t really comment on the product or service, but with the introduction on the 787 Dreamliner on routes to place like London from Delhi at least some of the product will have some good features. I personally hope to be trying them out over the next year.