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Your Guide To SkyTeam Airline Alliance

Last updated: October 16,2022
Originally Published: April 15,2022
by Jestan Mendame

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The Skyteam alliance is one of the “BIG 3” alliances in the world of commercial aviation. It’s made up of 19 airlines that have decided to partner with each other so they can pool their resources and provide their clients with better services and benefits.

But first, why do airlines even form alliances in the first place?

One of the main major reasons why airlines form alliances is that it allows them to offer codesharing flights to their customers. Codesharing is an agreement where one airline can sell seats on a flight that is operated by another airline, and this practice allows benefits both the airlines and the passengers. Here’s an example:

  • Airlines can earn revenue on routes that they don’t serve. For example, Delta can sell operated by ITA Airways even if Delta doesn’t have routes to Italy.
  • Passengers can earn frequent flyer miles even on a different airline. For example, a Delta SkyMiles member can still earn SkyMiles on an ITA Airways codeshare flight.
  • Connecting flights are also faster and more seamless between airline alliance members. Passengers can just book one ticket so there’s no need to re-check your luggage during flight transfers.

However, there are more benefits that passengers can get through these airline alliances, and in this article, we’ll discuss the Skyteam Alliance’s airline members, elite status benefits, miles redemption, and more!

Read More: How Long Should You Hold On To Your Points And Miles?

When you join a frequent flyer program from any of SkyTeam’s 19 members, you can earn and redeem miles across these airlines seamlessly.(Video courtesy of SkyTeam)

What Is The SkyTeam Alliance?

Skyteam was formed in June 2000 and it’s actually the youngest alliance compared to its competitors OneWorld and Star Alliance. As of this writing, Skyteam alliance members operate more than 10,062 flights daily to 1,062 destinations in 170 countries.

Here are the current members of the SkyTeam Alliance.

  • Aeroflot (Temporarily suspended)
  • Aerolíneas Argentinas
  • Aeroméxico
  • Air Europa
  • Air France
  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern
  • Czech Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • ITA Airways (replaced Alitalia)
  • Kenya Airways
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • Middle East Airlines
  • Saudia
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic (joining in early 2023)
  • XiamenAir

How To Get SkyTeam Status

There are two elite statuses in the SkyTeam Alliance: SkyTeam Elite and SkyTeam Elite Plus. To get SkyTeam status, you need to sign up to any frequent flyer program that is part of the SkyTeam Alliance and earn a status in your respective program. Once you’ve done that, the status you earned will then have a corresponding SkyTeam status.

Here are the status equivalents for each alliance member:

  • Aeroflot
    • Aeroflot Bonus Silver = SkyTeam Elite
    • Aeroflot Bonus Gold = SkyTeam Elite Plus
    • Aeroflot Bonus Platinum = SkyTeam Elite Plus

  • Aerolíneas Argentinas
    • Aerolíneas Plus Oro = SkyTeam Elite
    • Aerolíneas Plus Platino = SkyTeam Elite Plus
    • Aerolíneas Plus Diamente = SkyTeam Elite Plus

  • Aeroméxico
    • Club Premier Gold = SkyTeam Elite
    • Club Premier Platinum = SkyTeam Elite Plus
    • Club Premier Titanium = SkyTeam Elite Plus

  • Air Europa
    • SUMA Silver = SkyTeam Elite
    • SUMA Gold = SkyTeam Elite Plus
    • SUMA Platinum = SkyTeam Elite Plus

  • Air France/KLM, Kenya Airways, TAROM
    • Flying Blue Silver = SkyTeam Elite
    • Flying Blue Gold = SkyTeam Elite Plus
    • Flying Blue Platinum = SkyTeam Elite Plus
    • Flying Blye Platinum for Life – SkyTeam Elite Plus

  • China Airlines
    • Dynasty Flyer Gold = SkyTeam Elite
    • Dynasty Flyer Emerald = SkyTeam Elite Plus
    • Dynasty Flyer Paragon = SkyTeam Elite Plus

  • China Eastern Airlines
    • Eastern Miles Silver = SkyTeam Elite
    • Eastern Miles Gold = SkyTeam Elite Plus

  • Czech Airlines
    • OK Plus Silver = SkyTeam Elite
    • OK Plus Gold = SkyTeam Elite Plus
    • OK Plus Platinum = SkyTeam Elite Plus

  • Delta Air Lines
    • SkyMiles Silver Medallion = SkyTeam Elite
    • SkyMiles Gold Medallion = SkyTeam Elite Plus
    • SkyMiles Platinum Medallion = SkyTeam Elite Plus
    • SkyMiles Diamond Medallion = SkyTeam Elite Plus

  • Garuda Indonesia
    • Garuda Miles Gold = SkyTeam Elite
    • Garuda Miles Gold EC+ = SkyTeam Elite
    • Garuda Miles Platinum = SkyTeam Elite Plus

  • ITA Airways
    • Volare Plus = SkyTeam Elite
    • Volare Premium = SkyTeam Elite Plus
    • Volare Executive = SkyTeam Elite Plus
    • Volare Executive Per Sempre = SkyTeam Elite Plus
    • Volare Limiteless = SkyTeam Elite Plus

  • Korean Air
    • SKYPASS Morning Calm Club = SkyTeam Elite
    • SKYPASS Morning Calm Premium Club = SkyTeam Elite Plus
    • SKYPASS Million Miler Club = SkyTeam Elite Plus

  • Middle East Airlines
    • Cedar Miles Silver = SkyTeam Elite
    • Cedar Miles Gold = SkyTeam Elite Plus
    • Cedar Miles Platinum = SkyTeam Elite Plus

  • Saudia
    • Alfursan Silver = SkyTeam Elite
    • Alfursan Gold = SkyTeam Elite Plus

  • Vietnam Airlines
    • Golden Lotus Plus Titanium = SkyTeam Elite
    • Golden Lotus Plus Gold = SkyTeam Elite
    • Golden Lotus Plus Platinum = SkyTeam Elite Plus

  • XiamenAir
    • Egret Club Silver = SkyTeam Elite
    • Egret Club Gold = SkyTeam Elite
    • Egret Club Platinum = SkyTeam Elite Plus
    • Egret Club Diamond = SkyTeam Elite Plus

Take note that you cannot combine miles earned from different frequent flyer programs to get a SkyTeam status. Also, you can only have one SkyTeam status even if you have multiple frequent flyer memberships that are eligible for a SkyTeam status.

SkyTeam Benefits

Each SkyTeam status comes with travel perks and benefits that will make your trips easier and more convenient. Here are the benefits that SkyTeam Elite members will get:

  • Dedicated check-in counters
  • Priority boarding
  • Preferred seating
  • Priority reservation waitlist/standby
  • Extra baggage allowance
  • Priority baggage drop-off locations

SkyTeam Elite Plus members will also get the same benefits that Elite members get, plus the following benefits below:

  • Complimentary access to SkyTeam lounges
  • Guaranteed reservation on sold-out fares
  • Priority baggage handling
  • Priority security lanes at select airports
  • Priority immigration lanes at select airports
  • SkyPriority recognition
  • Priority transfers

Skyteam Elite Plus members will have complimentary access to SkyTeam Lounges.
Skyteam Elite Plus members will have complimentary access to SkyTeam Lounges.
(Image courtesy of Canva Pro by atbastian from Getty Images)

Where Are SkyTeam Lounges Located?

There are currently five SkyTeam-branded lounges that operate worldwide. Other These lounges are different from the ones operated by SkyTeam alliance members.

  • Istanbul International Airport– Located at the west wing on Level H and operates 24 hours a day
  • Vancouver International Airport – Located at the west wing of the International Concourse D, near gate 53. You can check its regular schedule here.
  • Dubai International Airport – Located at Concourse D and operates 24 hours a day.
  • Sydney International Airport – Currently closed but this lounge is located at International Terminal, airside, Pier B (East), next to gate 24
  • Santiago (Chile) International Airport – Newly-opened lounge which is located on the first floor of the airport.

There are only three types of passengers who can have access to SkyTeam lounges and these are:

  • First And Business Class Passengers
  • SkyTeam Elite Plus Members
  • Traveling Guests Of SkyTeam Elite Plus Members

You can check SkyTeams lounge access policy for more information.

Earning And Redeeming Miles On SkyTeam Alliance

Frequent flyers have the ability to earn and redeem miles amongst the 19 airline members in the SkyTeam Alliance as if it was just one big airline and not 19 separate airlines.

Miles earning will be based on the marketing carrier’s policies, not the operating carrier. For example, if you bought a Delta-marketed flight to Italy and flew on an ITA Airways aircraft, you will still earn Delta SkyMiles and follow the SkyMiles earning guidelines.

Check the first two letters on your ticket to know the marketing carrier and as for Delta, the tickets will have the letters DL on them.

The same concept applies to miles redemption. If you’re a Delta SkyMiles member, just log in to your SkyMiles and start searching for award flights to destinations that you want to go to. You don’t have to make multiple reservations even if your itinerary requires you to switch planes on multiple SkyTeam member airlines.

Read More: Free Points & Travel Hacking Course That’s Worth Your Time

Bottom line: Is The SkyTeam Alliance Worth Joining?

The bottom line is that all airline alliances provide benefits to the flyers and it doesn’t really matter which one you join. There’s only one thing to consider when joining an alliance and those are your travel patterns. For example, it wouldn’t make sense for someone living in Atlanta, which is a major Delta Airlines hub, to join OneWorld Alliance.

If you’re living in New York, which is a United Airlines hub, then joining Star Alliance is a better option. If you live in Dallas, which is an American Airlines hub, then join OneWorld.

Advertiser Disclosure

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