Star Alliance has decided to give its top 1,000 members a little extra recognition. A laudable initiative in spirit, but in reality it’s more of a joke than anything else.
Recognition for Star Alliance’s top 1,000 members
It seems that Star Alliance has a program to recognize the top 1000 of its members.
How are they identified? Number of miles travelled, expenses, travel classes? No one knows, but given that this is an alliance-wide program, we can also assume that it takes into account the number of airlines used.
In any case, we think it’s a good idea for an alliance to reward those who fly the most with it, in addition to the benefits linked to a given airline’s frequent flyer program, thus giving greater substance to what it brings to the members of a given airline’s frequent flyer program.
In fact, I’d say it’s an excellent idea.
Very cheap recognition…
And what do the members of this presumably elitist club receive? According to what some of them shared on specialized forums, they received a thank-you note and a key ring. A key ring handcrafted in Germany, yes, but a key ring.
And? Nothing more.
An upgrade voucher, a voucher, a status gift for a family member? No.
It’s hard for an alliance to exist for the passenger
Seen in this light, it’s easy to find this initiative stingy and laughable, but it does have the merit of raising questions about how an alliance can exist in concrete terms for a passenger which only deals with the airlines and feels that it only benefits from the alliance in terms of miles and program reciprocity (which is not bad).
Whatever it does, it cannot be a substitute for member airlines and their loyalty programs. It’s a political game, but a real one.
And which passengers are we talking about? These are people who generally have the highest possible status with their usual airline, or even ultra-premium status like Lufthansa’s HON Circle.
So what more can the alliance offer them? In our opinion, not much.
But this reveals the incongruity of the situation. Either the alliance does nothing for them, or whatever it does will never be enough and will look stingy.
Alliances have a real problem with marketing and the perception of their value, and this move by Star Alliance is more of a revelation, a symptom, than a mistake in itself, even if one might also think that if you’re going to do so little, you might as well do nothing at all.
Star Alliance wanted to show its appreciation to its 1,000 most active members, and the clumsy way in which it did so shows just how difficult it is for alliances to convey their value to the end consumer.
What do you think?
What do you think of this Star Alliance initiative?
And in general, what is your perception of alliances? Tell us in the comments.