Ending a seven-year wait, the national carrier got formally inducted into the alliance at an event in Delhi on Friday. "From today we open up a very different world for our passengers, who can travel to over 1,300 destinations right across the network and enjoy world-class service, better connectivity and seamless travel wherever they go," Rohit Nandan, chairman and MD of Air India, said.
Star Alliance is the world's largest global airline alliance, with its headquarters in Germany. In order to become a member, an airline must comply with the highest industry standards of customer service, security and technical infrastructure. Together, the member airlines share their resources to offer convenient and comfortable travel to passengers.
Now, if you have to change flights, say thrice, to reach your destination, you need to check in only once (passenger and baggage) and the rest will be taken care of. "Passengers henceforth do not need to collect their boarding passes for connecting flights and where permitted by local customs regulations, baggage too will be sent through to the final destination," an Air India spokesperson said.
Moreover, frequent flyers can enjoy a host of benefits by accumulating frequent flyer miles, making use of the 27 member airlines, and redeeming them for air travel, or for upgrading to a superior class, access to lounge, or priority bookings, etc.
Passengers who are members of the Maharajah Club or Golden Edge Club of the national carrier will automatically become members of Star Alliance Gold, giving them access to more than 1,000 lounges across the global network. Also, they get to check in at specially designated counters, carry extra luggage, and receive priority boarding and baggage delivery.
The alliance's most popular, Star Alliance Round The World fare (RTW) allows customers to travel round the globe.
Star Alliance CEO Mark Schwab said: "We know that the 'new' Air India is looking forward to providing the Star Alliance customer benefits to many more travellers."
Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 18,500 daily flights to 1,316 destinations in 192 countries.
Frequent flyers' benefit
Upgrade to superior class of seating
Use flyer miles to access lounges across the world with free refreshments, internet
Priority while checking in and security clearance