A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me an email about lack of benefits for Star Alliance God members on flights operated by Eurowings (Lufthansa’s low cost subsidiary).
Here’s the email from the reader:
I am a Turkish Airlines Star Gold member TKREMOVED and booked a return flight to Germany on Lufthansa.com.
REMOVED EW4465 departing 15th Nov LHR TO HAM,
REMOVED LH2480 departing 17th Nov MUN – LHR
When I got to Heathrow I was told that Eurowings is not part of Star Alliance, therefore no lounge access, no points etc. Yet a green Star Alliance Baggage tag was attached, the ticked was Star Alliance Stock and if I was Lufthansa/Air Canada/United Star Gold member normal Star Alliance benefits would have applied.
If this had been made clear when booking I would have looked elsewhere – I could have booked same fare through Air Canada or United’s website and got points and lounge access. I am Oneworld top tier with Qatar so BA would have been another obvious choice. The Travel Itinerary I printed to bring to the airport is branded Lufthansa and states 500 points. I consider this miss selling and cannot be justified as Star Gold benefits are applied inconsistently across different members.
I was offered LH Lounge access for £79 – how can they charge this for what would have been a maximum of an hour and a quarter stay.
I am a frequent traveller, also top tier with Oneworld through Qatar and hold top tier Diamond and Spire with Hilton and IHG.
You have to be careful when booking flights operated by airlines that are owned by Star Alliance members. It doesn’t mean that these affiliates would offer any benefits for Star Alliance Gold members, however.
Eurowings is not part of the Star Alliance, although the airline is owned by Lufthansa. As the reader points out, there are some agreements in place between United and Air Canada for their frequent fliers that travel on Eurowings. I would assume that this is partially due to the JV (joint venture) that Lufthansa has with these two airlines for the transatlantic travel.
Lufthansa moved all the regional flying from/to German airports that doesn’t touch Munich or Frankfurt to Eurowings. You have to be careful when buying tickets not to fly on this affiliate if frequent flier benefits are important.
There is also Silk Air that is owned by Singapore Airlines that flies to many regional destinations in Asia where no benefits are offered for Star Alliance Gold members (unless they have KrisFlyer status).
I have flown Eurowings once and had to press the agent to tag my bag to Helsinki when she claimed that I would need to pick it up and check it again during my hour transit in Oslo (would have been impossible).
Many airlines are considering to have some affiliates do short-haul flying and some are thinking of introducing these brands to some low yield long/medium-haul routes also. You have to be careful not to choose them unless they are part of the alliance.