IATA held their general meeting in Sydney the other week and one of the news that came out from the event was that Star Alliance was contemplating launching one or two new membership tiers in addition to their Silver and Gold.
SkyTeam has two (Elite and Elite Plus) and Oneworld three (Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald) tiers. In all these three programs, the first level is rather weak offering few benefits.
You can access Star Alliance website here.
Here are the Star Alliance elite benefits structure:
What benefits could additional elite tiers offer?
– Additional checked luggage allowance
– First class lounge access
Seems that Star Alliance employees have too much time on their hands at the HQ without anything worthwhile to do.
Cannot see any reason for other two levels above Star Alliance Gold (Platinum and Diamond?). What could they really offer?
If you look at the Oneworld benefits between the Sapphire and Emerald there isn’t much unless you happen to be flying on an airline that has first class and thus has first class lounges (and you then have access to those based on the Emerald status).
Lufthansa, Swiss and Singapore Airlines all have first class lounges where Star Alliance Gold members currently are not welcomed (and not even to their business class one in case of SQ).
If the qualification requirements are really high, what is the purpose anyway? When you fly enough to qualify for really high top tier such as LH HON, you are on paid business of first most of the time anyway and status related benefits are worthwhile when flying in economy.