It looks like Star Alliance will be taking the concept of airline alliances to the next level, by adding an intermodal partner.

Star Alliance adding intermodal member

The Star Alliance has 26 member airlines. The alliance has always been for airlines, but that will change soon, as reported by Aero Telegraph. The alliance is working on a model of partnership called an intermodal partnership.

The first partner will be a European company. When asked if it was a rail company, Goh said he was not that far off.

Star Alliance is expanding beyond airlines

This is an intriguing concept

It seems like a European rail operator will be the first partner added to the Star Alliance. There are a few thoughts.

  • We’re seeing airlines in Europe sell “air & rail tickets,” whereby you can book a ticket that includes travel on both an airline and a train; this is becoming increasingly common as we see European airlines cut some shorter routes, including for climate reasons
  • From a consumer standpoint, the best aspect of airline alliances is that you can take advantage of select elite perks, and both earn and redeem miles, when traveling with these partners; I’m curious to what extent we see elite perks added, and what mileage earning and redemption options will look like
  • It’s anyone’s guess which rail operator will be added as a Star Alliance member; there are many options (especially since Star Alliance airlines in Europe already cooperate with some), but frankly I don’t really have a great guess as to which will be added
  • On the surface it seems most likely that it would be a German or Swiss rail operator added, based on Star Alliance airlines based in those countries, and the ability to sell tickets that include travel on both forms of transportation
  • Star Alliance airlines all have select aircraft in the Star Alliance livery, so will this new partner also have a (probably) train in the Star Alliance livery? That would be cool…

I am curious to learn more about this. It would be cool to see a major airline alliance add a rail partner. It is hoped that the benefits aren't watered down too much, especially for those traveling by rail.

Star Alliance is adding a non-airline member

Bottom line

The Star Alliance plans to add a member in the near future. It sounds like it could be a rail operator, and it will be a European company. This is an exciting extension of the traditional airline alliance concept. We need to know which company will be the first non-air partner and what benefits they will have.

Someone has a guess as to what will be added to Star Alliance. What perks are you expecting?

exp-player-logo Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder