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SkyTeam is the second largest airline alliance in the world (Star Alliance and Oneworld are the other two major alliances). It was founded in 1997 and its member airlines transport over 762 million passengers per year. There are currently 19 airlines that make up the alliance (with Virgin Atlantic set to join in 2023). This represents 14,500 daily departures that serve more than 1,150 airports in 175 countries. There are two elite levels in this program and these are granted in conjunction with status on a member airline.
Delta is my second carrier of choice and I have been fortunate to fly two of the other founding members many times (I haven’t flown Korean Air yet). Aeromexico connects many US cities with Mexico and South America. Air France was the first airline I ever flew to Europe when I was in high school and the nostalgia has made me fly them many times since. Their business class is solid (I hope to someday fly La Premiere). Korean Air is in the process of absorbing Star Alliance airline, Asiana Airlines. I have flown them before and when they cease to exist I imagine I’ll try the new airline they form.
As mentioned, there are 19 airlines that make up this alliance. I have flown with nine out of 19 and want to check out the remaining ten on my list (China Airlines, China Eastern, Garuda Indonesia, Kenya Airways, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, Tarom, and Xiamen Air). The great thing about SkyTeam is the ability to book award flights across carriers. I have used Delta miles many times to book both shorthaul and longhaul carrier flights (although Delta is rather stingy with many partner awards). The process is seamless and these are booked on Delta.com just as I would book any other flight. The same is true when using miles from any other member. Go to its site, search for an award flight, and book as you would a flight operated by that airline.
Each member sets the requirements for earning both status within its program and SkyTeam status. As noted above, there are two tiers: Elite and Elite Plus. I have Elite Plus based on Delta Platinum Medallion® status but if you hold Delta Gold Medallion® or higher you will also see these benefits.
SkyTeam Member Lounges
My favorite benefit is the lounge access. Being SkyTeam Elite Plus grants access to over 750 lounges worldwide. It doesn’t matter what class of service you’re flying, you’ll be able to relax before a flight. Food quality and variety as well as other amenities vary by lounge but they all provide a place to relax, work (with free Wi-Fi), and get ready for a flight. [There are some exceptions with Delta for flights not booked in a premium cabin. Please see the Delta Air Lines page for more information.]