I fly United Airlines with a frequency sufficient to earn me 1K status. That stands for more than 100,000 miles per year. I’ve had that status for at least the last three years, and was an Premier Exeutive (next status down) for years before that. United belongs to the Star Alliance, which includes a bunch of other airlines, including Swiss, the airline I am flying today.
So here’s what skeeves me. I can’t pick a seat on Swiss, no matter how far ahead of the flight I book. It’s just not available to non-Swiss flyers. As a non-Swiss flyer (as I understand it, and by now I have spoken to half a dozen or more people), I have to get whatever seat I can at the gate.
Now, I realize that sitting in a chair at 35000 feet and zooming through the sky is a recent and still rare privilege, so maybe I shouldn’t complain. But what’s the point of having flying privileges, and an “alliance,” if there are no privileges for “partner” airlines other than supplying them bodies to fill the seats?
One plus: they have a nice lounge here at Heathrow. See ya in Zurich. Then Boston.