More upgrade options for Star Alliance

Three more airlines have joined the Star Alliance upgrade program this month, bringing the total number or participating carriers up to 19. The new entrants to the program include Air Canada (December 3), US Airways (December 14) and TAM Airlines (December 17).

Upgrades using the program are still expensive – per segment rather than per direction and they require the purchase of the highest fare buckets – but having the options available is always a good thing, particularly if you’ve got someone else footing the bill for your flexible international itinerary but where they won’t pay for premium cabin service. As always, call the airline where you have points accumulated to redeem for the upgrade awards.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Unfortunately, you can’t waitlist for an *A Upgrade award, at least with United. Therefore, it’s like the lottery, where you have to call back if it’s not available at the time of request.

  2. Indeed, *A upgrade awards do not permit waitlisting which means you’re at the mercy of the operating carrier to open inventory and for you to grab it. And if the program permits their own members to waitlist then you’re behind all of those folks in grabbing the seats.

    Then again, there are many tools out there that will allow you to search for the award inventory you need to get the upgrade. If you can find that then you can just call in and confirm the upgrade without having to call in and have the agents check all the time for you. Check out this for some more info on that:

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