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Make Your Dream Trip a Reality

Lesson 4 of 32

Understand Airline Alliances and Partners

Chris Guillebeau, Stephanie Zito

Make Your Dream Trip a Reality

Chris Guillebeau, Stephanie Zito

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Lesson Info

4. Understand Airline Alliances and Partners

Lesson Info

Understand Airline Alliances and Partners

Today is all about airline alliances and partnerships on the reason we're talking about this is because this will help you this will benefit you so every lesson as you know if you've been with us, every lesson has three goals and our goals for today are teo identify the three major alliances to understand airline partnerships there's a few different kinds will talk through them and then to plan strategically for awards so let's get started. Stephanie what's an airline alliance. Okay, what is an airline lines before we talk about what, exactly? An airline alliances. I want you guys to get out the list you made when you took inventory of all your points and miles yesterday, so in that list, there should be all the different airlines that you fly or you've been collecting miles in and how many points there are. Okay, so you got your list out? What an airline alliances technically it's really? Just a marketing cooperative. Airlines kind of work together. They co chair the cochair flights. ...

So when you fly somewhere when you go to the airport and you see, like your your airline europe flights hasn't alaskan number and has an american number and has a us airways number, and maybe it has a qantas number that doesn't what it basically means is all those airlines are in the same alliance, and they share they can spy and self tickets on that same flight so it's a marketing cooperative they combined sell things together that really doesn't matter that much to you what matters to you is the benefits that you can buy and sell art that you get between airlines I personally like to think of airline alliances mohr as ah family versus a marketing cooperative because I think it makes more sense for what we're doing and it's really one of the most important pieces and like we said yesterday one of the biggest mistakes people make they don't understand this and so they're gathering miles in all different places and then they don't know how to use them and so in an airline alliance you can earn miles from when you fly on any of the airlines within a specific family and you can also spend miles on any of those airlines within a specific family there's three big airline alliances the one I fly on the most is one world now we also talked about this yesterday what's right for you might not be right for somebody else so don't be looking for like oh if stephanie flies one world then I have to fly one world it's the best what's right for me might not be your best solution so one world there's I think twelve airlines here and I believe uh kendrick no not kendrick casing you said yesterday that you have ah airline you have miles in american airlines. That right? And where is it that you want to go? I want to go to greece. You wanna go to greece? Okay, so you could actually use american airline miles to fly degree. So you're collecting your miles in american airlines, and maybe you would want to fly on one of these other carriers that flies to europe, like british airways or iberian. You could use either of those two. Get yourself to europe. A second alliance, the biggest one and the oldest one is star alliance there's the most partners here, we have a number of canadians in our audience. We introduced a couple of you guys have a lot of miles in air canada and then for our american audience, probably the airline that you most recognized is united, right? So but the beauty of this is if I earned my miles in united, I don't have to fly united. I think most people, when they're just starting out travel, hacking, they think I have to get as many united miles as I can, and then I have to use them to go somewhere united flies. But you don't. If you're collecting miles and united, you can use them to fly anywhere that any of those airlines fly. And so, one of the that's, one of the biggest benefits and it's, one of the most important things to understand is you're getting started, and another really important thing to understand is when you're putting when you fly and you're putting those miles in one airline, you want to pick one of those specific airlines, like we said yesterday from inch alliance and focus your earning there, you don't want to be putting miles in united and miles and lufthansa and miles an austrian, and miles and anna, you want to be trying to consolidate, and so when you fly on any of these airlines, you can credit those miles into a single account. So if you're flying on any of the partner airlines and you're collecting your miles and air canada, then if kendrick is flying on lufthansa and he paid for the flight and he's earning miles on that, he doesn't want to open a new love cons account, he wants to use his air canada number to put the miles in that air canada account. The third alliance is the smallest one, and this one is sky team kim said yesterday that she's been collecting miles on delta, and this is actually really great because her dream destination is mongolia and korean air and china eastern are two of the well, only airlines you can use to fly too long betar so she's she's well on her way to focus up to focus on earning their on them delta I would love to know maybe which of these airlines that we've talked about before we go on some of you are familiar with so if we go back to one world for example uh how many of these airlines have you heard that would you raise your hand and I'll call on you? You've heard of any of these airlines scott which of these airlines that you probably heard of all of them actually I've heard of all of them great anybody else matt is biggest one in australia that's right that's right that's originally from australia so you're familiar with qantas the national carrier any others great. So cafe from hong kong air berlin from germany yes jin lin american british airways guitar okay, great. So maybe a third or so and bill british airways american iberia I think I've been on thin air to actually okay, great. It seems like most people here from the work may be a third or so of the alliance partners att leased in one world let's look att star alliance briefly love someone to raise their hand and say which airlines you're familiar with here yes kim united in time okay anyone else? Yes kendrick and ida and united airlines air canada and united have you heard of any of the other carriers at all? I've heard of them but I have not been on them. Okay, so this is a great point. So you you have already have a lot of miles as we saw the other day, you actually have traveled a bit, but you weren't familiar with all of the other carriers available in starlight. So this is a really key point that we're gonna be talking about throughout the course is that by turning these miles in air canada and your example, you actually have access to this whole world wide network. Is there someone else who wanted to contribute tap porch you're familiar with their new zealand and top four to go in case you were gonna say united air canada and culpa. Okay, well, that's great cooper from panama? Yes, hi. Yeah. Singapore airlines there's another one, right? Actually phone on it's lovely. Okay, I have flown singapore airlines as well. I think we might have some examples of that's. Okay, that's great. So let's just do one more I'll keep going. So we talked about sky team on stephanie mentioned delta. She alluded to delta being a partner with korean airlines that's actually, how I went to mongolia is by using delta miles to redeem on korean error any other sky team airlines here that you're familiar with? Yes, lynn and klm. Ok. How was aeroflot? Um, it was it was good the second time there was good to see. Oh, that's a that's. A great answer. You know, people always. So I get a lot of emails from people traveling and everyone's gonna get one that says I've booked a flight on aeroflot. Is that okay? I'm actually it's, actually fine. It's actually. All right, there was, like, quite a number of years ago, but recently they're actually had a good experience. So yes, scott, I flew around the world on your own flock. Oh, great. And you made it back. Yes. And I just kissed the ground. Yeah. That's great. Okay, so the whole point is there's all these different, you know, airlines within the alliance and it's helpful to be aware you don't have to memorize them. You just want to know that they're out there. Okay, so stephanie used the analogy of these alliances being kind of like a family. Eso airlines also maintain bilateral partnerships, seeing kind of think of this as airlines have this family, but some airlines have friends as well. So there's an example. We'll talk about a couple of them alaska airlines. For example, here in the pacific northwest, a lot of people are familiar with alaska airlines. If you're watching on the east coast, if you're watching in canada somewhere else, maybe you don't know a lot about alaska, maybe you think, like, why should I care about alaska airlines? But the whole point of this is to show you how you can benefit from airline partnerships. So with alaskan airlines miles, for example, you can redeem them to go on all of these other carriers that you can see here so you can go on emirates, which is my dream trip. I just talked about a couple days ago, you can go on quantities to australia, like matt mentioned, you can go on cathay pacific toe, hong kong, they have some really open stopover rules, which we'll talk about it. Some points of the point is that alaska airlines miles can actually be very beneficial to not travel on alaska there's lots of other examples like this, I'll just do one more. Did you want to jump in? I think a good example of that is if you're watching from outside of the u s a lot of times we hear, well, I don't live in america and american programs, you can earn the most miles in, and I live in you know, I live somewhere, I live in germany, and lufthansa doesn't. You can't earn miles the way you can in an american program. Well, there's no reason, no matter where you live, you can join any airlines mileage programs and take advantage of the benefit. So if you're watching from dubai, you can have in alaska airlines mileage account and use the benefits of the program absolutely super critical point we'll keep referring to that. Maybe one more example, just raise your hand if you've ever heard of etihad airways, maybe a third of the group and most people have not heard of etihad. Eddie had is the national carrier of the united arab emirates, so based in abu dhabi and flying all over the world, they have flights to new york, toronto, chicago and los angeles here in north america in dallas now, and dallas now just lunched and then lots of flights to africa, lots of lights throughout europe to australia. The reason why this is significant is we're not necessarily telling everyone go on open and eddie had a count, but eddie had is a bilateral partner with american airlines, so you can earn american airlines miles, which will be talking about throughout this course a whole big week about this next week you can earn them and then redeem them to fly on anti hot which is a wonderful carrier had this luxury travel experience actually both of us last year we're able to travel in anti had first class from los angeles the new route that had just launched from l a to abu dhabi using these american airline miles I forget what the price of this ticket would have been if we had paid cash for it but would have been probably five thousand dollars or more least at least and we paid less than a hundred dollars in taxes and you can see we had a little sweet with the closing door and a personal chat it was pretty amazing personal chef came to talk to us about you know that there's a menu but he's like I'll just make you anything you want pretty so these are kind of amazing experiences that will show you about an understanding partnerships is really key to the process so a lot of people get frustrated because they don't understand like if they have these miles that can do so much with them yes yeah chris just a quick question you used the phrase bilateral partner can you just make sure we all understand sorry big words there and yeah right yeah, I know. So so bilateral partnership I just mean a partnership between two airlines, right? So these examples let's go back talked about alaska airlines so alaska has individual partnerships with all of these other airlines they're not a family they're just friends so in that partnership you can earn these miles in alaska and then redeem them on all of the other one so that's kind of how the friends friends with benefits works there let's go I think it does and so if I'm flying on saying this example klm then same thing I can use those on alaska's well probably problem probably it's a little bit more complicated but generally the answer is yes okay yeah they each have individual rules but it's actually pretty simple to figure out it's um it's like when you're in when you have a friendship you you negotiate your friendship with whoever the person is but when you're in your family you kind of inherit some cultural rules right? So but you will notice with the alaska that some of the partners some of the friends that alaska has they belonging to another alliance whereas alaska doesn't actually belong to an alliance so it could be a little bit confusing yes, scott but well, you know and families sometimes there are problems so those of us who are who are embedded in the alaska airlines program for example way are watching with great interest in there deteriorating separation slash divorce with delta airlines and that impacts the way that we use our miles it does it does and so I'm concerned about how do you monitor familiar familial relations that are deteriorating like that well, relations are continually changing it doesn't it's not like it's changing month by month for the most part like these partnerships tend to exist for years at a time like the alaska and delta partnership I mean at least at the time that we're filming this yes, that relationship maybe has declined a bit but it does still exist but there is still a partnership so if I would say that the relationships are always changing the award charts which we briefly talked about yesterday those things are always changing a little bit too and actually in tomorrow's lesson we're going to show you where it's going to specifically show you how to track deals to earn miles but in learning that we're going to show you kind of how to keep up with the news of points and mild points in miles world and as you start to be able to track your own deals you'll be able to track some of these changes. All right? We want to make sure that whenever you're watching this course that it's still super rela do you were gonna give you lots of resource is that as you kind of follow along, you'll be able to see what the current situation is like scott alluded to okay, so there's a few other airlines that we haven't touched based on so far these are some budget airlines like jet blue like southwest, most people are familiar with that. Canadians westjet, you're familiar with frontier based out of denver, there are some others around the world there's, ryanair, easyjet lots of different carriers. These carriers aren't bad, they have their own loyalty programs. There are things you can do with them, for sure, but in focusing on this concept of a dream trip, we're helping people think bigger. We want people to go anywhere in the world. We want people to take the the vacation of their lifetime, so these airlines tend to be really good for commuting if your dream destination is winnipeg or tulsa, you know, west jet or southwest are great for that, but we're focusing on some partnerships with bigger airlines that are going elsewhere. And so we talked about this a little bit already. Why this matters people get frustrated because they don't understand alliances or partnerships. They don't understand that if they have american miles it's, not just american, they can redeem them on they don't understand, you know, if they've earned miles in one program that could be applied, you know, all over the world, for all kinds of great trips and in fact, that's, often the very best value that you can get, we talked about, you know, international viewers. It's often the best value to earn miles in us programs and it doesn't mean that you have to fly us airlines all the time. Not everyone wants to do that way don't want to do that all the time, but we like to earn all these miles and then used them on etsy had like I just showed you our singapore airlines or qantas or just for all kinds of experiences so that's, why we're kind of focusing on that now we'll talk a little bit more as we go along, but I believe we have a workbook activity we dio for our workbook activity today we want you to look at all the different alliances in the workbook we have a list of all three alliances and all the airlines, and we want you to look at that if you don't have the workbook, you can download it from the course page if you look at those three list, what we want you to do is to identify the airlines that you commonly fly. We want you to put a star next to the airlines that you fly the most, and then we want you to circle the airlines that you've think you'll be able to use on your dream trip, so if you want to go to mongolia, you know you can get there on korean, you know you can get there on chinese turn so we're just trying to look and see teo help you have a strategy about where you're earning your miles and how you're going to spend your miles. It will give a framework toe when we look tomorrow, how to earn points of miles awesome. So our in studio audience is completing that. Now if you're watching at home and you have the workbooks and you could do that, if you just have a notebook or a piece of paper that's also fine, and while people are completing that, I'm actually going to invite someone to come and join us up here on the hot seat actually going to ask bill if you don't mind, come on up and welcome to the travel hooker hot seat, everyone give him a round of applause. There's a seat for you there, sir, how you doing? Great. So we actually want to talk to this a little bit because we realize it can be overwhelming. We hear about alliances and partnerships we want to talk through maybe a real world example of earning points in one program and then putting them to good use in an airline partnership. So welcome, bill, thanks feel free to recline your seat a way we're talking briefly the other day when we kind of went around on you told us. I believe you said your dream destination with hong kong but you've been there before. Can you tell us a little bit about that? Um, my dream at this point is actually now that I'm an empty nester with my wife to start doing some things together. And she's never been to asia spent a lot of time in asia no better city than to fly to start it off than hong kong that's great. Hong kong is one of my favorite cities as well. It was one of the first places I went when I was pursuing this quest to visit every country in the world. So I think that's a great choice. How we're gonna get you there. Um, the airlines I have flown on the most over the years have been british american and singapore, british american and singapore. So yesterday we did this exercise about taking stock or taking inventory of your current miles. Do you mind sharing a little bit about what you currently have in those programs? Yeah, I have about one hundred forty thousand on british. Not not someone an american have spent all those over time. Okay, but I do have a lot of membership rewards, miles dynamics. Okay, so so so I see two possible solutions for you if you want to keep burning the same way that you are singapore airlines is in the star alliance so if you want to fly singapore airlines, you're going to need some miles in the star alliance but luckily for you, singapore airlines is a member of the membership awards program and we're gonna talk more about flexible spending credit cards and awards programs next week but you could possibly transfer some of those membership rewards points to singapore and fly singapore or you could use some of those british airways miles and fly uh airline like cathay pacific the amazing airline want chris and my both favorites um you could find airline like cathay pacific to hong kong actually like cafe in singapore a lot both I don't know if you have a preference or what we're gonna you know set is your goal going forward before and it's it's a wonderful airline too depends if you want a door not because singapore has a door in the first class suites and kathy doesn't really great service that's really tough you know they have good good lounges so these are good problems to have anything else for bill no that's great job bill very much you know. So if we had time we could go around with everybody and talk this through, but the great point about it is that the miles that you learn in one program can be deployed a redeemed often for much, much better value elsewhere and I believe every day has a dream trip challenge today our challenge is something about one world way want to you to name three one world airlines that you could use to fly to australia and we want you to tweet that to us using the hashtag dream trip if you're still a little stumped by this, don't worry a little hint as you could goto oneworld dot com and search on where we fly and look at the destination map that's awesome so if you're watching online tweet us hashtag dream trip and every day has a giveaway so today's giveaway is a gogo wifi inflight internet pass and so we will randomly choose one of those one of those people responding to us on twitter and award that that gogo inflight pass it's been a wonderful week it's been our first week getting started here in the dream trip yes kanna yeah before we talk about the end of the week I'm wondering if anybody has questions what a crazy idea what we just shouldn't really take questions let's do that my fault yes please uh question it's a very practical questions so I wasn't really aware of the alliance as much, so if I know I want to take korean airlines to mongolia and I'm flying on delta so when I book the ticket for a delta domestic flight, am I putting a korean airlines number in there? Or am I putting delta's number in and later transferring delta miles that's a really great question um, for the most practical basic purposes that we're starting out with right now, what you would probably want to do is focus all of your earning on delta, and so no matter what airline you're flying in star alliance, you would want teo put all those miles into the delta bucket, and one of them really important thing we actually didn't say is you cannot share miles between airline programs. So even though delta and korean are in the same family, you can't put their miles together, you use them independently, so you have to have enough miles in delta to be able to purchase a ticket or enough miles in korean to be able to purchase a ticket. So I would say for basic kind of for basic purpose, you would probably want to focus your earning on delta. Okay, great thiss might change when we talk about credit card strategy and there's some other ways to do it, but stephanie's answers totally correct. If your goal is to use delta skymiles, you know, to travel on korean error, then you're always using your delta number you never need to get a korean member, you don't have to worry about that, you can use that number across the whole lives great question anybody else mat trying to just pick one and picking one or do you kind of say like trying catch old buckets? Yeah also a great question it really depends on your needs on how much you plan to travel I would say if you're out there and you just have one big big dreams in mind and you don't travel that much and your goal is like over the next thirty days I'm going to work toward that then I would say you pick one, you pick one and earn all the miles that you can and really focus on that if you're more like us and travel is kind of a lifestyle or you want to take multiple dream trips, you want to kind of have the option of traveling you know frequently I think junior is location independent, right? You were telling us the other day that you travel frequently between seattle in south africa and a number of other places you have a home, but you're always going places if travel is a lifestyle, then I think it's good to diversify on to focus on earning miles and points in a lot of different programs and we'll talk about how to track your miles and keep up with everything as we go along there are several airlines emirates included that aren't part of the alliances and you you've explained some like singapore was another one if we want to learn about partnerships of those airlines have is that just on their websites or where do you think the easiest way well actually show you an example of that when we talked more through chris's dream trip and how we could book a flight on emirates? But the easiest way to do it is to go to the specific web page of the airline that you think you want to fly and then look at who they partner with usually there's just a tab like partners sometimes it's under earned the urn mile section and you select flights and then it will show you all their airline partners and it will usually tell you their alliance partners and then it will also explain the the bilateral partnerships and you can see kind of what the give and take is in that relationship there that's great and all right, I have a question and I just want to make sure I've got it all together. So we talked about my dream trip is paris but how do I know exactly where the best place to look to know what all the airlines are for paris for that particular destination that I should be considering? So this is yeah, this is a great example because paris is different than mongolia. Yeah, a couple of different reasons, but one of them in terms of the airlines fly their right so they're so mongolia is quite limited paris there are lots of airlines that fly there. I mean, not paris charles de gaulle is a sky team hub, so air france has lots of flights there air france partners with delta that maybe like one quick and easy logical answer, but I would really say it's more about let's look at your whole situation. Are you earning miles and points in any other program? Because paris is not that difficult to get to with any any of the alliances. All right, so if you are focusing on one world program or a star lance or something that is just kind of independent, that just has airline friends like alaska it's going to be possible and a variety of ways I would say, if you if you have a destination in mind and you really don't know how to get there, um, like for me for bora bora, how I kind of figured that out is there aren't that many ways to get there and went well, I really like to use is really simple it's kayak, kayak dot com you guys familiar with it? One of the simplest ways to search for airlines our search for plane tickets, but they have this really interesting feature in the left hand side bar where you can actually it's a search by alliance so it will sort by alliance for you so you search where you want to go you sorted by alliance and it will show you all the different ways you can get there using skyteam carriers all the different ways you can get there using one world and so it's a really good way tio if you have you know united miles and you're thinking about going to paris you could search that by star alliance and what kind of give you ideas of how you could possibly five fly that way way more questions got your suggestion to sign up with a bunch of different programs is somewhat counter intuitive to me because I'm so intent on getting elite status in order to earn the bonus miles can you address that? Of course so we talked about our travel profiles the other day and would you remind me what your trouble profile wass thinkyou're rock star sending rockstar bath hacker and think something like a rock star jetseta m stuck in an ascendant is working on it okay, so elite status is something that we'll talk about in the whole lesson coming too what lesson twenty two you're interested in elite status going lesson twenty two job however just briefly answer the question directly I would say there are lots of ways to earn miles so you're concerned about status with alaska airlines a cz you probably know you only earn status through actual flights right. Whether through alaska or partner words. So there's all kinds of other ways to earn miles and points that we're gonna be talking about in particular next week. I have nothing to do with status, so that would not affect your path towards elite status. With alaska at all. You could continue to build up balances in other programs while still achieving your inner struggle.

Class Description

Who wouldn’t love to know how to earn enough miles and points for two airline tickets and three hotel nights? In Make Your Dream Trip a Reality, Chris Guillebeau and Stephanie Zito can show you how it's done. 

Travel feeds our creative spirits, allows us to discover new viewpoints, and fuels our work. In this class, you’ll find out how you can make your dream of journeying to the world’s most far-flung places a practical and affordable reality.

Chris and Stephanie have made it their life's mission to help others experience all the thrill and adventure that world travel can offer. In Make Your Dream Trip a Reality. 

Chris and Stephanie will help you: 

  • Master the system of Frequent Flier miles and hotel points
  • Set up a personal points-earning strategy – even if you don’t fly
  • Upgrade your dream vacation experience at no cost to you

In short, daily lessons, Chris and Stephanie will cover all aspects of how to plan your vacation including financing your trip. You’ll learn how to set your savings and point-earning strategy so you are armed with everything you need to relax and enjoy your vacation once you depart. They’ll teach you how to book flights and hotels so you get the very best experience at the absolute best rate. You’ll also get insider tips from professional globetrotters on traveling solo and as a family.

By the end of this course you’ll learn everything you need to know to save money, minimize hassle, and make the most of your travel experience.

Your dream destination, and a life of regular traveling, is now available to you – no matter your budget. 

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

40 Ways to Use Ultimate Rewards Points

Dream Trip Workbook

7 Habits of Highly Effective Travel Hacking Couples

Dream Trip Credit Card Tracker

Upgrade Unlocked Sneak Peak

10 Tips for Travel Hacking Families

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Highly recommended! This is one of the best CreativeLive courses I've ever taken and a great value. There's a lot of excellent information here, presented in a fun and accessible way. The CL "boot camp" approach was perfect for this topic because it dispenses the material in bite size pieces with very doable action steps along the way. The corresponding Facebook group adds even more value and camaraderie. It's a great place to clear up any questions or confusion that may come up. What an amazing resource! By the end of the course, not only will you have learned a tremendous amount, you will actually have something tangible to show for it!

a Creativelive Student

This is a fabulous course. Stephanie and Chris are both so knowledgeable, helpful, and easy going. They clearly love and practice what they're teaching. And they're open to learning from the students too. The course is packed with information, delivered in an immediately useful way. In fact, they emphasize again and again that the point is to USE the information to REALLY take your "Dream Trip" soon! The Facebook group is the best I've ever experienced with an online course. Stephanie and Chris are remarkably present, responsive, understanding, and generous with their knowledge and experience. I highly recommend this course.