Star Alliance? Not so much

If you fly on United you’ll know they belong to the Star Alliance. They like to tout how they make it easy for all the member airlines to share flights and perks, the reality is quite different. On a recent trip to South Africa I had to purchase my tickets on South African Airways even though I had plenty of miles on United and their website showed flights available. They were “available” that is until I tried to book them and got an error message. Calls to United and SAA fell on deaf ears, they had no explanation as to why flights were available but could not be booked. But wait, it gets worse. On the return flight from Johannesburg I tried to use my United Club award pass to get into the SAA lounge while waiting for my flight. Not only would they not let me in, they treated me like I didn’t exist and lied to me. This is NOT how you treat a loyal customer of United (25 years) and NOT a shining example of their “alliance”.  Here’s a tip for Star Alliance, either truly share all perks between all member airlines or keep your mouth shut about how great your alliance is, because it isn’t so great.