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New customer benefits revealed

CHICAGO, May 14 /PRNewswire/ --

Star Alliance, the airline network for earth, today marked its first anniversary.

Star Alliance comprises Air Canada, Lufthansa German Airlines, SAS - Scandinavian Airlines System, Thai Airways International, United Airlines and VARIG Brazilian Airlines.

In just one year, Star Alliance has already delivered significant customer benefits to the traveling public.

Members of any Star Alliance frequent flyer program accumulate and redeem mileage points on all scheduled flights operated by all six airlines. In addition, frequent flyer miles collected on paid qualifying Star Alliance flights count toward achieving top-tier status in the frequent flyer plan of the traveler's choice. All top- and middle-tier customers now earn the new designations of "Star Alliance Gold" and "Star Alliance Silver," respectively, which are recognized by all Star Alliance carriers and ensure that these customers receive the highest level of service at airports around the world.

The most frequent flyers will be eligible for new benefits introduced today:
* Priority check-in: Star Alliance Gold customers will be entitled to priority check-in and baggage handling when they arrive at the airport and board the aircraft and, where available, priority treatment to avoid line-ups at security check-points and customs.

* Priority wait list: Star Alliance Gold and Silver customers will be placed on a reservations waitlist for their desired flight or fare if it is sold out and be given priority as seats become available.

* Priority standby: Star Alliance Gold and Star Silver customers will be given priority on airport standby lists for most flights offered by Star Alliance carriers. Furthermore, all Star Alliance customers can re-book flights with another Star Alliance carrier without the issuing airline's prior endorsement.

The major benefits already offered to Star Alliance customers include;
* Reciprocal lounge privileges: Customers of one Star Alliance carrier who qualify for lounge access with their home airline are welcome at Star Alliance airline lounges around the world.

* Better scheduling: By working together to adjust arrival and departure times, the Star Alliance carriers have improved connection times between their flights, reducing waiting times for customers en route to their final destinations.

* Convenient ticket purchase, check-in, and boarding: Star Alliance carriers are locating their airport facilities in the same terminals to permit ease of transfer between Star Alliance airlines. Star Alliance carriers are also setting up joint city ticket office facilities. In April the first Star Airport Terminal was inaugurated in Frankfurt and in Toronto all members now operate from the Air Canada terminal.

* Improved access to affordable fares: Over the past year, the Star partners have introduced much more flexible round-the-world fares which have greatly increased the attractiveness of these low tariffs to business travelers. Furthermore, travelers looking to purchase discount fares now enjoy much more flexibility through the ability to combine travel across all partners.

* Improved customer service: When traveling on more than one Star Alliance carrier, customers can get boarding passes at the point of departure at key airports for each leg of the journey, thereby avoiding the need to check in again at transfer points. Any Star Alliance carrier is able to resolve customer issues across the whole network.

Together, the member airlines of Star Alliance serve more than 640 destinations around the world. On average, a Star Alliance flight takes off every 15 seconds, around the clock.

For further information about Star Alliance, visit the Star Alliance Web site:

SOURCE Star Alliance
-0- 05/14/98
/CONTACT: Richard Martin of United Airlines, 847-700-2597/
/Web site:

CO: Star Alliance; United Airlines
ST: Illinois
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