After years of dithering, Air India is finally set to join Star Alliance, a 22-member global alliance of major international airlines, including Lufthansa, Thai, Singapore Airlines, Air Canada and Air China.
The big beneficiaries will be international travellers. The Star Alliance, the largest such airline network in the world, promises lower fares and offer near-seamless travel to and from any destination served by any of its members.
Apart from slashing transit times, the waiting might get a little easier. All member airlines recognise each other's 'frequent flier' programmes and offer their lounge facilities to premium customers and frequent fliers.
Passengers will also get frequent flier miles on all member airlines and can encash them for upgrades and free tickets with any member airline as well.
With this, an Air India customer can travel by booking a single ticket and even have baggage automatically transferred.