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If you have a couple minutes, you might as well enter this interesting Star Alliance contest.

The contest is meant to publicize the Star Alliance Upgrade program, which allows you to use a bunch of Star Alliance frequent flyer program miles to upgrade full Y (expensive) fares. So if you are flying United and have a ton of American Express points, you can transfer them to Aeroplan or Continental and use them to upgrade the United flight. Since these are full Y fares, its really only useful for people who shell out for the flexibility or whose companies will pay for full fare coach. I wrote recently that Air Canada is now participating in the program and to see a full list of participants, click here.

So lets get to the fun: the quiz is really easy. The answers to 1-5 are:

  1. There are 27 member airlines in Star Alliance
  2. Customers can upgrade their seat using their own frequent flyer miles or points on other member carriers
  3. Simply use your existing ticket at check-in
  4. All of the above
  5. Over 970

The last question is the real tie breaker- how many kilometers did Star Alliance airlines fly in July 2010. I won’t tell you my guess, but I will give you a couple hints.

1) For the metrically challenged, 1 kilometer = .62 miles, 1 mile= 1.61 kilometers

2) Per Wikipedia, Star Alliance flies 21,200 flights a day

3) There are 31 days in July

So the most educated guess I could make was that there were 657,200 Star Alliance flights in July 2010 (21,200 x 31). The hard part is figuring out the average flight distance. A vast majority of those 657,200 are short haul hops, but there are also ultra long hauls like EWR-SIN (15,000+ kilometers).

1st prize is two round-the-world business class tickets

2nd prize is two roundtrip business class tickets

3rd prize is 3 roundtrip economy tickets

4th prize is 5 10,000 mile/points in your frequent flyer program (or the equivalent)

You can enter once per Star Alliance frequent flyer program. It’s a rainy day in Buenos Aires, so I just entered using my Continental and US Airways frequent flyer programs. I’ll enter again when I have downtime at the airport later.

Good luck!

Tip of the hat to Seth at Wandering Aramean for this one!

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