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Your complete guide to SkyTeam alliance benefits

Sept. 16, 2022
4 min read
SkyTeam Livery Air Europa Plane Taking Off
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The 18-member SkyTeam airline alliance connects 676 million passengers annually to more than 1,000 destinations in 170 countries. The alliance began in 2000 with Delta Air Lines, Air France, Aeromexico and Korean Air.

SkyTeam has two elite status tiers: Elite and Elite Plus. Recently, SkyTeam has encountered many changes with China Southern Airlines, Alitalia and Aeroflot all leaving the alliance. In this guide, we'll take a closer look at the alliance's member airlines, status benefits and airline lounges.

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SkyTeam airlines

KLM and Delta are two of SkyTeam's 18 carriers. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Here are the 18 airlines that are part of SkyTeam. (Note: Shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Aeroflot was suspended from the alliance.)

  • Aerolinas Argentinas.
  • Aeromexico.
  • Air Europa.
  • Air France.
  • China Airlines.
  • China Eastern Airlines.
  • Czech Airlines.
  • Delta Air Lines.
  • Garuda Indonesia.
  • ITA Airways.
  • Kenya Airways.
  • KLM.
  • Korean Air.
  • Middle East Airlines.
  • Saudia.
  • Tarom.
  • Vietnam Airlines.
  • Xiamen Air.

Related: Book This, Not That: SkyTeam award tickets

SkyTeam status tiers

AIR FRANCE

SkyTeam rewards its frequent flyers with two elite status tiers: Elite and Elite Plus. These are the benefits associated with both tiers:

SkyTeam Elite

  • Priority reservation waitlist.
  • Priority airport standby.
  • Priority check-in.
  • Extra baggage allowance.
  • Priority boarding.
  • Preferred seats.
  • Mileage upgrades.

North American airline status: Delta Silver Medallion and Aeromexico Club Premier Gold.

SkyTeam Elite Plus

  • SkyTeam Elite benefits.
  • Guaranteed reservation.
  • SkyPriority.
  • Priority security and immigration.
  • Lounge access on international flights.
  • Priority baggage handling.

North American airline status: Delta Gold, Platinum and Diamond Medallion; Aeromexico Club Premier Platinum and Titanium.

Certain exclusions apply to the benefits. For example, preferred seating on Delta flights isn't available for those traveling in basic economy. On Air France, preferred seats are only available for elite members traveling in full-fare, Y-fare and B-fare tickets.

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In practice, SkyTeam is historically known as the worst alliance for those who want their elite benefits honored by all member airlines.

Related: The best websites for searching SkyTeam award availability

SkyTeam lounges

The KLM Crown Lounge is one of 750 SkyTeam lounges. ERIC ROSEN/THE POINTS GUY

SkyTeam has around 750 lounges worldwide. In theory, you should have access to these lounges on international flights if you have Elite Plus or if you're traveling in business class. However, each has a unique access policy, so I recommend referring to the SkyTeam lounge finder for access policy information.

Let's look at how SkyTeam lounge access works at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), one of the airports with the most SkyTeam lounges.

  • Air France lounge, Terminal 2C.
  • Air France, KLM and Saudia passengers.
  • Air France lounge, terminals 2F and 2G.
  • Air Europa, Air France, Czech Airlines, Delta, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air and Middle Eastern Airlines passengers.
  • Air France lounge, Terminal 2E.
  • Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air France, China Eastern Airlines, Czech Airlines, Delta, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Middle Eastern Airlines, Tarom and Vietnam Airlines passengers.
  • Air France arrivals lounge.
  • Air France, Delta and KLM passengers.
  • Le Salon by Sheltair.
  • Czech Airlines and ITA passengers.
  • Salon Paris.
  • Saudia and Xiamen Air passengers.

While you'll have to refer to the SkyTeam lounge finder for the most accurate information, you should note that you only have access to SkyTeam lounges on international itineraries unless otherwise noted. You can bring one guest into the lounge as an Elite Plus member. That guest has to be traveling on a SkyTeam airline, but they don't have to be on the same flight as the Elite Plus member.

Related: The 10 best Priority Pass lounges around the world

Bottom line

While SkyTeam's elite status offers a lot on paper, getting some of the alliance partners to honor the benefits might be harder.

As with all alliance status, the best benefit is almost always the ability to access lounges when you travel. Compared to SkyTeam Elite Plus, more lounges can be accessed through Star Alliance Gold and Oneworld Emerald.

Still, when you travel on another SkyTeam carrier, any benefits are nice to have.

Featured image by (Photo by Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock.com)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Few travel perks and protections.