How the CEO of Star Alliance wants to make your travels easier in the future

Oct 23, 2019

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The CEO of the largest global airline alliance joins Talking Points this week. Jeffrey Goh has been at the helm of Star Alliance, which includes United Airlines, since 2017. He explains how one of his main goals is providing passengers with a more seamless end-to-end journey, through app advancements and offering additional benefits to its top-tier members.

On this episode, tune in to learn how the alliance of two dozen airlines operates. Goh details what it takes for an airline to become a member, the markets it’s looking to enter and the strategy behind its lounges. He also explains how the alliance wants to sync every aspect of a traveler’s trip, as well as providing a simpler way for users to search for partner availability all in one place.

“There is a raft of peripheral transactions that, typically, you would also enter into to kind of supplement your travel. Whether that is buying insurance, accommodation, an Airbnb experience, your last mile transportation, or the ticket to the Ryder Cup, or the baseball [game]. How can we bring that within an ecosystem where you don’t have to get in and out of a system or a portal or a .com to complete that end to end customer journey that you were planning to have?”

When it comes to the Star Alliance lounges, Goh wants experiences to come with a “local wow factor,” which is why an outdoor terrace has been designed at LAX. He tells Brian Kelly how the lounges operate and why Star Alliance is looking to expand into non-hub airports.

“So in Los Angeles, even though it’s branded Star Alliance, it is in fact behind it Air New Zealand that is running the lounge…It simply takes away the burden of 14 other airlines that fly into Los Angeles building their own lounges and opening up only for three hours before that single flight takes off. It just doesn’t make sense, so there is a lot of synergy in bringing the airlines into one lounge.”

Star Alliance announced in June 2019 that it would not be adding new elite tiers despite previously claiming it would at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) summit. Goh says the alliance is looking for creative ways to give its elite members more recognition before adding additional tiers.

“And these benefits don’t necessarily need to be about your immediate flight experience, lounge access, priority boarding, priority check in and all those sort of things. But if you’re a Gold customer, could I give you an upgrade on the Heathrow Express from the airport to downtown? If you are a Gold member, could I give you a preferred rate for a Tumi bag and so on and so forth?”

More on Star Alliance: 

Book this, not that: Star Alliance award tickets

Best websites for searching Star Alliance award availability

7 great mileage programs for booking star alliance awards

You can play this episode above, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Featured image by Alejandra Parra/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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