ITA Airways’ Pretend SkyTeam Membership

Over a yr in the past, ITA Airways joined the SkyTeam alliance. For context, ITA is Italy’s new nationwide airline that launched in October 2021, changing Alitalia. So, how is ITA’s participation within the SkyTeam alliance going? Not properly, should you ask me…

ITA Airways’ non-participation in SkyTeam

ITA Airways is formally a part of the SkyTeam alliance. From the attitude of passengers, the largest advantages of an airline belonging to an alliance embrace reciprocal mileage incomes, reciprocal mileage redemptions, and reciprocal elite perks.

Solely just about none of these issues apply with ITA Airways:

  • You’ll be able to’t redeem miles with SkyTeam companion airways for journey on ITA Airways
  • You usually can’t earn miles with SkyTeam companion airways for journey on ITA Airways, until it’s a codeshare flight marketed by this system you’re crediting to
  • You usually don’t get reciprocal companion elite recognition; SkyTeam Elite and SkyTeam Elite Plus standing from companions isn’t honored on ITA Airways, whereas those that have ITA Airways standing don’t obtain elite perks on SkyTeam companions

For instance, check out Delta’s companion web page for ITA Airways:

Please observe, earn is quickly unavailable on ITA Airways-marketed, ITA Airways-operated flights denoted by AZ*/AZ airline code. Moreover, SkyTeam Elite and Elite Plus advantages might be quickly unavailable on ITA Airways-operated flights.

Equally, I’m considering of going for standing with Air France-KLM Flying Blue, so I figured an ITA Airways evaluation journey can be a great way to rack up some XPs (Flying Blue’s metric for incomes standing). Sadly you additionally don’t earn miles or XPs until you e-book an Air France or KLM codeshare on ITA Airways. Per the Flying Blue web page for ITA Airways:

Earn Miles and acquire XP on flights marketed as Air France (AF) and/or KLM (KL) and operated by ITA Airways (AZ).

It will seem to me that the extent of ITA Airways’ participation in SkyTeam is just portray the SkyTeam brand on planes…

ITA Airways Airbus A350

That is disappointing and complicated

If we’re being trustworthy, the worldwide alliances aren’t fairly as scorching as they was once, as they’ve largely been deemphasized in favor of joint ventures, fairness investments, and many others. You’d assume the most important alliances can be doing all the pieces they may to a minimum of make the journey expertise seamless for vacationers, in hopes of justifying their function.

ITA Airways belonging to SkyTeam for over a yr with out truly belonging to SkyTeam undermines the core worth proposition of the alliance idea, which is that passengers can count on a degree of reciprocity no matter which member airline they fly. I’d perceive if it took a month or two after becoming a member of for issues to stand up to hurry, however over a yr?

I can’t assist however surprise why that is the way in which it’s. Is it SkyTeam or ITA Airways dragging its ft?

If there have been an alliance to have a difficulty like this, I’m not stunned it’s SkyTeam. In spite of everything, SkyTeam usually has the weakest reciprocal elite recognition and the weakest reciprocal award redemptions of any of the “huge three” alliances. That’s to not say that particular person SkyTeam airways aren’t good (SkyTeam has some nice airways), however the alliance isn’t fairly as constant as oneworld or Star Alliance.

ITA Airways Airbus A350 enterprise class

Backside line

Italy’s ITA Airways has now belonged to the SkyTeam alliance for over a yr, but reciprocal mileage incomes, reciprocal mileage redemptions, and reciprocal elite perks largely stay unavailable. That is one thing I actually can’t make sense of…

What do you make of ITA’s unusual non-participation in SkyTeam?

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