In an interview with BTN airline, SkyTeam chairman Leo van Wijk said that SkyTeam will introduce a mileage upgrade program among the majority of the major SkyTeam carriers next summer. He said the upgrade program will be tested on carriers flying between the U.S. and U.K. and France in the fall of this year, “Then we will roll it out in the course of 2009, in principle, among all the SkyTeam carriers that can participate, because it does require certain IT functionality that is not available for all SkyTeam carriers.” We will keep you updated on the program and which members will participate when more information is available.
Looking at the upgrade efforts of other global alliances; according to our contact at United, technology issues is why United put its participation in the Star Alliance Upgrade Award program on hold. Star Alliance offers upgrades on just over half of its member carriers. Currently, members of eight frequent flyer programs can use their miles or points to upgrade when traveling on 12 participating member airlines. Members can upgrade when flying on United flights, but Mileage Plus members cannot use miles to upgrade on Star Alliance carriers. US Airways does not participate in the upgrade program at all.
Oneworld does not have an upgrade policy in place that allows FFP members of one program to upgrade on flights operated by another oneworld member airline.