All of the Star Alliance airlines have an integrated system called StarNet for booking seats on one another's flights using frequent-flyer miles. Most of the member airlines use proprietary restrictions build into their own award-fare systems to "block" most of the available seats from showing up.
In making its move to the Star Alliance, Continental decided it would join just two other carriers--Air Canada and Japan's ANA--in making the full volume of seats available for booking.
This move gives members of Continental's OnePass program a big advantage over United Mileage Plus or U.S. Airways Dividend Miles program members, who will see only the limited number of seats that their carriers want them to see.
Among other advantages that OnePass offers over its domestic-partner counterparts:
- Award tickets may include both a stopover and an open jaw (arrive and depart from different airports);
- Tickets may be routed from North America to Australia via Asia; and
- Elite members of OnePass are exempt from cash copayments when upgrading using miles.